Rams Come Up Short Against Chiefs
Saturday, August 26, 2006

By Nick Wagoner
Senior Writer

KANSAS CITY - The Rams' first-team offense and defense struggled at times Saturday night at Arrowhead Stadium. The offensive reserves put up a spirited comeback, but fell short again in the team's 16-12 loss to the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday night.

The Rams fall to 1-2 in the preseason and Kansas City improves to 1-2. The Chiefs also reclaimed the Governor's Cup after a one-year absence.

Quarterback Marc Bulger said earlier in the week that the Rams simply wanted to leave the game healthy. Of course, they also would have liked to break through and get at least one touchdown somewhere along the way.

That didn't come to fruition as the Rams' starters played the entire first half and part of the third quarter and came up with just a Jeff Wilkins' 48-yard field goal on four first-half possessions.

The first-team failed to convert a golden opportunity early in the third quarter. Many assumed the starters would play just the first half before calling it a night. But after failing to do much of anything in the opening half, the starters got two more chances in the third quarter. With all of the starters except running back Steven Jackson and left tackle Orlando Pace in the game and Kansas City's backup defense, the Rams' special teams created an excellent scoring chance.

After a three-and-out on the first attempt, the Rams were given their best chance at a touchdown in the preseason when safety Oshiomogho Atogwe stripped receiver Nate Curry on a punt return and recovered at Kansas City's 22.

It appeared the Rams finally broke through on third-and-3 at Kansas City's 15 when Bulger hit receiver Kevin Curtis in the end zone. It was called back, however, when left guard Richie Incognito was given his second 15-yard penalty of the game, this time for an illegal chop block.

Bulger was sacked on the next play for a loss of 9 and the Rams were forced to punt once again. Despite the absence of star receivers Torry Holt (bruised sternum) and Isaac Bruce, whom the team was just taking precautions with, the offense failed to get into any kind of rhythm.

The Rams' first offense posted 100 yards of total offense in its time Saturday night. Bulger was seven-of-11 for 78 yards with no touchdowns and an interception. Running back Steven Jackson ended his night at halftime with 22 yards on 10 carries.

Kansas City opened the game by marching down the field on a methodical 14-play drive that featured nine carries for 37 yards and a touchdown by running back Larry Johnson. That score gave the Chiefs a 7-0 lead they would not relinquish.

After Wilkins' field goal, Kansas City followed that with an impressive drive on its second possession that saw a pair of former Rams finding a rhythm. Quarterback Trent Green and receiver Eddie Kennison hooked up three times on the drive for 34 yards before the Chiefs settled for the first of three Lawrence Tynes field goals.

The Rams did finally breakthrough with just over a minute to go in the third quarter. Quarterback Gus Frerotte hit tight end Jerome Collins, who outran the defense for a 54-yard touchdown. Kicker Remy Hamilton hit the upright on the extra point, making it 16-9 Kansas City.

Early in the fourth quarter, Hamilton converted a 47-yard field goal for the final margin.

The Rams' last gasp came to an end when Bernard Pollard hit Brandon Middleton after a 26-yard reception, forcing a fumble. Bennie Sapp recovered the fumble to preserve the lead and game for Kansas City.