Rams need to tackle penalties and red-zone failures

1:04 PM, Oct 15, 2012   |    comments
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Be sure to catch the St. Louis Rams Tailgate Show every Sunday at 10:30 a.m on KSDK NewsChannel 5.


(The Rams Tailgate Show) -- The Rams entered Sunday's game against Miami tying to win their first road game of the season, and snap a five-game losing streak away from home.

Instead, they found a way to continually shoot themselves in the foot with red-zone failures, penalties and special teams gaffes that led to a 17-14 loss on a day they outgained the Dolphins, 462-192. In the first half, the Rams had 294 yards to Miami's 99 yet trailed 10-6.

They know they have a lot of things to clean up with Green Bay visiting St. Louis on Sunday, followed by a "home" game in London against the Patriots on Oct. 28.

Said quarterback Sam Bradford, "It's extremely frustrating. Anytime you're able to move the ball like we did and accumulate that many yards, and only score six points (in the first half) is probably one of the more frustrating things. It's just the little things. We get down there one time and get a penalty and we go from first-and-10 to first-and-20. It was just not executing and we've got to find a way to score touchdowns and not kick field goals. It really came back to hurt us at the end of the game today."

Linebacker James Laurinaitis said, "We worked hard to stuff the run. I thought we did that, but we needed to come up with some more big plays and get turnovers. If we do that I feel like we win. The object is to score more points than the other team. However many yards we put up or yards we didn't allow on defense, all that, doesn't matter. On those drives we have to hold Miami to field goals instead of touchdowns."

The Rams failed to force a turnover and had 12 penalties for 94 yards, including three on special teams. Fullback Brit Miller inexplicably fielded a short kick and fumbled, leading to a Miami field goal. Dolphins kickoff returner Marcus Thigpen returned the second-half kickoff 44 yards and Miami drove for a touchdown.

Punt returner Janoris Jenkins, who replaced the injured Danny Amendola, made several poor decisions and seemed tentative, totaling 21 yards on six returns.

Kicker Greg Zuerlein began the day by extending his field-goal streak to 15 straight, then missed his final three to the left, including a final-second long enough 66-yarder that would have tied the game and set an NFL record. The biggest miss was 37 yards at the end of the first half.

Concluded coach Jeff Fisher, "We had a lot of opportunities today to win this game and we didn't get it done, particularly in the first half. ... The penalties ... just the little things. We fumbled a kickoff and those kinds of things, we can't do that."


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