Second-year St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford produced 17 points in four possessions with big help from a defense that jumped on Peyton Manning’s backups for a pair of early interceptions as St. Louis opened the preseason with a victory over Indianapolis.
Josh Brown’s 60-yard field goal capped an almost perfect first half not just for offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ rebuilt attack but for all phases. Brown’s boot bettered his career best of 58 yards in 2003 with the Seattle Seahawks and he added a 53-yarder in the third quarter.
Manning almost blended into the crowd on the Colts sideline in blue jeans and wearing a ball cap, but his presence on the field was sorely missed. Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky threw costly interceptions early, giving the Rams possession deep in Indianapolis territory to set up 10 easy points.
Bradford was in for 24 snaps, and was 7 for 12 for 45 yards and a touchdown. He also had a chat with Manning on the field after the game.
Rams backup running back Cadillac Williams had 40 yards on 11 carries with a 1-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Keith Toston had 64 yards and a 5-yard score.
Bradford heads into the season as a solid QB2. The only real downside to Bradford is that St. Louis has an incredibly bumpy schedule early on, as they'll be playing Philadelphia, the Giants, Baltimore, Green Bay, and New Orleans before midseason. As for the Colts, the sooner Manning is back, the better.