In a game littered with dumb penalties and at time, uninspired defensive play, the Rams somehow found a way to begin year 2 of the Jeff Fisher era with a season opening win, their first since 2005.
Sam Bradford - In his 2nd year with Kurt Schottenheimer as offensive coordinator, Bradford showed something we didn't see in 2012...consistency. Bradford was poised and did what Rams fans hope he can continue to do, get the ball to his receivers and let them do the work. I like the 300 yards passing but am really impressed with the 70% completion percentage. I'll take that every Sunday.
Jared Cook - When the Rams signed Cook in the offseason, they hoped he could provide Sam Bradford with a security blanket lost when Danny Amendola signed with the Patriots. We definitely got that in game 1 as the chemistry between Cook and Bradford was off the charts.
Greg Zuerlein - The Rams secret weapon is officially no longer a secret. Greg "The Leg" came through again for the Rams, hitting on all 4 field goal attempts, including the game winner with 40 seconds left in the game. My prediction is this, at some point this year he will break the record for longest field goal made.
Defensive Line - Robert Quinn was once again a monster. He owned the Cardinals last season and he picked up where he left off last year. The Rams led the league in sacks last season and with Quinn and Chris Long on the corners, they look like they are going to cause havoc once again.
Rams secondary - Too much soft coverage allowed Carson Palmer to complete any and everything he wanted. Palmer is obviously an upgrade for the Cardinals at quarterback but the Rams made it too easy for him to find wide open targets all over the field.
Cortland Finnegan - The Rams veteran corner was over matched and outplayed by Larry Fitzgerald. Repeatedly burnt, Finnegan also had 2 of the Rams 5 personal foul penalties.
Dumb Penalties - I'm going to guess there was quite a bit of yelling and teaching going on this week at Rams park. 5 personal foul penalties, all for things after the whistle, is unacceptable for a Jeff Fisher coached team. Sure, this team is the youngest in football but at some point, that has to stop being an excuse and you have to take responsibility for your actions.
Red Zone Offense - Once again, the Rams had trouble turning red zone chances into touchdowns. It helps that they have a kicker like Greg Zuerlein but at some point, you have to score 7 points instead of 3, especially with teams like the Falcons, Saints and Cowboys upcoming on the schedule.
Before the season began, I had this as a win for the Rams. That said, this team is lucky to be 1-0. The Cardinals are a much improved team that had the Rams on the ropes but like last year, somehow this team found a way to dig deep and make enough plays to steal the win.
This week, the Rams head south to take on the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons are coming off a loss on the road to the Saints and they will be looking to take out some frustrations. Also, this will be the Steven Jackson's first game against his former team. To win, Jeff Fisher's team is going to have to limit mistakes, capitalize on their chances and be more discipline. They are also going to have to find a way to slow down the many weapons Matt Ryan has at his disposal. That could very well be easier said then done.