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  • St. Louis Rams suffer 17th loss in a row

    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 completing his third TD pass of the day — this time to wide-open slot receiver Austin Collie.

    That give Indy a 35-6 lead. After the Rams went "four-and-out" on their next series, going for it unsuccessfully on fourth and 1 from their 31, third-string tailback Chad Simpson raced 31 yards around left end — untouched — for yet another touchdown and a 42-6 lead with 2:29 to play.

    On the Simpson run, cornerback Jonathan Wade and defensive end Chris Long were neutralized by Indy blockers, leaving no one on the perimeter. That play was particularly galling for Spagnuolo.

    "It's hard to take it when somebody runs the ball," Spagnuolo said. "That's my nature."

    Rams players didn't dispute Spagnuolo's fourth-quarter assessment.

    "We just didn't fight as hard in the fourth quarter as we had in the previous three, which is a little disappointing," safety Oshiomogho Atogwe said.

    "You're getting paid to play," cornerback Ron Bartell said. "You have a responsibility to one another to play hard every play. I just don't think in the fourth quarter we can let what happened happen."

    But at the end of the day, the result was predictable. The irresistible force (Indy) got the best of the movable object (St. Louis).

    The Colts are 6-0 this season and have won a franchise-record and current league-best 15 consecutive regular-season games. The Rams are 0-7 this season and have lost a franchise-record and current league-worst 17 consecutive games.

    For St. Louis that means next Sunday's game at Detroit — against a Lions team that has lost 22 of its last 23 games — is shaping up as the Stupor Bowl. It might be the Rams' best chance to win a game this season.

    "We're playing good football here and there; we have spurts of it," said Steven Jackson, who rushed for a season-high 134 yards but is still without a touchdown in 2009. "We have to learn how to put four quarters of good football together, go back to the drawing board and learn how to win games. That's what the biggest issue is right now. We don't know how to win a game right now."

    Not even close, at least on most Sundays this fall.
    :ramlogo:

  • #2
    Re: St. Louis Rams suffer 17th loss in a row

    "We just didn't fight as hard in the fourth quarter as we had in the previous three, which is a little disappointing," safety Oshiomogho Atogwe said.
    These guys looks like they quit believing they play like they expect to lose.
    :ramlogo:

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: St. Louis Rams suffer 17th loss in a row

      I was on the road most of the day Sunday, so I didn't watch the game. I have to admit, I enjoyed listening to other games on the radio and watching other match ups on TV at the hotel (that Miami/New Orleans game was GREAT).

      I needed this break. The only games we might get lucky and win are against the Lions and Titans. Hopefully we can win at least one more than someone else so we don't get that number one pick in the draft.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: St. Louis Rams suffer 17th loss in a row

        Im starting to NOT believe it when they say they play hard, dont give up, yaddi yaddi yad.. etc,.

        THIS TEAM GIVES UP BEFORE IT EVEN TAKES THE FIELD, (according to bulger right before the game anyway). And eldfan youre right. This team DOES play like they expect to lose I dont believe the lack of talent excuse anymore. and these jokers think people are happy to hear their MORAL victories.

        I am so sick of this losing it starting to make me wonder about this teams future... NOT BRIGHT. CAP sucks. team sucks, coaches and players suck.. there is just something about this team that has you thinking WHY THE HELL CANT WE WIN A GAME??

        And another BOTHERING thing. Why the hell would Spags say we were in the game for three quarters when it was 21-3 at the half and 28-6 late in the third quarter? Sometimes this guy just talks out of his a**
        Last edited by rNemesis; -10-26-2009, 01:19 PM.

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        • r8rh8rmike
          Rams Team Report - Oct 27
          by r8rh8rmike
          Rams Team Report
          Yahoo! Sports - Oct 27, 1:50 am EDT


          INSIDE SLANT

          After the Rams lost to the Colts 42-6 Sunday, coach Steve Spagnuolo was most disappointed by what he believed was the team disintegrating in the fourth quarter, especially the defense. Late in the third quarter, the Rams trailed 21-6, but an interception return for a touchdown made the score 28-6, and the Colts added two fourth-quarter scores for the final count.

