Early notes on personnel:
- Mike Bell deep to return the opening kickoff; he returned it 19 yards.
- Tatum Bell starts at running back. Broncos open up with two tight ends: Stephen Alexander and Tony Scheffler.
- Two wide receivers: Rod Smith and Javon Walker. No fullbacks.
Some thoughts on the game’s first exchange of possessions:
- Eleven yards on third-and-three to Javon Walker is exactly the kind of catch for which the Broncos acquired the former Packers Pro Bowler.
- Two penalties on the offensive line; one accepted, one declined (holding on George Foster when Leonard Little notched a 9-yard sackI0.
- Paul Ernster’s first regular-season punt was fair-caught by Shaun McDonald, giving the second-year punter/kickoff man a net of 43.
- St. Louis’ offense still looks worthy of being in the NFL’s elite, although it is taking a more deliberate, fairways-and-greens approach to downfield movement than it has been known for. The Rams’ one deep shot of the drive came on a free play when the Broncos were offsides; it fell incomplete.
And some thoughts from the pregame:
- Late-arriving crowd here at the Edward Jones Dome; about 10,000-15,000 empty seats at kickoff. (They soon filled up.)
- Walking into the twice-renamed dome is less like entering a stadium and more like going to the theatre. The playing surface is well-lit, but the stands sit in relative darkness — even before the Rams turn out the lights for the NBA-style, fireworks-accentuated introduction
- Plastic cups for sale at the concession stands. Always a plus for the el-cheapo souvenir collector like myself.
Tags: St. Louis