ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com / FootballStl) -- One of the best quotes I've ever heard in my life as it relates to sports came when I was in high school. A coach once said "you're never as good as you think you are and you're never as bad as you think you are".
It has stuck with me ever since.
Nothing should resonate more with Rams fans at this point in time than that quote. The first preseason game against the Colts was ugly...but far from the end of the world as many suggested. The second one, last night's 31-17 win over the Chiefs, was quite pretty...but far from meaning this team will be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy anytime soon.
It's preseason, people. Calm down.
One of the first things out of head coach Jeff Fisher's mouth in his post game remarks last night was how this game was "directly related to what happened last week". He said they "got to put some more things in" from the playbook and turned things up a notch.
Yes, the Rams played much better against the Chiefs compared to how they looked in Indianapolis. But you can never put too much stock in a preseason game.
The Rams' coaching staff completely handcuffed the players in Indy by coming in with an extremely vanilla game plan. The never really tried to put pressure on Andrew Luck. Jeff Fisher wanted to work on fundamentals and be able to evaluate players. The Colts? They treated it more like the regular season.
This week the Rams opened it up some more. But who's to say Kansas City didn't scale back its game plan and do something similar to what St. Louis did last week? Every team, every coach is different in how they approach the exhibition schedule.
The game itself doesn't matter. It's what happens within the game that does. The defense forcing 4 turnovers, the offensive line doing such a good job that afterwords Sam Bradford said he wasn't sure if he was even touched...it's those types of things that mean something.
Not the score.
On the flip side, the Chiefs were 5-11 on 3rd down -- after the Colts went 11-15. The Rams committed 4 penalties for 30 yards. Backup running back Isaiah Pead, who was admittedly nervous last week in Indianapolis, couldn't find much room as he managed -5 yards on 6 carries (yes, that was a negative sign in front of the 5) plus a touchdown.
Those are the types of story lines that carry weight at this point in the season. Again, not the final score.
So just how it was necessary to not jump off the Jeff Fisher-led bandwagon a week ago and say "here we go again" it's just as important to not go the other way now.
The Rams looked good, no doubt. They're moving in the right direction.
But don't mistake progress for achievement. They've still got a long way to go.