Rams 31, Ravens 17
Sure, they were going against backups. The St. Louis Rams were
just glad to finish the preseason on a positive note.
Sam Bradford threw three touchdown passes in 1 1/2 quarters and
the defense forced four turnovers in a 31-17 victory over the
Baltimore Ravens, who rested most of their regulars as they gear up
for a Super Bowl run.
”Their twos are certainly twos, but they’re great NFL
players,” defensive end Chris Long said. ”They were in the
championship game last year, they’re a good team from top to
The Rams (2-2) are rebuilding under new coach Jeff Fisher and
built confidence while matching their 2011 victory total in the
preseason. Fisher had planned on leaving his starters in until
after the half, but began substituting freely after a 9-yard catch
by Mike Hoomanawanui made it 21-0 with 6:59 to go in the half.
”We played our guys, didn’t play as long as I had
anticipated,” Fisher said. ”Overall, I thought it was a pretty
good effort, really from start to finish.”
Ravens coach John Harbaugh got what he wanted – a really long
look at his backups. Many of the regulars didn’t even dress.
”After I look at the tape, I will see some really good
performances out there, and some that weren’t so good,” Harbaugh
said. ”It will help us make some decisions.”
The Ravens (2-2) committed four turnovers, including three
interceptions by Curtis Painter, who threw touchdown passes to
Billy Bajema and Deonte Thompson in the second half. Tyrod Taylor
started in place of Joe Flacco and was 8 for 12 for 58 yards.
Harbaugh said he hasn’t decided whether to keep two or three
quarterbacks, but thought Painter, who started last year for
Indianapolis after Peyton Manning was injured, had a ”really good
”You know, he’s done well,” Harbaugh said. ”He’s a guy who’s
a starter, he’s got experience and he’s a pro.”
Bradford threw five touchdown passes in the preseason, all of
them at home for the Rams (2-2).
”It’s very satisfying,” Bradford said. ”The way we finished
definitely shows that we’re comfortable out there. I think we’re
moving into the regular season in a very nice way.”
Rookie Janoris Jenkins was a rare Rams starter who played into
the third quarter, and made it 28-0 with a 76-yard interception
return for a touchdown off a pass by Painter that deflected off
Bobby Rainey’s hands.
”Most definitely, I want to take it to the house,” Jenkins
said. ”I always think that.”
The Rams intercepted Painter on the previous play, too, but
Craig Dahl fumbled it back.
Robert Quinn had a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery
while stripping Taylor to set up Danny Amendola’s 7-yard score late
in the first quarter. He also deflected a punt in the second
The Rams played well in both home games despite sparse
attendance. The Edward Jones Dome, which holds 66,000, was probably
about one-third full for the opening kickoff and all but empty at
Fisher’s plan to play his starters backfired when first-round
pick Michael Brockers injured his right ankle after getting tangled
up with Jah Reid near the end of the first quarter and did not
Brockers was helped off the field by two trainers, but was able
to put weight on the leg, then was carted off the field.
X-rays were negative and an MRI was scheduled for Friday for
Brockers, who was in a walking boot but didn’t think it was a
Bradford was 11 for 16 for 175 yards and spread the ball to
eight receivers, with Austin Pettis starting the scoring with a
14-yard catch capped by a dive inside the pylon.
Bradford recovered his own fumble off a center snap for a 5-yard
loss the play before throwing the touchdown pass to
Rookie kickers for both teams showed plenty of leg.
The Ravens’ Justin Tucker, who beat out Billy Cundiff, made a
49-yard field goal in the second half after barely missing from 57
yards near the end of the half. That was the lone miss in eight
preseason attempts, including a pair from 50 yards or farther for
the undrafted Tucker.
The Rams’ Greg Zuerlein hit his fourth field goal from 50
yards-plus in the preseason with a 59-yarder that scraped the
crossbar early in the fourth quarter.
He was just short on a 62-yard attempt in the third quarter that
was caught by the Ravens’ Asa Jackson just under the crossbar.
”I’m glad the coaches gave me another opportunity,” Zuerlein
said. ”Really, it was two bad kicks for me. I’ve got to put it
NOTES: Ravens backup OLB Courtney Upshaw (shoulder) will have an
MRI exam Friday. ”Yeah, we’re concerned,” Harbaugh said. … OL
Justin Boren (right foot sprain) also will have an MRI, and TEs
Bruce Figgins (right knee sprain) and Matt Balasavage (high left
ankle sprain) were injured. … The Rams are 3-0 against the Ravens
in the preseason.
Follow R.B. Fallstrom on Twitter at (at)rbfallstrom.