ST. LOUIS -- Sam Bradford will have to wait a few days to learn if he'll start the Rams' opener. The No. 1 overall draft pick certainly has appeared ready for the job.
Bradford's opening drive set the tone for a 27-21 victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night, giving the Rams a 3-1 preseason finish for the second consecutive season. He was 6-of-6 passing for 68 yards and one touchdown in his one series. That followed a two-TD effort in his first start last week.
"Right now, there won't be any in-depth starting 22 announcements until we get through these final evaluations," Spagnuolo said. "I realize the quarterback position is high profile, I respect that."
Bradford moved to first string when veteran A.J. Feeley, who had been the starter through training camp, sprained the thumb on his throwing hand. Spagnuolo said he anticipated that Feeley would return to practice Monday, but he wasn't sure if the quarterback was ready to take direct snaps.
In his two starts, Bradford was 21-of-28 passing for 257 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. After the game, he wasn't campaigning for the job.
"If he says that, then I'll handle it like I know I can," Bradford said. "But until then, I'm just going to show up, do what I can and hopefully one day I will be the starter of this team."
Players have the weekend off before beginning preparation for next Sunday's opener against the Arizona Cardinals at home. During the break, they can feel good about the progress they've made.
Unlike last year when they went 1-15 and ended up with the first pick, the Rams' summer success might have at least some meaning.
"We're excited how we're jelling and come together," guard Adam Goldberg said. "We've been able to execute and come out hot."
Nobody was getting carried away after beating the Ravens, who rested all their starters. Yet there were signs that St. Louis might be ready to begin the climb to respectability.
Since the preseason opener, a dud of a 28-7 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, play has picked up on both sides of the ball. The offense, the NFL's worst a year ago, put up 36 points at New England and has scored a touchdown on its opening drive the last three weeks. While taking a 17-7 halftime lead Thursday, the defense held the Ravens to 88 yards, and the lone score came on an interception return.
"After that Minnesota game, we felt like we needed to turn things around fast," middle linebacker James Laurinaitis said. "I think against Cleveland and New England and now Baltimore, we were able to come out and get something accomplished."
Defensive tackle Fred Robbins was among the preseason standouts with either a sack or tackle for loss in all four games, including two stops behind the line in the finale. The Rams foiled the Ravens on fourth-and-goal from the 1 when end George Selvie tipped Troy Smith's pass and linebacker Chris Chamberlain intercepted it, then returned it 83 yards to the Baltimore 12 on the final play of the first half.
"We're happy with a 3-1 record no matter what season it is," Laurinaitis said. "But we're anxious to have them count for real."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press