Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 9/1/12

GAME NOTES
—Michael Brockers went down with a lower leg injury on the last play of the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens. Brockers was caught in a ‘high-low’ block on a stretch play. The injury has since been diagnosed as a high ankle sprain, and will sideline the rookie defensive tackle for a month.

—In just his second season, Robert Quinn appears to have matured into the player the Rams hoped he would be when they drafted him with the 14th overall pick in 2010. The defensive end laid out for two punts and a batted pass Thursday, showing his potential impact on special teams entering the season. Quinn also has three sacks and two forced fumbles with one recovery.

—Quarterback Sam Bradford led two 90+ yard touchdown drives, finishing the preseason completing 30 of 51 passes for 398 yards, five touchdowns and (more importantly) no interceptions.

—Kicker Greg Zuerlein tested the waters from 62 yards out, but fell short of the crossbar. Zuerlein prepared for the kick as though there would be a strong rush but Baltimore relented, possibly accounting for the less-than five yards of differential. ‘Young GZ’, as he's been anointed by teammates, later hit a 59-yarder less than a minute into the fourth with a little room to spare, so the potential to make one from 60 is there.

—The Rams' D seem to be content taking a bend-but-don't-break approach to the season, struggling against the Ravens backups although the scoreboard said otherwise. The rushing attack of Baltimore moved the ball easily against the Rams' starters early on, as running back Bernard Pierce rushed for 27 yards on eight carries. Pierce consistently found his way to the edge, much like the runners St. Louis faced throughout August. However, the bad tackling that plagued the home team the first three weeks was shored up; the Rams' defense held up on several big third-down attempts to keep Baltimore from entering the red zone. Quarterback Curtis Painter also recorded 193 yards and two touchdowns in the passing game, but the Rams' approach looked effective against the aerial attack as well by forcing three interceptions.

 

POSITION BATTLES
—Arguably the most interesting duel this preseason has gone down to the wire: the competition between rookies Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson for the backup running back slot. Richardson has almost certainly been the biggest surprise in Rams camp, showing patience and burst in each preseason game against starters and backups alike. On the other hand, the more-heralded Pead initially hadn't proven worthy of the second-round pick he was chosen with in April, but made visible improvements in each game.

Pead may also have been fueled by Richardson seeing the field before him against Baltimore, recording his best game of camp with 58 yards on 10 carries. The Cincinnati product had a highlight quality 28-yard run at the end of the third quarter, showing all of his tools by hitting the hole, bouncing to the sidelines while stiff-arming a defender, and finishing by lowering his shoulder into an approaching safety while being pushed out of bounds. Richardson — the Rams' seventh-round choice — continued to run hard and embrace contact between the tackles, refusing to flee to the outside like smaller backs tend to do.

—Backup quarterback Kellen Clemens shorted receiver Brian Quick on a jump fade attempt on the play following the two-minute warning in the second quarter. Danny Gorrer of Baltimore intercepted the pass in the end zone to end yet another impressive Rams drive. Clemens' recent performances may give way to another position battle entering the regular season with rookie Austin Davis, who has maintained a stellar camp throughout.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

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