          Said Spagnuolo, "The first three quarters I thought we battled really hard against a good football team. 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.

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

          Monday, however, Spagnuolo amended his thoughts somewhat. "After the game, I thought it was the whole quarter. Really, it was about three minutes that we played with not quite the intensity we had had. That has not been this team."

          Spagnuolo knows he has a task ahead, keeping his team's head up, as the record has hit 0-7.

          The Rams have lost 17 consecutive games, and this season they have had four games where they have scored fewer than 10 points, and been outscored overall 211-60, including 117-23 after halftime. In their home games, against Green Bay, Minnesota and Indianapolis, the count overall is 116-33.

          Of the 53 players on the roster Sunday, 26 joined the team this year. With Detroit the next opponent on the road, Spagnuolo was asked how far away the Rams are from beating a team like Indianapolis.

          Said Spagnuolo, "Well, we got some work to do there. That's a guess, (but) I feel like what we've got here and what we're doing, the attitude of the guys, I mean I believe that's how you build it. And I believe when you get over the hump and you get that win, we're looking for consistent winning. We're not looking to just get one win, we don't want to do this (motions up and down). So we keep trying to build it the way we build it and I do think there's some pieces there. When you go up against a team like this you need a few more pieces."

          NOTES & QUOTES

          —Rams players didn't disagree with coach Steve Spagnuolo's comments about the fourth-quarter problems.

          Said safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, "We just didn't fight as hard in the fourth quarter as we had in the previous three, which is a little disappointing."

          Added cornerback Ron Bartell, "You're getting paid to play. You have a responsibility to one another...
          -10-27-2009, 04:38 PM
        • eldfan
          Rams still trying to get over hump
          by eldfan
          ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
          11/24/2009 By Jim Thomas

          The Rams lost in overtime at Jacksonville, won at Detroit and had the ball at the end against New Orleans and Arizona with a chance to win or force overtime. The only blowout over the last six Sundays has been the 42-6 loss Oct. 25 against an Indianapolis team that remains unbeaten four weeks later.

          But on a weekend when two of the NFL's lesser lights, Kansas City and Oakland, sprung upsets over playoff contenders, the Rams could only come close — once again — in a 21-13 loss Sunday to Arizona.

          "There's going to be a point when this team is going to get over that (hump)," defensive end Leonard Little said. "It's going to happen."
          But when?

          "We've got to pick up our learning curve because there's only six weeks left in the season," defensive tackle Clifton Ryan said. "We don't want to be sitting here at Week 15, Week 16, talking about turning the corner. We've got to turn it now. From top to bottom, from 1 down to 53 (on the roster), we've got to turn the corner."

          On paper, there may be no better opportunity than this Sunday's game against Seattle. Yes, the Seahawks have won nine straight against the Rams, including a 28-0 whitewash on opening day of this season. But they've lost seven of nine since that contest and come to town with a 3-7 record.

          "There's a silver lining to everything," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "I think the team is getting to the point where we're in those games."

          After a horrendous first half Sunday, the Rams were able to make it a one-possession game. Apparently there was more to their second-half revival than just the absence of Kurt Warner in the Arizona lineup.

          "I liked the way the team was a halftime," Spagnuolo said. "I liked the way we came out, the fact that we got ourselves back in the football game. ... All that's good. We need to continue to do that, and like I told the team (Monday) morning, we've got to get the football right. We've got to get the football things, the details, so that all these little things that keep coming up that lead to us not being ahead, or not winning the game, are erased."

          Things got intense in the Rams' locker room at halftime, with the team trailing 21-3. Little and safety Oshiomogho Atogwe got vocal, challenging the team — and each other — to pick up their play.

