Report Card: Rams Lose More Than Game in Carolina
By Joe Vastola
Coming off of an impressive win in Houston to reach .500, the Rams looked to improve to 4-3. Things did not go as planned in Carolina. The Rams trailed throughout as Sam Bradford threw a pick-6 on the first play from scrimmage. The Rams trailed by 12 points headed into the half but hung tough with a Zac Stacy touchdown in the third quarter. Despite a good defensive performance, the Rams couldn’t get the game closer than eight points. To make matters worse, Bradford was injured in the fourth quarter when he scrambled out of bounds. Following the 30-15 loss, it was announced that Bradford had torn his ACL and he would miss the rest of the season.
The injury is devastating to a team that felt they would be able to contend for a wild card spot. Here are the grades from Week 6.
Sam Bradford , B+ - His afternoon started out as poorly as it could. 15 seconds into the game and one interception later the Rams trailed 7-0. However, Bradford had a strong performance completing 70% of his passes. Nine different receivers had catches for St. Louis as Bradford finished the game with 255 yards and a touchdown. These numbers would have been even better had it not been for a long touchdown pass to Tavon Austin being called back. Bradford suffered a devastating injury in the closing minutes that will end his season.
Zac Stacy, B- - In his third start of the season Stacy made a lasting contribution. Despite only gaining 53 yards on 17 carries, he showed that he could also catch passes out of the backfield. Stacy’s ability to make plays led to four receptions for 34 yards and a touchdown. If it hadn’t been for Stacy the offense might have put up fewer than 15 points.
Tavon Austin- B+ - While he only had 39 yards receiving, Austin displayed the potential that led to the Rams selecting him with their first round pick. He had a good day on kick returns and caught all five balls that were thrown his way. In addition, he would have had a long touchdown reception had it not been for an offensive holding penalty. The Rams have to be happy with his performance this past week.
Defense- B – The final score of this game is a bit misleading. When you see 30 points, you think the defense had a poor game. However, the Rams executed a solid game plan against one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the lead. They held Cam Newton to 204 yards passing and only allowed 82 yards on the ground while earning a safety. Had it not been for field position this game would have been a lot closer. The one knock on the defense this game was too many penalties. They continued to get pressure on Newton but shot themselves at the foot at times. For instance, Chris Long was ejected in the third after throwing a punch in between plays.
Next Up: The Rams will have the tall task of hosting the NFC’s best team. The Seahawks (6-1) will travel to St. Louis for Monday Night Football on ESPN. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:40.