St. Louis Rams Defense is Solid, Offense Still a No-Show in Loss to Redskins

Ron Clements@Ron_ClementsCorrespondent ISeptember 20, 2009

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 20:  Steven Jackson #39 of the St. Louis Rams is tackled by London Fletcher #59 of the Washington Redskins during their game on September 20, 2009 at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.  The Redskins defeated the Rams by a score of 9-7.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The St. Louis Rams got one side of the ball playing well, while the other is still playing catch-up.

The Rams defense held Washington without a touchdown in five red zone possessions, but the offense was limited to just 245 yards. Washington was able to get three Shaun Suisham field goals, and held off a late rally for a 9-7 win over the visiting Rams.

Steven Jackson was the lone offensive bright spot for the Rams, gaining 104 rushing yards on 17 carries, and adding four catches for 15 yards.

Washington dominated time of possession, slowly wearing down a solid Rams defense to control the clock late.

Still, the Rams had a shot at a game-winning drive in the final two minutes, but Marc Bulger threw three straight incompletions on the final possession.

Bulger completed barely over 50 percent of his passes, going 15-of-28 for 125 yards. It didn't help that Donnie Avery and Randy McMichael were plagued by drops. Avery also lost a fumble inside the Redskins' 10 late in the game.

"I am proud of how hard the team fought," Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo told the Rams Radio Network. "We are disappointed. There are no moral victories in football. We were a play or two away. There are positives here, but there are details we have to iron or else we’ll continue giving games away."

The Rams were able to score their first points of the year as Bulger connected with Laurent Robinson for a five-yard score with 3:57 remaining in the second quarter. The touchdown was set up by a 58-yard Jackson run, and gave the Rams a 7-6 lead.

Despite O.J. Atogwe forcing a fumble late in the first half to prevent a Redskins score, the offensive ineptitude squandered a pretty good defensive performance.

They weren't without faults, however. The Rams gave Jason Campbell a lot of time in the pocket to find receivers. Campbell was only sacked once—by James Hall—and the Rams run defense was inconsistent.

What hurt the Rams the most on defense was the same thing that plagued them last week at Seattle—an inability to cover the tight end. A week after John Carlson burned St. Louis with six catches for 95 yards and two scores, Chris Cooley grabbed seven balls for 83 yards.

With Green Bay's tight end duo of Donald Lee and Jermichael Finley coming to St. Louis next week, that should make most Rams fans cringe at the prospect of what those two might be able to do with Aaron Rodgers tossing them the ball.


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