Feldman: Offense starts slow but speeds up in Detroit
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 09: Sam Bradford #8 of the St. Louis Rams drops back to pass during the season opener against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on September 9, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) By Dan Mueller
DETROIT, Mich. (FootballStL) -- Steven Jackson has seen this all before. At least 8 men in the box with the sole purpose of trying to stop him from running the football. Throw in the fact 2 of his offensive linemen were hurt and things got even more challenging for the 2-time All Pro.
"It was tough sledding. But that's been the state of my career and I don't think it's going to change."
Jackson wasn't the only one having a tough time on offense. Pretty much everyone was too. The Rams offense, as a whole, managed just 251 yards for the game. The Lions had 429. The Rams converted 14 1st downs at Ford Field. The Lions? Twice that number. 28. The Rams averaged less than 3 yards a carry on the ground. The Lions were better than 4-and-a-half in that category.
Every single point scored from St. Louis in the 1st half was directly the result of turnovers. Cortland Finnegan's interception off Matthew Stafford was returned for a touchdown. Janoris Jenkins and Jo-Lonn Dunbar's gave them great field position that simply resulted in a pair of field goals.
You could just sense the entire game that the only reason the Rams remained competitive was simply due to the fact the defense kept forcing the Lions into uncharacteristic mistakes. The offense wasn't a part of it.
But that all changed in the 2nd half. Sam Bradford (17-25, 198 yards, TD) got into a groove...specifically with Danny Amendola. He went to the Texas Tech product a team-high 9 times and completed 5 of them for 70 yards. And a few of those were on crucial 3rd downs where they had to move the chains to keep the clock going.
I knew going in, and I wrote about this for KMOV.com and our footbalstl app, that the Rams were going to be fairly conservative offensively because they were going to try and control the clock to keep the ball away from Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson.
That certainly was the case early on. But when things got tough, when things mandated a change in the flow of the game, the Rams opened things up a bit. And that's when Bradford and company got into a groove.
But it was not enough. They made several plays in the 2nd half. But they needed one more to knock off the Lions.