Jeff Fisher notes numerous breakdowns in the second quarter as the biggest reason for loss in Miami
By ASSOCIATED PRESSFS Midwest
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The St. Louis
Rams finished with 462 yards at Miami. But they didn't get enough points with all that offense, made too many errors and now they're back at .500.
Coach Jeff Fisher mentioned numerous breakdowns in the second quarter as the biggest reason the Dolphins won 17-14.
The Rams (3-3) had six of their 16 double-digit offensive gains in the second quarter, but didn't score while giving up a 6-0 lead and trailing 10-6 at the half.
"The statistics reflect a well-played game on both sides of the ball," Fisher said Monday. "But you have to be very careful to walk down the hall thinking that things are OK, because the statistics were so skewed in our favor."
They were whistled for seven penalties in the quarter on top of mistakes by rookie cornerback Janoris Jenkins and special teams captain Brit Miller that handed the Dolphins those 10 points.
"We were lucky to get away with 10 points in the second quarter," Fisher said. "That's definitely the area we're going to look at. At the end of the day, we let things slip."
Jenkins guessed wrong on a short pattern and was badly beaten by Marlon Moore on a 29-yard touchdown pass that put the Dolphins ahead.
"Sometimes he guesses right, but he just thought he saw something, and the guy ran right by him," Fisher said. "You don't give up a long ball like that. I'm not singling him out per se, but in close games you can't allow those things to happen."
After Craig Dahl was penalized for illegal use of hands on the extra point, Miller fielded a pooch kick and fumbled it away at the 25, leading to a field goal four plays later.
"Those kinds of things, we can't do that," Fisher said after the game.
The Rams had 294 yards at halftime, a huge step forward for a team that's 28th in total offense at 304 yards per game. But just six points.
"It's extremely frustrating," quarterback Sam Bradford said.
They've scored nine touchdowns on the year to go with 15 field goals, leaning far too heavily on a rookie kicker who finally cracked. Fisher said he "made it very clear" to the team that he wanted a touchdown-to-field goal ratio of 2-1, and not the other way around.
"That's how you win games, and how you win a lot of games during the year if you do that," Fisher said.
The big plays are encouraging.
Outside threat Chris Givens had a 65-yard catch that set up a field goal and is the first rookie in the NFL with a 50-yard plus catch in three straight games since Willie Gault in 1983 as Fisher's teammate with the Chicago Bears. Rookie Daryl Richardson, a sixth-round pick who's given the Rams a consistent change of pace complement to Steven Jackson, had a 44-yard carry that was the longest of the year against the Dolphins, and a season-high 26-yard reception.
Second-year tight end Lance Kendricks had catches of 23 and 10 yards, Jackson had a season-best 22-yard catch and Bradford broke a career-best 21-yard scramble.
Bradford passed for 315 yards and scored his second career TD rushing on a hard-earned 1-yard sneak.
The defense was strong, too, holding Miami to 192 yards and 12 first downs. Linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar had a sack for the second straight game and end Chris Long got his fourth sack of the year.
Of course, there's no satisfaction.
"The object is to score more points than the other team," middle linebacker James Laurinaitis said. "However many yards we put up or yards we didn't allow on defense, all that, doesn't matter."
Plus, now they've got to worry about this week's game against potent Green Bay.
"They have a pretty good quarterback," Fisher said with a deadpan smile.