Offensive fuse is lit, but attack fizzles
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Sunday, Nov. 13 2005
SEATTLE — The offensive explosion that might have been anticipated
with the return of quarterback Marc Bulger and wide receivers Isaac Bruce and
Torry Holt to the Rams' lineup turned out to be pretty much of a dud.
The three Pro Bowlers worked together Sunday for the first time since late
September, and they generated some firepower: Bulger passed for 304 yards, and
Holt had four catches and a touchdown.
Largely because of red-zone failures, however, the Rams wound up with their
lowest point total of the season in a 31-16 loss to Seattle that extended the
Seahawks' lead in the NFC West to three games.
"We were able to move the ball all the way down to the 10-yard line, it seemed
like, and we couldn't get in," said Bulger, who had missed two games with a
sprained throwing shoulder. "If we get in just half the times we were down
there, it's a different game. You've got to give them credit for holding us
when they did, but ... we didn't do what we're supposed to do."
Bulger said he took a couple of hits on his right shoulder that were without
consequence. "It feels good," he said. "It didn't bother me at all."
He acknowledged that he was concerned about his arm strength "because earlier
in the week, I didn't feel like I had the zip I wanted. But once the game came,
I think the adrenaline took over. Might not have looked like it, but it was
pretty good for me."
Holt, returning after two games on the sideline with a torn knee ligament,
scored on a 17-yard catch. He could've had two more TDs, though.
Holt was wide open near the goal line early in the second quarter but couldn't
keep track of Bulger's throw, and the ball dropped to the turf.
"Once I whipped my head around, I was looking for a higher-trajectory-type ball
and ... I just lost the ball," Holt said. "It was my bad for not bringing the
ball in and giving us an opportunity for a score" and a 10-0 lead.
Holt was streaking toward the deep right corner of the end zone late in the
third period when Bulger's toss deflected off his fingertips. Instead of a
21-yard TD, the Rams settled for a Jeff Wilkins field goal. The score was 24-9
heading into the fourth quarter.
"At times, I felt like I didn't have quite as much acceleration as I would've
liked," Holt explained. "But I'm not here to make any excuses. It was a
well-thrown ball; I just didn't get to it and make the play."
Holt said his knee, supported by a brace, held up well. "I was very pleased,"
he said. "Tomorrow will be critical ... hopefully, no swelling or discomfort."
A turf-toe injury had kept Bruce out of five games; the decision to activate
him wasn't made until Sunday. He had just one catch for 16 yards.
"I think that the timing is off a little between Marc and Isaac," interim head
coach Joe Vitt said. "They have to continue to work to get in sync again."