What we learned from Rams loss to Titans

(KSDK Sports) -- Not that we didn't know it already, but the Rams don't have the luxury of failing to take advantage of opportunities. This team has talent, but not enough to consistently overcome mistakes. That was obviously evident in Sunday's 28-21 loss to the Tennessee Titans. The difference in the game truly came down to a turnover each team made deep in their own territory.

Late in the first half, cornerback Cortland Finnegan intercepted a Jake Locker pass, and the Rams took over on the Tennessee 26-yard line with the score tied 7-7. Quarterback Kellen Clemens then had three incompletions, with running back Zac Stacy dropping a first-down pass. On fourth down, kicker Greg Zuerlein missed a 44-yard field goal.

It was the second consecutive week Zuerlein missed an important kick. A failed 50-yard attempt against Seattle six days earlier left the Rams with having to score a touchdown on their final possession to win.

Then, late in the fourth quarter with the score tied at 21, the Rams were pushed back deep in their own territory on a tripping penalty by left guard Chris Williams. After Stacy gained 13 yards on a second-and-20 pass, the Rams faced third-and-7 from their own 24-yard line. Right guard Shelley Smith, playing in place of the injured Harvey Dahl, failed to block defensive tackle Jurrell Casey, who got to Clemens and forced a fumble. Derrick Morgan recovered for the Titans, and on the next play, running back Chris Johnson went 19 yards untouched for the winning touchdown.

Said Clemens, "It's a mistake that can't be made, and unfortunately I made it."

*Where was the run defense? It was only six days earlier on Monday Night Football that the Rams thought they made a statement. One in which they wouldn't allow large chunks of rushing yards. That was the result in a game in which they held Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch to 23 yards on eight attempts.

All told, Seahawks runners totaled 28 yards on 12 carries. Sunday against Tennessee, it was a different story altogether.

Titans running back Chris Johnson blasted the Rams for 150 yards on 23 carries with two touchdowns, while backup Shonn Greene added 38 yards on nine attempts and a touchdown.

With the score 14-14 entering the fourth quarter, Johnson had 14 carries for 80 yards. But he had 70 yards on nine attempts in the final 15 minutes, including the game-winning 19-yard touchdown with 2:54 remaining following the Clemens fumble. Johnson also had runs of 18 and 24 yards in the final quarter.

Coach Jeff Fisher also said the problem was simple.

"Well, we lost the edges," he said. "CJ, obviously, when he gets on the edge, he goes. We edged it up all week and we emphasized it and so I haven't looked at it, but I'm sure we had a number of guys who made mistakes."

*Can we officially call Isaiah Pead a bust? It's getting close. Quarterbacks Sam Bradford (31) and Kellen Clemens (27) each have more rushing yards than Pead (21).

Sunday, for the third time this season, Pead stood dressed on the sideline and did not play. He has been inactive for two games and suspended for one, so he has played in three games for a total of 73 snaps. After playing 29 snaps against Atlanta and 42 against Dallas, he had just two against Jacksonville on Oct. 6, and hasn't had a snap in the last four games.

The Quote: Clemens on Stacy -- "From the moment that Zac Stacy took over that No. 1 spot he's been a great weapon for us. He's a good back. He's also very good out of the backfield as we saw tonight. He's a great weapon for us. We're lucky to have him. He's stepped up in a big way."


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