(FootballSTL) -- Despite dropping to 0-3 in the 2013 preseason with a 27-26 loss to the Broncos more than five thousand feet above sea level, there were some positives to take from the game in Denver. Unfortunately, there were also plenty of negatives.
There were still too many penalties (11 of them for 74 yards) and they lost the time of possession battle badly (34:41 for the Broncos compared to just 25:19 for the Rams).
All in all, it was a mixed bag as far as head coach Jeff Fisher is concerned.
“It was kind of like what I said at the game. The first half we made some plays and the second half we didn’t,” Fisher said. “I was pleased to a certain extent from a defensive standpoint. Often times when you play (Broncos QB) Peyton Manning, we look at it as field goals are wins for the defense, and so we were able to do that. We, obviously, got the turnover and got a couple third down stops, which is hard to do. He came at us, a lot of quick count stuff. Did a good job with the cadence, we need that work. Overall, I thought we tackled better. He challenged our secondary. We responded.”
The defense was forced to go up against Peyton Manning who was about as up tempo as it gets from that position. In just one half of play, he threw 34 passes, which would be among the most ever in a regular season game. So the fact the starting defense held Manning to just 10 first half points has to be considered a major victory.
As far as the offense is concerned, however, Fisher says there’s still work to be done.
“We still need to work on our third down stuff,” Fisher said. “It’s not where it needs to be, but we’ve said we’re kind of holding some things and hope that that’ll help increase our third-down efficiency once the regular season starts. We didn’t run it as much. Our approach was to tie (QB) Sam (Bradford) to (RT) Rodger (Saffold), and our anticipation was that Rodger would only be able to play a couple series. He surprised us and himself and played the whole first half, so that allowed Sam to stay in.”
Saffold also said after the game he needed to be out there more in order to get used to playing right tackle, considering he’s only played left tackle in his time with the Rams thus far. He said he was locked in during his time away with a shoulder injury so he was ready to go once he got healthy.