By: Bill Coats
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Postgame report)

Standing in a crowded yet subdued Rams locker room late Saturday night, Marc Bulger said it best: “It’s definitely not the way you want to start out.”

No, indeed. The Titans humbled the Rams, piling up 495 yards — more than double the Rams’ output — in a 34-13 victory at LP Field. The Titans dominated on the ground, pounding out 340 yards on 43 carries. That’s 7.9 yards per attempt, a strong recipe for victory.

“We were very, very poor on third downs,” coach Scott Linehan said. “Those are money downs in this league.” Tennessee converted 11 of 17 times on third down.

The Rams were gashed over and over by long runs. The Titans picked up at least 10 yards on 10 carries, and those 10 plays gained 255 yards. The Rams’ entire offensive total was 241 yards.


Notes & quotes:

>>Without holdout RB Steven Jackson, the Rams mustered a meager 76 rushing yards.

>>DE Chris Long, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, was nowhere to be found. He never pressured the quarterback and failed to register a single tackle during his half of play.

>>Brock Berlin took the early lead in the battle for the No. 3 QB job. He completed 11 of 14 passes for 139 yards, and had a gaudy passer rating of 108.0. Bruce Gradkowski went two for five for 6 yards; his passer rating was just 47.9.

>>Veteran WR Dane Looker had a nice outing, grabbing four catches for 73 yards.

>>It was a good start for new K Josh Brown, who hit on both of his field goal attempts (44 and 48 yards).

>>Donnie Jones averaged 51.o yards (41.3 net) on six punts.

>>The team returned to Mequon, Wis., after the game for the final days of training camp. It will head for St. Louis on Thursday afternoon.

All for now . . . more Sunday after Linehan’s press get-together in Wisconsin.