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St. Louis Rams' losing streak reaches 16 games

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  • Ahmedrams81
    replied
    Re: St. Louis Rams' losing streak reaches 16 games

    if we don't beat detroit after we play IND this week, expect this streak to reach minimum of 20 games lol.

    Leave a comment:


  • eldfan
    started a topic St. Louis Rams' losing streak reaches 16 games

    St. Louis Rams' losing streak reaches 16 games

    St. Louis Rams' losing streak reaches 16 games
    BY JIM THOMAS
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    10/19/2009

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — For a few brief moments Sunday afternoon, sunshine broke through the dark cloud that has been hovering over this franchise for a full calendar year.

    Rams defensive end Leonard Little pawed at the short pass in the flat intended for Jaguars fullback Greg Jones, and then got the football fully in his grasp. He sprinted to the end zone and dived in for a dramatic touchdown just before quarterback David Garrard could knock him out of bounds. Josh Brown's extra point gave the visitors a 17-13 lead with a mere 4 minutes 36 seconds to play at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.

    "You're thinking, 'It's about time something good happened for us,'" tight end Randy McMichael said. "A guy like Leonard, who's out there sick and the oldest guy on this football team, and he just makes the biggest play of the year for us."

    Little's 36-yard interception return was the kind of play that can change a game, even change a season.

    But no. Not this time. Not this team. Little has been sick since Friday with strep throat. As for the Rams, they're sick and tired of losing.

    Despite leading for the first 3 1/2 quarters, and then regaining the lead on Little's first TD since 2004, the Rams couldn't seal the deal. Jacksonville's Josh Scobee kicked a 36-yard field goal 7 minutes into overtime, giving the Jaguars a 23-20 victory.

    "This one probably hurts more than any of them," McMichael said. "Not being able to close it out, that's the most disappointing thing."

    So the agony of defeats continues. Seasons change, coaches change, the result doesn't. The Rams are 0-6 this season. Overall, their franchise record and league-worst losing streak is at 16.

    Happy anniversary, Rams Nation. Today marks the one-year anniversary of the team's last victory — a 34-14 triumph over Dallas on Oct. 19, 2008.

    Obviously, rookie head coach Steve Spagnuolo has been at the helm for only six of those losses, but even he is running out of things to say to his players.

    "I don't have any magical words," Spagnuolo said. "I just asked them to hang together, hang tough."

    Easier said than done after so many setbacks. And from Steven Jackson's vantage point, they all make you feel awful.

    "It don't matter how you lose a game," Jackson said. "It really doesn't make you feel any better. At least (not) for me. At the end of the day, we're 0-6. I can't say, 'We almost had that one, we're 0-5 1/2.' A loss is a loss."

    Things started out promisingly for the Rams. Marc Bulger, making his first start since suffering a shoulder injury Sept. 27 against Green Bay, went five for five on the opening drive, including a 17-yard TD pass to Donnie Avery.

    It marked the first time all season the Rams had scored on a game-opening possession. But Avery left with a hip injury early in the second quarter, and when he exited, so did the Rams' ability to stretch the field.

    "It definitely takes our explosiveness down the field away," Jackson said. "But I think the guys that came in did a heck of a job because we're pretty limited at that position."

    Without Avery, the Rams were left with only Keenan Burton, Danny Amendola and Tim Carter at the wide receiver position. Amendola has been a Ram for less than a month; Carter, for three practices (although he was with the team in training camp).

    The result was predictable. Without Avery, the Jaguars slowly applied a vise grip to the St. Louis offense, jumping on the short and intermediate pass routes, and giving Jackson plenty of attention. The Rams had only four first downs and 103 yards in the second half.

    "Every team deals with injuries," Bulger said. "It's just up to us to plug in and do a better job. There's teams that are deeper than others. We're a young team, and we ask a lot of our young guys. It might not be fair to them. But it's the NFL, and no one's going to feel sorry for you."

    True, but Avery's injury was the latest example of how this team is snake-bit in '09. Playing against a Jacksonville team with next to no pass rush, and with one of the worst pass defenses in the league, this was to be the game where the Rams got their aerial attack going. Especially since Avery appeared to be finally hitting his stride after a rough start to the season. But no — not meant to be.

    "I can't explain that," Spagnuolo said. "The good Lord's got a reason for it. We'll find out."