          "It was an intense thing because we're not playing like we're capable of playing and everybody knows that," Little said. "It was like a sense of urgency that went on at that time. It happens that way in football because guys want to win. And guys want to be able to compete with the upper-echelon teams. In the second quarter, we really didn't. They had their way with us a little bit."

          At least two Rams,...
          -11-24-2009, 07:59 AM
        • r8rh8rmike
          Rams Are Off To Faster Start
          by r8rh8rmike
          Rams are off to faster starts

          BY JIM THOMAS
          Thursday, October 21, 2010


          It wasn't long ago that the Rams began games like the tortoise against the hare. Only in this football fable, the tortoise didn't rally at the end.

          In five of the previous six seasons, the Rams were outscored overall in the first quarter. Playing from behind became a way of life, and on more than one occasion quarterback Marc Bulger talked about needing a few possessions on offense to figure things out.

          Trouble was, by that time the Rams might be down by seven, 10 or 14 points. Things were at their lopsided worst last season under rookie head coach Steve Spagnuolo.

          The Rams were outscored 87-16 in the opening quarter in 2009. They didn't even score a first-quarter point until Game 6 in Jacksonville and by season's end had only one touchdown and three field goals to show for 16 opening quarters.

          Things have changed in a big way this season. Instead of false starts, the Rams are now specializing in fast starts. Center Jason Brown says it's all a matter of "coming out and hitting our opponents square in the face and letting them know that we're here to play."

          Through six games in 2010, the Rams have outscored their opponents 34-3 in the first quarter, and the quick starts are a major reason for the team's early season return to respectability.

          "Playing from behind is tough," right guard Adam Goldberg said. "This game's a lot easier when you play with the lead. Your defense can be more aggressive. Was it a point of emphasis? No. But our playmakers are explosive. They come out and they make plays early. And there's the lead."

          As he reviewed what took place in 2009 at the start of last offseason, Spagnuolo said he did not make it a specific goal to do better in the opening quarter. After all, based on what happened during a 1-15 campaign, the first, second, third and fourth quarters all needed fixing.

          "I can honestly say that wasn't an emphasis," Spagnuolo said. "We do always talk about starting fast and having a mind-set coming out of the locker room. I just hope it continues."

          The 34 points scored in the first quarter is sixth best in the NFL this season. The Rams' three points allowed is second best in the league, trailing only the New York Jets, who have yet to allow a first-quarter point. And the Rams' point differential of plus-31 in the opening quarter is third best in the league, exceeded only by New Orleans (plus-40) and Green Bay (plus-34).

          "I know from the defensive standpoint, it's certainly easier to call a game when you're ahead," Spagnuolo said. "And you take a few more chances on offense, I know, when you're ahead. I think it makes everybody feel a little more confident."

          Were it not for an...
          -10-21-2010, 09:41 PM
        • MauiRam
          Burwell: OK, Rams won one; coach is moving on ..
          by MauiRam
          BY BRYAN BURWELL Tuesday, September 28, 2010 12:15 am


          As he stood in front of the cramped media workroom at Rams Park, barely a minute into his Monday afternoon briefing, Steve Spagnuolo did a rather peculiar thing. After 11 long, agonizing months without a victory, on his first victorious Monday in 330 days, the Rams coach spent all of 50 breathless seconds basking in the glow of his young football team's performance.

          Seriously, that's it. Fifty seconds. I clocked it down to the second.

          He gushed about his players, praised his coaches and complimented the fans who had cheered all day long on Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome with a big ol' smile on his face. But it was almost like he was speed reading through the high-five line after a game.

          Whooooooosh!!!! Gooood game.... goood game.... goood game.... gooooood game...Whooooooshh!

          And then right in mid-sentence, Spagnuolo cast a quick glance at his wrist watch and paused for a quick second.

          "... Having said all that, and I'll be reminding the team, it's just one win. It was a regular season win in the third game of the season and real quickly here, in maybe five minutes, we move on to the next one. So we'll be looking forward to Seattle."

