What is wrong with the Rams? Another blown fourth quarter lead. Another blown opportunity to move above .500 for the first time since 2006. I hate to be a doubter, but I’m doubting the Rams. They can’t win on the road and they can’t hold a lead. Two terrible qualities for a football team.
Do you know how many time the Rams have blown a lead in the fourth quarter? The answer is three. That means they’ve led in the fourth quarter in three of five losses. That’s just awful.
OK, enough piling on already. Here’s what I liked and what I didn’t like about the Rams’ 23-20 overtime loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
What I Liked About the Rams’ 23-20 Loss
Steven Jackson‘s Touches
Jackson’s Box: 20 carries for 81 yards and one TD; eight receptions for 67 yards
Hands down his best game of the season. Jackson was all over the place for the Rams. He didn’t hit the 100-yard magic number for running backs, but he averaged over four yards per carry, which is above his season average.
What I liked most about Jackson’s performance were his eight catches. Great hands make him extremely dangerous in the backfield. I’d like to see some misdirection screens called for him. Such a tough guy to bring down in the open field.
This one’s quick—pun intended—because it’s all about Selvie’s speed.
Selvie’s Box: four tackles (three solo), one tackle for a loss
One play put him on this list. Late in the third on second and long, protection broke down for Troy Smith, so he took off running. Selvie caught him from behind, keeping a six-yard gain from being a 15-yard gain. Smith had steps on him too.
For the third time in nine games, the Rams didn’t have a turnover. Great news for a team that is run by youth.
Sam Bradford has gone four straight games without an interception.
Long’s Box: three tackles (three solo), one sack, two tackles for a loss, one pass defended, two quarterback hits.
Long showed us a little bit of everything against the Niners. He knocked down a pass in coverage that would been a Troy Smith to Vernon Davis touchdown.
Hands down the most dangerous man on the line for the Rams.
What I Didn’t Like About the Rams’ 23-20 Loss
Another Blown Lead
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Rams will not be taken seriously if they keep blowing fourth quarter leads. It’s that simple.
Long Gains Through the Air
The Rams have struggled all season defending against the play action. Troy Smith ran it beautifully all day. It just shows how much teams fear Frank Gore.
Smith’s Box: 17-for-28 for 356 yards and one TD; 12.7 yards per pass attempt.
The next stat will make you sick. Eight of his 17 completions went for 20 yards or more. The eight that went 20 or more accounted for 301 of his 356 passing yards.
I don’t care that he led the team with eight catches for 72 yards. Instead of putting his head down to gain a few extra yards, on two occasions Gibson passed up a chance for a first down because he didn’t want to get hit head on.
The Rams aren’t good enough to deal with selfishness. If you think I’m nitpicking, that’s too bad.
Pass Interference on OJ Atogwe
Wasn’t Atogwe supposed to be the Rams’ best defender? He didn’t look like it against the Niners.
On third and two in overtime from around midfield, Atogwe was called for pass interference after he leveled 49ers tight end Delanie Walker. Atogwe never turned to look for the ball; he had ZERO idea as to where it was when he collided with the receiver. No-brainer call for the officials.
It’s unacceptable for a veteran guy to make such a huge mistake, especially with the game on the line.
Next Up: 7-2 Atlanta Falcons
Could be a trap game for Atlanta, because you never know what kind of effort it’ll give on the road.
About the Author
Written by Bear Heiser
Hello!!! Thanks for stopping by, I'm Bear Heiser, St. Louis Rams Featured Columnist. Please feel free to comment on anything I write. You can find me on Twitter @ramsreport and @bearconsults. My Rams coverage doesn't stop here. I can also be found covering the Rams on the blog blitz over at NFL.com Still want more Rams???? Rams Featured Columnist at BleacherReport.com Love University of Illinois football? I got you covered. Go to www.prosportsblogging.com , where you'll find me breaking down the Illini, week in and week out. Want more? My personal blog is www.bearconsults.com You can find me covering, Lakers, entertainment and music for ALL CBS Radio websites in Los Angeles. I have been told my passion for sports is an addiction. Now I get paid to be addicted to something I love. Cool right?