Eleven penalties doom Rams against 49ers

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Coach Jeff Fisher is willing to forget about the season-high 11 penalties the Rams took Sunday in a 23-13 loss at San Francisco.

As long as it doesn’t happen again.

“We’re not (normally) a penalty-plagued football team,” he said Monday.

St. Louis had a two-game winning streak snapped in the loss. The Rams took a step backward after impressive wins over Indianapolis, 38-8, and Chicago, 42-21.

The Rams (5-7) committed 11 penalties for 105 yards. The first five came on defense in the game’s opening 12:15, and four of them handed the 49ers a first down. The mistakes helped San Francisco roll out to a 13-0 lead midway through the second quarter.

St. Louis had eight penalties on defense, two on offense and one on special teams. The first-half defensive infractions helped the 49ers score on each of their first three possessions.

Fisher felt some of the penalties were due to too much aggression by the secondary.

“When you play man-to-man against physical receivers, it’s going to happen,” he said. “We’ve got to teach our corners that you can’t grab now.”

The St. Louis offense did little to help pick up the defense. The Rams got their initial first down early in the second quarter. Kellen Clemens hit on 19-of-37 passes for 218 yards, but was just 11-of-28 for 128 yards before the Rams’ lone touchdown drive. That series ended with an 8-yard pass to Brian Quick with 18 seconds left in the game. San Francisco had just three regulars on the field during the march.

St. Louis center Scott Wells broke his left leg in the first half and is likely lost for the season, according to Fisher.

Left tackle Jake Long departed in the third quarter Sunday with concussion-like symptoms. He is going through the NFL’s required concussion protocol, but Fisher said “he felt pretty good,” Monday.

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