By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Tuesday, Oct. 09 2007
The ball squirted away from Arizona running back Edgerrin James and into the
end zone. Four Rams defensive backs Ron Bartell, Fakhir Brown, Todd Johnson
and Jonathan Wade hustled after it.
Wade fell on the ball and appeared to have it cradled securely against his
But back judge Bob Lawing, standing only a few feet away, made no call.
Arizona offensive lineman Reggie Wells then barreled into the picture. Wells
fell on Wade and eventually tugged the ball away.
Much to the dismay of the Rams, the play was ruled a touchdown for Arizona on
Wells' "recovery," which tied Sunday's game 10-10 with 3 minutes 32 seconds
remaining in the second quarter.
"What I saw was a Ram (Wade) jump on the ball in the end zone, and I saw an
Arizona offensive player (Wells) jump on the person that had the ball," Rams
coach Scott Linehan said. "To me, that's down by contact on the (Wade)
recovery. He had control of it until the guy jumped on him."
Review of game film seemed to show that Linehan's assessment of the play was
correct, but referee Gerald Austin's crew thought otherwise.
However, even Linehan conceded that had Wade merely hung on to the ball instead
of having Wells pull it free, there would have been no opening for officials to
even question possession.
"You have to make your own breaks," Linehan said. "You can't leave anything to
chance. In that case, you can't allow the (opponent) to get down there and
leave anything for judgment."
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Another disputed call that didn't go the Rams' way was the delay of game
penalty at the end of the first half. Although time had expired, the Cardinals
were allowed to run an extra play because of the penalty, with Kurt Warner
scoring on a quarterback sneak to give the Big Red a 17-13 lead.
"Clearly, there was a scramble by Arizona to get lined up and get the play off
because they ran a play with no timeouts and didn't get (into the end zone),"
Linehan said. "We're still not onside, they're whistling the ball in play, the
center loses his grip on the ball, so the ball was rolling around."
But Ron Bartell kicked the ball with his left foot, and was a little too
obvious in doing so. Although time had expired by then the ball already was
more than a yard deep in the end zone this opened the door for officials to
make the delay call.
RAMS INJURY UPDATE
WR Isaac Bruce (hamstring) is questionable for Baltimore.
S Jerome Carter (fractured right foot) probably is out for the season.
SS Corey Chavous (pectoral) will try to practice Wednesday but is
questionable for Baltimore.
WR/returner Dante Hall (ankle) is doubtful for Baltimore.
CB Tye Hill (back, ribs) will try to play this week.
RB Steven Jackson (groin) has been ruled out for Baltimore.
S Todd Johnson (neck) is expected to play against Baltimore.
The visiting team has won the last five games in the St. Louis-Arizona series.
"I believe you create your own luck. So to say we feel unlucky, we're just not
getting it done. ...This is another game that we honestly felt we should've
won, and we didn't get it done."
__ Rams cornerback Ron Bartell
The Rams play the Ravens in Baltimore for only the second time since former
club owner Art Modell moved his franchise from Cleveland to Maryland in 1996.
Ray Lewis & Co. still are tough to score on, ranking fourth in the NFL in
total defense this season.