NFL Team Report - St. Louis Rams - INSIDE SLANT
With Sunday's 30-10 setback at the Arizona Cardinals, the St. Louis Rams (5-8) have now dropped two straight since beating the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears in blowout victories. They were held to 257 net yards against the Cardinals and 56 yards came on a reverse by rookie wide receiver Tavon Austin, who left the game in the third quarter with an ankle injury.
"I thought we'd do a better job than we did, but we couldn't run the football today and that's disappointing," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. "Stats certainly are misleading with Tavon's reverse, but really that's the difference in the ballgame. They did an outstanding job against our run game. We turned the ball over, we had too many penalties and we got beat."
Rams quarterback Kellen Clemens finished the game 16 of 27 for 181 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions.
Rookie running back Zac Stacy scored on a 1-yard touchdown run for the Rams at the start of the fourth quarter -- just the fifth rushing touchdown allowed by Arizona this season.
Clemens was 11 of 14 for 141 yards passing in the first half, but the Rams could not run the ball, getting just 28 total yards on the ground against the league's fourth-ranked defense against the run.
Officially knocked out of the playoff race Sunday by the Cardinals, the Rams now must simply try to improve during each of the final three weeks.
"We're going to get better," coach Jeff Fisher said, "and our focus is going on the Saints. That's what we're going to do. We're going to get better. We're going to take it one game at a time and we're going to get better."
While Fisher vows the Rams will continue to improve, Sunday's blowout road loss to a division rival was clearly disappointing.
"I thought today as a team, we took a step back," defensive end Chris Long said. "It's nothing we can't fix. But we took a step back as a team in our performance, and that's not OK with us. Hats off to the Cardinals. They did a good job today and we didn't make enough plays."
NFL Team Report - St. Louis Rams - NOTES, QUOTES
--Since opening the season with a 27-24 victory at home against Arizona, the Rams are 0-4 against NFC West teams, losing by a combined score of 102-43.
--The running game hasn't always been there for the Rams, and it if you take away Tavon Austin's 56-yard gain on an end-around, it wasn't there Sunday, either.
"That's a talented front seven we were going against," quarterback Kellen Clemens said of the Cardinals. "They've certainly played well all season against the run. We weren't able to lean on it in the second half because we got down.
"We'll stick with it. It's still the strength of our offense."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "They had good coverage for what we had dialed up. I went to just throw it away and avoid the sack and got spun around a little bit. The ball came out not where I wanted it, obviously, and a good play by him. I wish I would have just either held on to it or found a way to dirt it in a different location." -- Quarterback Kellen Clemens, on his pass toward tight end Jared Cook that was intercepted and returned 23 years for a touchdown by Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby on the second play from scrimmage in the second half.
NFL Team Report - St. Louis Rams - STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
The Rams were flagged 11 times for 90 yards, which included one on special teams, coach Jeff Fisher said, for the first time in seven games.
--The Rams sacked QB Carson Palmer just once. DE Robert Quinn had three sacks on Palmer in the season opener, but the one on Sunday was credited to rookie LB Alec Ogletree.
--RB Daryl Richardson, who began the season as the starter, was inactive again at Arizona.