          He wasn't being rude.

          He was just trying to make a rather significant point.

          The expiration date on that 30-16 victory over Washington had passed, and just in case anyone forgot, Spagnuolo wanted to make sure everyone remembered.

          What Spagnuolo understands is the delicate emotional dance that goes on as you try to rebuild a winning psyche from the ground up. When someone asked the coach what this victory could mean to his young team, Spags shrugged his shoulders. "It can go one way or another, to be quite honest with you," he said. "I'm hoping the guys handle it right."

          It can't be emphasized enough that we still don't know what happened Sunday. Only time will tell if it was the start of something special for Spagnuolo's football team. A teachable moment, they like to call it in coaching circles. Something to point back to as that blissful moment when the lights went on and everyone finally and without reservation bought into Spagnuolo's program.

          After the game, you could see how good it felt to his players to get this victory. You could see just how much it mattered to them, and how much different it felt around that locker room from a year ago.

          "Last year we hoped we could win games," said Ron Bartell, "but we didn't KNOW we could win games. Now we do know we can, and we expect to win every week instead of hoping we can."

          But expecting to win and actually winning are two different things. It's only the first step in the process, but a significant one. Before you can achieve the dream, you have to...
          -09-28-2010, 09:36 AM
        • r8rh8rmike
          Rams Keep Effort Up
          by r8rh8rmike
          Rams Keep Effort Up
          Monday, December 21, 2009


          By Nick Wagoner
          Senior Writer

          As the ball came shooting out of the hands of Houston running back Arian Foster following a 13-yard catch and run, the eyes of rookie Rams defensive tackle Darell Scott immediately got large.

          It was as though Scott was about to sit down to a big meal, which, coincidentally, was something he’d been physically unable to do even had he wanted to in the days leading up to Sunday’s 16-13 loss to the Texans.

          Scott reacted immediately and hauled all of his 6’3, 312 pound frame as fast as it could go from near the line of scrimmage the 20 or so yards required to pounce on the ball.

          Ultimately, Scott fell on it at the Rams’ 8 but the fact that Scott was well enough to chase it down at all was nothing short of a testament to the effort these Rams are still putting in despite the 1-13 record attached to their name.

          “You talk about an effort play from a game that I don’t know if he even ate anything the three days before it,” coach Steve Spagnuolo said. “That was a pretty good indicator of what those guys have inside of them.”

          Effort doesn’t amount to a whole heck of a lot in the NFL. In fact, it’s probably the minimum requirement for what it takes to win an NFL game. Most teams that find themselves playing into January start with effort as the baseline and build from there.

          As with most things in life, when something goes wrong, the easy thing to do is give up, regardless of how well compensated you are or whatever prestige might go with a particular endeavor.

          For the Rams, that opportunity to call it a day has presented itself time and again this season. Yet, for many reasons, they have refused to pack it in and go quietly into the offseason.

          “That’s what I expressed to them in the locker room,” Spagnuolo said. “That means a great deal to me, the staff. I know it’s not easy especially for the vets. It’s not an easy thing to go through, not for any of us and yet they are able to dust themselves off, come back to work on Wednesday and get ready to play a game.”

          While that hard work and effort has amounted to just one win and a whole lot of respect from Spagnuolo for the players, those efforts aren’t going completely unnoticed around the world of football.

          To wit:

          CBS analyst and former Steelers coach Bill Cowher on the Rams: “The Rams are playing hard every week, and that is a reflection of their coach. I've been watching film on them and they are playing hard. As coaches, we are judged on wins and losses, but at this time of year, you're tired and beat up, and if a team is still putting out a good effort it's a tribute to their coach.”

          Or this excerpt from Sports Illustrated’s Peter King in his Monday Morning Quarterback column on cnnsi.com: “I love...
          -12-22-2009, 06:23 PM
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