Fisher cracks jokes after win, but Rams offense remains grim
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) Rams coach Jeff Fisher was in a playful mood Monday, joking about the worst scoring offense in the NFL.
''But if you look at the big picture, we're 2-1 when we haven't scored a touchdown,'' he said. ''So I'm not sure why you guys are making such a big deal about not scoring touchdowns.''
While ending a four-game losing streak with a 9-6 win over the New York Jets on Sunday, Fisher saw signs of progress from the offense, even if it didn't find the end zone.
''Obviously that's a big deal for us,'' Fisher said. ''It's an area that needs to improve for us to make the push we want to make.''
Running back Todd Gurley would have matched his season high in rushing yards if not for a holding penalty that erased a 21-yard run late in the fourth quarter. Wide receiver Kenny Britt had 109 yards receiving, his second 100-yard game of the season. Quarterback Case Keenum did not turn the ball over for only the second time this season.
Still, it was enough because the defense and special teams performed at a high level. Fisher doesn't expect a repeat performance on offense will be enough to break the Miami Dolphins' four-game winning streak on Sunday.
''This week is going to be completely different,'' Fisher said.
On offense, the Rams must try to limit lineman Ndamukong Suh and the other members of a defensive front that Fisher described as ''extraordinary.'' The offensive line committed only one penalty against the talented and aggressive Jets, but that holding penalty against left tackle Greg Robinson gave New York one last chance to win the game.
''It's the things we're not doing,'' Fisher said. ''We had some big-play opportunities, had some mistakes up front, protection mistakes with people running down the field.''
Getting explosive plays from wide receiver Tavon Austin could give the Rams a lift. Since signing a four-year contract extension in August, Austin has topped 100 yards from scrimmage just once, in a win at Tampa Bay in Week 3. In his last four games, Austin has just one reception longer than 20 yards, though Fisher said Austin's presence is creating favorable matchups for Britt.
''It's an ongoing process,'' Fisher said. ''We're not disappointed because he is a highly talented player. We just need to get him more opportunities.''
The Rams defense will have to contend with running back Jay Ajayi, whose streak of three consecutive games with more than 100 yards rushing ended in a 31-24 win at the San Diego Chargers. St. Louis could be without two of their top defensive ends – Eugene Sims is in concussion protocol, while Robert Quinn checked himself into a hospital Monday with an illness unrelated to football. Fisher is optimistic both will be available to play.
''For three weeks now, we're putting a winning effort if you look at the stats defensively, so we have to keep that going,'' Fisher said.
The offense has to keep up its end, and that's no laughing matter for Fisher.
''We got to get back to scoring,'' Fisher said. ''We can do better.''