    The Rams found out Sunday that their defense couldn't hold up down the stretch. After Little's TD, the Jaguars marched 75 yards for a TD late in the fourth quarter, and then 62 yards for the game-winning field goal in overtime. In between, the Rams managed only a 27-yard field goal by Brown with 4 seconds to play to force overtime at 20-20.

    "As a team we have to learn how to win," Jackson said. "We have to learn how to finish these games off."

    They haven't learned how to do so now for 365 days — and counting.

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  • r8rh8rmike
    Rams Notebook: Too Little Time To Go For A TD, Coach Says
    by r8rh8rmike
    Rams notebook: Too little time to go for a TD, coach says
    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    10/19/2009

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Seven seconds to play, down by three, ball on the 9, one timeout remaining. Do you go for the touchdown, or kick the field goal?

    Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo opted for the Josh Brown field goal, which sent Sunday's game against Jacksonville into overtime tied 20-20. The Rams never got their hands on the football again, because the Jaguars scored on the first possession of OT for a 23-20 victory.

    Why not take one last shot at the end zone at the end of regulation?

    "It was too close," Spagnuolo said. "We've worked it before — 8 seconds we say we can (go for it). You would never want something to happen — just couldn't take the chance. One more tick on the clock, I think you can throw one there. I think it was the right thing to do. I do."

    A 13-yard completion from quarterback Marc Bulger to tight end Randy McMichael put the Rams in position for no worse than a chip-shot field goal attempt, giving them a first down at the Jacksonville 9. Bulger spiked the ball on second down to stop the clock with 15 seconds left.

    On the next play, Bulger was pressured quickly, scrambled to his right, and threw the ball away. That sequence took eight seconds off the clock.

    AVERY'S INJURY

    The Rams are keeping their fingers crossed that wide receiver Donnie Avery's latest hip injury isn't a "replay" of a 2008 stress fracture that sidelined him for most of training camp as a rookie. Avery left Sunday's game with a left hip injury attempting to make a leaping sideline catch early in the second quarter. He was done for the day.

    "I just landed on the hip, the same hip I played on last year with a crack," Avery said. "The X-rays came out negative. I'm going to get an MRI in the morning. I'm just hoping for something positive and coming back out next week and playing."

    MORE INJURIES

    Defensive end James Hall suffered a groin injury that sidelined him in the fourth quarter and overtime. Nickel back Justin King also was done for the day with a groin injury he suffered in the second half.

    On the second play from scrimmage in overtime, cornerback Ron Bartell left after getting "dinged" in the head, and linebacker Will Witherspoon left with a hip and back injury.

    Tight end Daniel Fells and wide receiver Tim Carter briefly left in the second quarter after getting shaken up, but each missed only one play before returning.

    WHERE'S THE PASSION?

    Jacksonville was cited for its football passion when awarded an expansion franchise in 1993 over St. Louis. There didn't seem to be much passion, and there certainly weren't many fans, on hand Sunday at Jacksonville Municipal...
    -10-19-2009, 02:35 PM
  • eldfan
    Result that matters eludes Rams again
    by eldfan
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    09/21/2009

    LANDOVER, MD. — Progress? Yes. Results? Not quite. And that's what made Sunday's 9-7 loss to Washington all the more excruciating for coach Steve Spagnuolo and the Rams.

    "I'm very disappointed," Spagnuolo said. "There's no moral victories in this league. But I'm mostly disappointed in the fact that we've got a football team that works their butts off, and they haven't had a chance to feel victory yet. We've got a long ways to go here."

    Spagnuolo apparently was so disappointed that it took him nearly 25 minutes from the end of the game to address reporters. The NFL's so-called 10-minute cooling off period wasn't nearly enough for Spagnuolo to collect his thoughts after this setback.

    The Rams got 100 yards-plus rushing from Steven Jackson, achieving some degree of balance offensively. The defense was stellar in the red zone, limiting the Redskins to just three field goals in four trips inside the 20. Actually, all four of those red zone trips advanced inside the 10.

    And the Rams cut down significantly on their mistakes from the season-opening fiasco in Seattle. Trouble was, they still made enough Sunday to start 0-2 for the third consecutive season.

    "It is a clichι that you take one or two plays out of a game and the outcome changes," Spagnuolo said. "But in this particular (game), that would be true. Because there were certain plays in there that if they went differently, we might be on the other end of the win-loss column."

