Rams offense cools off in 23-6 loss to Bears
Sunday, September 23, 2012
CHICAGO — With a Chicago Bears’ rush hounding Sam Bradford most of the day and no running game to balance it out, the St. Louis Rams were still within reach of victory in the fourth quarter Sunday.
“I think the biggest thing for us as an offense when things aren’t going well, when things aren’t going great, we got to learn to create momentum from within, we can’t wait for it to happen, we got to bring enough energy to create it ourselves to get over that hump,” Bradford said after 23-6 loss to the Bears.
Chicago’s lead was only 13-6 in the fourth quarter when Bradford’s pass was deflected by Chicago’s Tim Jennings and teammate Major Wright hauled it in and took off on a 45-yard return that pretty much eliminated any chances the Rams (1-2) had of winning.
“I threw it, I think it got tipped. It was a contested throw and it just got popped right up to him,” Bradford said.
Bradford, who’d passed for 310 yards and three TDs last week, was 18-for-35 for 152 yards as the Rams failed to reach the end zone. Bradford was sacked six times and hit several other times, including the play right before the interception.
The Rams just couldn’t sustain drives and were 3-for-13 on third-down conversions on a day their defense played decently. Their total offense was 160 yards.
Bradford said it was a combination of the strong Bears’ defense and the Rams’ own problems moving the ball.
“We put ourselves in way too many third and longs. We knew this was a very good defense at defending third and long and it was a position we didn’t want to be in,” Bradford said. “I don’t know what the numbers were, but we were in it way too often today. If we’re going to be successful in the future, it’s something we’ve got to eliminate.”
Steven Jackson got the go-ahead to play in pre-game warmups after missing practice time during the week with a groin injury. But the Rams had just 59 yards rushing on 17 carries. Jackson had 29 yards on 11 carries.
“I felt I could go and not further injure myself and make me more susceptible to missing games. I came out of this clean I just wish I could have been more productive and help my team win,” Jackson said.
St. Louis also had two penalties that helped the Bears (2-1) score all of their first-half points. A roughing the kicker penalty on a punt led to Robbie Gould’s 54-yard field goal.
And Chicago’s lone touchdown in the first half was aided by a big break, after Darian Stewart got called for roughing the passer on third down at the St. Louis 45. Michael Bush eventually ran it in from the 3 with just under two minutes left to make it 10-0.
The Rams responded with field goals of 56 and 46 yards by Greg Zuerlein and it was 10-6 after three quarters.
“Until about midway through the fourth quarter we really thought we were going to take the lead and go ahead,” Jackson said. “Our defense did a fairly good job and we as an offense did not help them at all and that’s unfortunate. We took a step back, we got to put this behind us.”
Wright said he picked up on where Bradford was trying to throw the ball — to Danny Amendola, who had five receptions Sunday, 10 fewer than the week before in a win over Redskins.
“Sam Bradford was looking his way the whole time,” Wright said. “As we were watching film, he is not the type of quarterback that is going to look one way and go back the other way. He was honing in on that side and I was like, ‘You know what, let me take a shot over here,’ and I ended up taking a shot over there. ... (Jennings) tipped it up and me being in the right spot at the right time (I) took it in.”
Coming off a lopsided loss to the Packers 10 days ago, the Bears’ offense sputtered at times, as well. Jay Cutler completed 17 of 31 passes for 183 yards. He was sacked twice and threw an interception to Cortland Finnegan, who also delivered a shot after the game.
Notes: Finnegan has an interception in each of the Rams’ three games. ... Bears FB Evan Rodriguez left with a knee injury early in the game.
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