I’m damned proud of the St. Louis Rams. Down 24-3 to the Atlanta Falcons at halftime, they forced four consecutive 3-and-outs on defense and produced a couple of scores before the Falcons made it a 14 point game at the score of 31-17. With one last breath of offense, Sam Bradford connected with rookie Tavon Austin (two touchdown receptions for Austin) to make the score 31-24, which is what the final turned out to be.
Growing pains, people. The Rams are the youngest team in the league and for that team to go into Georgia Dome and take on a team that’s ‘supposedly’ a Super Bowl contender, battle back like the way they did and only lose by a touchdown? That’s impressive, especially when your rookie wide receiver gets into the endzone on a couple of scores (also a headnod to Austin Pettis, not to, uh, be confused with UFC Lightweight champion Anthony “Showtime” Pettis).
There’s a lot of issues the Rams need to work on, like Bradford’s penchant to check down to receivers (unnecessarily so) as well as the inconsistent running game of Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead. The defense is still facing coverage issues — Julio Jones tore the Rams’ secondary apart with 11 catches, 182 yards and a touchdown. But let’s be honest: who in the hell is going to stop Julio Jones? He’s the Jon “Bones” Jones of the NFL.
And ah, the biggest storyline heading into today’s game was Steven Jackson’s meeting with the Rams after being a Ram for 9 seasons. Jackson had an 8-yard touchdown reception but left the game with a thigh bruise (and didn’t return).
The Rams hit up the Cowboys in Dallas next weekend before hosting the 49ers and Jaguars in consecutive weeks.