    The most obvious — and most costly — mistake happened early in the fourth quarter. Trailing 9-7, the Rams marched methodically from their 25 to the Washington 9, overcoming a false start penalty on tight end Daniel Fells and left tackle Alex Barron's second holding penalty of the day.

    On third-and-4 from the 9, quarterback Marc Bulger completed a pass to Donnie Avery for first-down yardage at the 5. But Avery was rocked by Redskins safety Chris Horton, the ball popped out, and Washington cornerback Carlos Rogers fell on the fumble.

    "I was just trying to get more yards," a disconsolate Avery said. "I was trying to get YAC (yards after contact) on the play, and ended up fumbling. I let the team down."

    Avery has been responsible for the only two Rams turnovers this season, losing a fumble on the opening kickoff return last week in Seattle.

    Even after Avery's miscue Sunday, the Rams' offense had two more possessions to take the lead. But the first series stalled at the Washington 41. On fourth-and-2, Spagnuolo sent out the punting unit, but then flanked punter Donnie Jones out to the left and lined Kenneth Darby behind center in a variation of the wildcat formation.

    However, this was no trick play. The Rams never intended to run the ball; their sole intention...
    -09-21-2009, 07:35 AM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Burwell: Rams Find More Ways To Extend Frustration
    by r8rh8rmike
    Rams find more ways to extend frustration

    Sports Columnist Bryan Burwell
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    09/21/2009

    LANDOVER, Md. — On one end of FedEx Field were the Washington Redskins, trotting off the home field to an unsettled chorus of 87,780 ambivalent fans. There were few ringing endorsements in the throes of this unsightly 9-7 victory over the visiting Rams, only relief that their imperfect heroes had been resourceful enough — or darned lucky — to barely find enough ways not to lose.

    And while there may be no ringing endorsements descending from the stands in FedEx for the home team, these football-savvy folks are wise enough to know that what they have — flawed as it may be — sure does beat the alternative. The alternative was your St. Louis Rams — winless in 11 months — who keep working hard as ever for their new boss, the resiliently positive Steve Spagnuolo, but so far have nothing to show for it but a proficiency for administering gut-twisting, self-inflicted wounds.

    Two weeks into his first season as the Rams coach, Spagnuolo is 0-2, and his team has not exactly practiced what the inspirational new coach has been preaching.

    He said he wanted a tough, passionate, smart team that would find ways every Sunday to compete and win ballgames. So far, Spags' Rams have gotten the tough and passionate part down cold. But it's been an excruciating challenge watching them as they attempt to nail down Step No. 3. For the second week in a row, the Rams found just enough maddening ways to lose a game that they could have realistically won.

    "We have some work to do," an obviously disappointed Spagnuolo said after the game. "It doesn't happen overnight. I never expected it to happen just like that. Just because you preach it and worked on it in the offseason in training camp, there's no guarantee it's going to happen in the game. A game's different. The speed of the game's different. Guys think differently and coaches think differently."

    Unlike a week ago, it wasn't penalties that killed the game-winning opportunities for the Rams. They cleaned that up fairly well (six penalties for 45 yards). Instead, this time it was the untimely matter of bad execution and questionable strategies that turned a potential victory into the Rams' 12th consecutive loss.

    Donnie Avery was the most obvious goat of the day, but he certainly wasn't the only one. The first wide receiver picked in the 2008 draft, and the guy who was a hero in last year's 19-17 upset victory over the Redskins, had major ball security issues, dropping at least two passes and fumbling the ball inside the 5-yard line on a potential go-ahead scoring drive early in the fourth quarter.

    The dropped passes could have been forgiven if only Avery had just held on to the ball when the Rams needed him the most. Midway through the third quarter...
    -09-21-2009, 02:26 PM
  • eldfan
    St. Louis Rams suffer 17th loss in a row
    by eldfan
    St. Louis Rams suffer 17th loss in a row

    By Chris Lee/P-D)BY JIM THOMAS
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    10/26/2009

    After being knocked to the canvas by a couple of Peyton Manning lightning bolts, the Rams picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and hung in there — kind of — for nearly three quarters.

    But then Marc Bulger threw what looked like a late sideline pass toward Keenan Burton. Indianapolis rookie cornerback Jacob Lacey guessed right, jumped the route, and made his first NFL interception a memorable one.

    Lacey raced 35 yards for a touchdown, giving Indianapolis a 28-6 lead with one minute to play in the third quarter. You could almost hear a collective sigh from the St. Louis bench after that one.

