By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Monday, Oct. 08 2007

A LOW FIVE

The Rams are 0-5, and tight end Randy McMichael, a free-agent pickup in the
offseason, said he never would've imagined such a woeful start. "I can honestly
say I didn't think that," he said after Sunday's 34-31 loss to Arizona.

Since moving here in 1995, the Rams have had one longer skid: They lost eight
games in a row in 1997. The Rams dropped five games in succession during the
1996 and '06 seasons, but only in 2002 did they open with a quintet of defeats.

"I look at it the same way I looked at it when we were 0-3 and 0-4. We've got
to do whatever it takes to get a win," cornerback Ron Bartell said. But where
will the Rams get that win?

Their next two contests are on the road, vs. Baltimore (3-2) and Seattle (3-2);
they then face Cleveland (2-3) at home Oct. 28 before the bye week. "We've just
got to keep plugging away," quarterback Gus Frerotte sad. "I know it's hard.
We've got to have the leaders come up, the veterans, and say, 'Hey, we can't
quit.'"

PLAY OF THE GAME

Arizona QB Matt Leinart broke his left collarbone when LB Will Witherspoon
sacked him late in the first half with the score tied 10-10. That put vet Kurt
Warner in control the rest of the way for the Cardinals. He immediately stung
his former team with a 10-play, 77-yard drive that ended with Warner sneaking
into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown and a 17-13 Cards lead at the half.

GAME BALLS

Rams — RB Brian Leonard (18 carries for 102 yards; five catches for 33 yards).
Cardinals — CB Roderick Hood (two interceptions, including a 68-yard touchdown).

AIR TIME

At 6 feet 6 and with a vertical leap of 33 1/2 inches, Rams rookie DT Adam
Carriker can get up high. It showed in the second quarter, when he swatted down
a 39-yard field goal attempt by St. Louisan Neil Rackers. "I just got
penetration and I stuck my arm up," Carriker said. "I try to do that every
time, and it just happened to work that play."

The Rams' last blocked field goal was by Tyoka Jackson in 2003 vs. New Orleans.

WHERE'S THE D?

After three games, the Rams were yielding an average of 298.3 yards, the
seventh-best mark in the NFL. In the last two games, they've given up an
average of 442.5 yards and fallen to No. 24 in total defense.

GETTING HIS KICKS

Jeff Wilkins was slumping uncharacteristically, with four misses in his last
five field-goal tries. But he rebounded Sunday, hitting from 46, 35 and 31
yards. "I just stuck with what I've been doing and wrote it off as a couple of
bad games," Wilkins said. "It's something for me to build on personally and
hopefully now I can keep it going."