By Bill Coats

Safety Oshiomogho Atogwe has an interception in each of the past four games and five for the season. Only San Diego's Antonio Cromartie (eight) and New England's Asante Samuel (six) have more. ... Wideout Isaac Bruce picked up 31 yards on four catches, moving him into fifth place on the league's career receiving-yardage list. Bruce, a 14-year vet, has 13,911 yards. ... Rookie Quinton Culberson piled up five special-teams tackles, the team's highest individual total in a game this season.
Chillar's stock rises
By Bill Coats

Despite a sore ankle, strongside linebacker Brandon Chillar put together perhaps his most productive outing in three seasons. He registered a team-high 11 tackles and a QB pressure and broke up two passes.

Chillar, a fourth-round draftee in 2004, is in his second full year as a starter. He has 67 tackles, the fifth-highest total among the defenders, and is helping himself financially. Chillar's original four-year contract is due to expire at the end of the season, meaning that he could become an unrestricted free agent.

"We haven't had any discussions that way, but I would love to have Brandon back," Scott Linehan said. "It's easier said than done; I understand that. He's having a real strong season. ... I'm always hopeful to keep guys around. I think that's the best way to go."

Third-down success falls in second half
By Bill Coats
Tuesday, Dec. 04 2007

The Rams’ second-half woes this season have been well documented. Coach Scott
Linehan and his exasperated staff still are trying to nail down the reasons.

There surely are many, but here’s one: third-down efficiency.

The Rams have held a halftime lead in six games; they wound up losing three of
them. In those six contests, the Rams were successful on 45.6 percent of their
first-half third downs vs. 31.8 percent during the second half.

The discrepancy has been even more pronounced in the past four games, when the
Rams were up at the break each time. They held on for three wins, but were
outscored 17-0 in the second half Nov. 25 against Seattle and lost 24-19.

In those four first halves, the Rams’ third-down efficiency was 48.5 percent.
It was just 25.9 percent after intermission.

Sunday’s game against Atlanta provided a prime example. The Rams were cruising
21-0 at the half and had succeeded on four of seven third downs. They went 0
for five thereafter and nearly coughed up the lead before prevailing 28-16 at
the Edward Jones Dome.

On three occasions, the Rams needed just 2 yards for a first down and failed.
“You can’t have those breakdowns,” Linehan said. “Third down is so critical, it
has to be your best down.”

After Sunday, the Rams ranked 23rd in the 32-team NFL in third-down efficiency,
at 37.3 percent.

More from Moore
By Bill Coats

In his first NFL start, third-year defensive end Eric Moore recorded three tackles, but more significantly had a team-high four quarterback pressures, according to the coaches' film review.

"He has a lot of potential, very athletic," defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said. "Hopefully, he can give us something that we're lacking, a little bit of a pass rush. Even when he does stuff that he's not supposed to, like coming inside on a tackle, he got a hit on the quarterback. He's got a pretty good knack for the ball."

An everywhere guy
By Bill Coats

Moore was in the opening lineup opposite Victor Adeyanju because the Falcons started three wide receivers. For most of the rest of the day, Moore and Adeyanju rotated with rookie Adam Carriker and Trevor Johnson.

Carriker, the team's first-round draft choice, "was our best defensive lineman in the game," Jim Haslett said. "He had 18 snaps at end, 17 snaps at nose and 15 snaps at tackle. He played everywhere."

Carriker had three tackles, two QB pressures and a sack and batted down two passes.