Rams hoping tide turns soon
Monday, November 19, 2012
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A five-game winless stretch has the rebuilding St. Louis Rams stuck on three wins.
Coach Jeff Fisher reminded one of the NFL’s youngest rosters on Monday that with more consistency, and perhaps a turnover or two, the tide will turn.
Also, how easily momentum can swing in a game.
“They didn’t like it, don’t like it, but they saw where their opportunities were and they understand how this thing slipped away,” Fisher said. “And they’re determined not to let it happen again.”
Fisher was critical of some officiating calls in Sunday’s 27-13 loss to the New York Jets, notably a holding penalty that nullified rookie Chris Givens’ 98-yard kickoff return near the end of the half that would have given the Rams a 14-13 lead.
He added rookie Rodney McLeod, whose technique was fine except for a prolonged tug of the jersey, could have given officials no reason to target him.
“You know, there’s three holdings on their first kickoff that aren’t called and all of them were more egregious than the one that was called,” Fisher said. “I’ll just leave it at that.”
Fisher said the Jets’ Chaz Schilens did a good job of acting on the play.
“When the arms go up, sometimes that’s all it takes,” the coach said. “But we’re not good enough to even put ourselves in position to where they think it’s a hold.”
Fisher said he probably should have given the ball more to Steven Jackson, who averaged 6.2 yards on 13 carries for St. Louis (3-6-1).
He didn’t think quarterback Sam Bradford wasn’t guilty of hanging onto the ball too long while perhaps intimidated a bit by an early interception.
“They did a good job affecting coverage and taking away checkdowns. He was just trying to make plays,” he said. “There was a couple times where he probably could have pulled it down and run a little bit and got the first down.
“He knows someone’s chasing him, he doesn’t know who.”
Bradford was 6-for-8 for 60 yards on the Rams’ opening 13-play, 86-yard drive capped by Brandon Gibson’s 1-yard scoring catch. He was 8-for-10 for 79 yards before getting picked off by Eric Smith on a short sideline pattern, and 15-for-34 for 91 yards the rest of the way.
“It was just a late throw,” Bradford said. “I know better than that. You can’t come across the field. I tried to force it.”
A few turnovers, or just one, would help the Rams dictate terms. According to STATS LLC, they’re just the second team since 1950 to go five games without a takeaway.
“You get a bounce here and there, but right now they’re not bouncing our way,” safety Quintin Mikell said. “It’s crazy, because that could be the difference in the game.”
The Rams had appeared to be poised for a surge after outplaying powerful San Francisco the previous week. Because of crucial mistakes, they settled for a tie.