Just after 7:00, the Rams and Titans opened up their respective pre-seasons. It was an inauspicious start for the Rams, who went three and out on their first possession of the contest. Nick Harper went down on the opening play after an impressive cut on Rams Tackle Alex Barron.
New Titan Chris Carr came back with a 20 yard punt return to set up Vince Young and company. After an impressive series of runs by second year Titan Lendale White, the Titans swung and missed after failing to convert on a 4th down at the Rams 5.
Promptly after, Marc Bulger threw a pick to Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck resulting in a defensive score for Tennessee.
The Rams moved the ball a little better on their next drive but came away with nothing.
Josh Brown put the Rams on the board with a 44 yarder after a 10 play, 50 yard drive.
The next score came off the foot of Titans Kicker John Vaughn on a 48 yard field goal topping a 33 yard drive headlined by a Vince young 35 yard scramble.
Midway through the 2nd quarter, rookie Chris Johnson took a handoff up the middle for a 66 yard Tennessee touchdown.
With Brock Berlin at the helm the Rams put together a scoring drive highlighted by a Dane Looker 47 yard grab, and closed out by an Antonio Pittman, who beat his man to the end zone for a 2 yard td run.
The teams traded field goals to end the half, making the score 20-13 going into the locker-room.
The star of the second half was by far Titans tail back Quenton Ganther, who rushed for well over 100 yards and scored twice from 45 and 2 yards out. The Rams didn’t do a lot with the football in the half, and the game ended 34-13 Titans.
A few thoughts on the game
This team has some good young running backs. Between Lendale White, Chris Johnson, and Chris Henry, there is some talent running the football for Jeff Fisher, but Quenton Ganther turned some heads with his thrashing of the Rams D.
John Vaughn should catch on somewhere else if the expected happens and he is cut from the Titans squad; the guy hit from 40+ a few times, and will be a good option for someone elsewhere needing a kicker.
Chris Carr was worth the money. He looked impressive in the return game. Whether or not it is a product of the Titans ability, or the Rams inability, Tennessee popped off a lot of big plays mainly on the ground.
First of all, the Rams first team Offense was horrible. They should probably not have come off the field so soon. They turned the ball over, and the line had all kinds of problems blocking. Most noticeably they could not run the football. Now granted, part of that is the fact that they are less Steven Jackson, but still I was not pleased with the lack of positive yardage achieved by the first team. (1 of their first 6 plays resulted in positive yards)
Dane Looker looks good, really good. For a guy who just hit 30 he appears to be playing some of the best ball that he has since joining the Rams. His presumed opponent in the battle for the final wr spot, Derek Stanley, looked average on kick returns and had a couple fumbles. Didn’t see him at all in pass patterns, so early indications are that Looker has the inside track. Elsewhere in wide out news, Dante Hall looked quick and explosive catching the football.
Though the D didn’t play too well, there were a couple of impressive performances by lbs Quinton Culberson and Tim McGarigle. Also, the Rams seemed to do best with blitzing, so look for that more and more.
The only time that the Rams were really able to run the ball was under the direction of Brock Berlin, so it looks like he took a big step towards becoming the 3rd string QB.
Mixed reviews on Chris Long. He showed some good hustle, but also didn’t get his name mentioned all that much.
Finally, according to a story reported on Rams radio, Coach Scott Linehan broke up a mugging on the campus of Vanderbilt University this morning, when he saw a young woman being attacked. Now if he could just save our run defense.
More thoughts in the next few days.