    On the ensuing kickoff the Rams marched 51 yards to the Indianapolis 11, when Bulger threw a second interception — this one in traffic — on a fourth-down pass intended for Burton.

    The fans, even the thousands of happy Colts fans on hand at the Edward Jones Dome, headed to the exits. The Rams seemed to check out as well, particularly on defense. Gridiron psychology is tricky business, but it had all the looks of a fourth-quarter letdown — the first time anything like that has happened under rookie head coach Steve Spagnuolo.

    And that's what most disappointed the beleaguered Spagnuolo after Sunday's 42-6 loss to the mighty Colts.

    "The first three quarters I thought we battled really hard against a good football team," Spagnuolo said. "That team over there is good. We all know that. They've got skill everywhere. They've been doing it for a long time. But (for) three quarters I think we all felt and believed we could possibly pull that thing off and win the game."

    Wishful thinking? Probably. But at least the Rams were in the same ZIP code as the Colts on the scoreboard for three quarters.

    "Now the fourth quarter was different," Spagnuolo said. "It was disappointing. They made some plays. Things kind of fell apart."

    Publicly at least, Spagnuolo has said nary a discouraging word about his winless team, trying to accentuate the positive. So in that context, his fourth quarter "critique" was very telling, the first sign perhaps that the losing is starting to wear on the team.

    Referring again to the fourth quarter, Spagnuolo said: "That's not us. We haven't seen that before. We've got to get back to what we're doing, which is just battling and playing hard."

    Until Lacey's "pick six," Bulger had thrown only one interception in 125 passes this season. Beginning with Lacey's interception, Bulger threw two INTs in a span of seven throws.

    The second interception, by cornerback Kelvin Hayden, took some life out of the Rams. Indy drove 93 yards after that turnover, with Manning...
    -10-26-2009, 03:56 AM
  • RamWraith
    'A' for effort
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Monday, Dec. 29 2008

    ATLANTA — They weren't proud of themselves. That doesn't happen when you've
    lost 10 in a row and finish the year at 2-14. But their chins weren't down,
    either.

    Playing an Atlanta team that came within a whisker Sunday of nailing down the
    No. 2 playoff seed in the NFC, the Rams were 31-27 losers before a raucous
    Georgia Dome crowd.

    For the third week in a row, they had a chance to win in the closing seconds.
    This time, Marc Bulger's fourth-and-10 pass from the Atlanta 37 was a tad too
    tall for Donnie Avery, falling incomplete with 69 seconds remaining.

    It marked the fourth time in the last five games that the Rams had lost by four
    points or less.

    "It says a lot," running back Steven Jackson said. "It says that guys want to
    win, and guys are not laying down. These last three games here, I think we
    should've won 'em all to be honest with you. … We've got to learn how to
    finish. We've got to learn how to put teams away. But once we do that, we're
    going to be a special team. We're not that far away."

    As a reference point, the Rams lost last season's finale 48-19 at Arizona to
    complete a miserable 3-13 campaign. They were outscored 157-48 in the final
    three games of '07. In their final three games this season, the Rams lost
    fourth-quarter leads with 2:47 to go Dec. 14 against Seattle, with 1:22 to play
    last week against San Francisco and with 3:41 to play Sunday against the
    Falcons.

    "It's night and day," Bulger said, comparing this year's team with last
    season's. "I know we got our butts kicked a lot this year. But as Coach (Jim)
    Haslett said, it's never been the (lack of) effort. Last year, you could maybe
    have mentioned that. The heart.

    "But the guys who were out there playing (Sunday) were doing everything they
    possibly could to win this one. … When teams are better than you, it shows in
    the end.

    "We've just got to maybe upgrade a little bit, get better, and be able to play
    four quarters with these other teams."

    For only the third time this season, the Rams scored 20 or more points. Jackson
    rushed for 161 yards, the second-highest total of his NFL career. Tack on his
    four catches for 54 yards, and Jackson's 215 yards from scrimmage was the
    third-highest total in his career.

    Despite operating behind a patchwork offensive line that was missing both
    starting guards because of injury (Jacob Bell) and illness (Richie Incognito),
    Bulger posted his second-best passer rating of the season (91.9) and third-best
    yardage total (230).

    "When Steven's going the way he...
    -12-29-2008, 04:34 AM
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