- As they stood mostly silent in the home locker room following disheartening 27-13 loss to the Jets on Sunday, there was nary a Ram who could find much in the way of positives to discuss. Not that there were none but they certainly were hard to identify after such a complete dropoff in performance even from one week ago in San Francisco.
– Coach Jeff Fisher perhaps summed it up as simply and best by saying the Rams were outplayed and outcoached by the Jets on Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome. Clearly, it wasn’t the type of game the Rams hoped to put forth after slugging it out with San Francisco last week with one of their better all around efforts.
– Real quick on the injury front, Fisher said that LB Mario Haggan could miss some time with an elbow injury he suffered early in the game.
– WR Danny Amendola suffered a foot injury in the first half but returned to the game to open the second. His status will be more clear as the week goes on.
– Back to the game, this will be a familiar refrain in today’s coverage, but the Rams continue to lose the turnover battle. And it’s no coincidence that they haven’t found a victory in the past five games. So, some simple math, how long has it been since they got a takeaway? Five games.
– The lack of takeaways at this point is somewhat baffling. Just like last week, the defense got some strips, got the ball on the ground a few times, even the special teams had a golden chance for a recovery of an onsides kick. But the Rams just continue to have no luck in that regard. LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar said maybe they don’t have enough people running to the ball quickly. Maybe they’re getting bad bounces (they are) but regardless it’s something they have to get corrected. MLB James Laurinaitis was clearly frustrated when asked about it, searching for answers on how a team that had eight takeaways to open the season suddenly can’t get their hands on one.
– Credit to the Jets on Sunday for battling with their backs against the wall and controversy surrounding them at every turn. They did what was needed to win the game and made more plays, big plays when they absolutely had to.
– On offense, the Rams got off to a terrific start, a start that looked like it was going to spark a big offensive breakthrough. And then everything fell silent. QB Sam Bradford said he and the offense couldn’t find a rhythm and spent the rest of the day searching for it. Bradford struggled to find any open receivers and when they were, couldn’t connect. The protection was up and down and after they fell behind, it was hard to stick with a running game that worked pretty well for the most part. Add to that the three turnovers, including a pick and fumbles by Bradford and RB Daryl Richardson and, well, you get the rest. Just tough sledding all the way around.
– On defense, aside from the lack of takeaways, the Rams played pretty well all things considered. They were backed up in their own end because of those turnovers and that made it difficult to keep the Jets off the socreboard all together. But New York had just 289 yards of total offense. They came up huge on third down, though, converting seven-of-15 opportunities with some big plays mixed in. Although the Rams held the Jets to just 3 yards per carry, New York was able to run it 41 times, control the tempo and the clock and make it difficult for the Rams offense to find the aforementioned rhythm.
– Strong performance by DE Chris Long, who posted a pair of sacks. More difficult on the other side for DE Robert Quinn, who was matched up with LT D’Brickashaw Ferguson.
– The special teams did have a good day, though a questionable flag stopped it from becoming a great day.
– Cornerback Janoris Jenkins made a big play to block a chip shot field goal and get an early spark. Same for LB James Laurinaitis staying at home and making picture perfect read when the Jets attempted a fake punt.
– But the real spark could (and probably should) have come when WR Chris Givens appeared to have a 98-yard kick return for a touchdown to give the Rams a 14-13 lead heading into the locker room. It was a huge play, a momentum play and the type of play that considering the Rams were to get the ball first coming out of the half that could have spurred a big performance in the final 30 minutes.
– Instead, a flag came out on S Rodney McLeod, who was whistled for holding. The penalty was borderline at best as McLeod seemed to have his hands inside and then let go to disengage before tugging on the jersey. Fisher said he believed it was not a hold and McLeod backed that up but those are the kind of punches the Rams seem to be taking in recent weeks. Certainly a, if not the, game changing play Sunday.
– P Johnny Hekker did it with the arm last week, this week it was his leg. He was excellent on punts, averaging 50.2 yards with a net of 44.4.
– The Rams now sit at 3-6-1 with a trip to Arizona coming next week that won’t be any easier.
– Thanks for reading.
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