Rams Lose Battle of Special Teams

Nick Miller signed off the streets earlier this week started off the scoring with an 88 yard punt return for a touchdown on Sunday.  The Rams looked to do what the Cardinals did to them earlier in the year and win the game on special teams.  However, Patrick Peterson did it again for the Cards, taking another punt (his 4th of the year) for a score in the third quarter, this one going for 80 yards.  The last time these two teams faced the Rams heavily out gained Arizona, but after a series of mistakes ended up losing the game.  This time, however, it was the Cardinals who gained over 100 yards more than the Rams.  The credit belongs solely in the hands of Beanie Wells who absolutely torched the St. Louis defense running  for 228 yards and a touchdown.  His 71 yard run was more than Steven Jackson gained all day.  The Rams were effective in shutting down John Skelton who threw for just 114 yards and 2 interceptions, but had nothing to slow down the Card’s feature back.

The Rams actually had a great chance to win this game.  They tied it up with just over 7 minutes to play in the game, before giving up a game winning field goal with just over 4 minutes to play.  They were forced into a quick punt on the ensuing drive and were never able to get the ball back.  Steven Jackson was solid, but not his usual dominant self.  He finished with 64 yards on 17 carries and was kept out of the end zone.  Bradford clearly has a good connection with Brandon Lloyd, but needs some more talent around him to truly succeed.  He ended up with 203 yards (74 to Lloyd) and a touchdown pass (also to Lloyd).

With the loss, the Rams fall to 2-9 on the year and 1-5 at home.  They go on the road next week to face a very tough 9-2 San Francisco team.  The Niners are coming off a loss for just the second time this year by the hands of the Ravens.  They were able to slow down the NFC West leaders by getting to the QB 9 times for sacks and keeping Gore in control.  That will be a tough task considering the Rams don’t have an All Pro defense.  The Niners excel at the running game on both sides of the ball.  Frank Gore is having a huge bounce back year and the defense has given up the least rushing yards of any team.  They are 23rd in passing defense so the Rams will need big things from Bradford if they want to win this game.

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