Next Opponent: At St. Louis Rams

Under new coach Steve Spagnuolo, the Rams are 0-2 after a punchless 9-7 loss to the Redskins. The St. Louis offense ran just 50 plays.

New coach Steve Spagnuolo wasn't there for the rampant losing the Rams experienced over the last two seasons. But Spagnuolo is being forced to deal with a losing culture that he is trying desperately to change.

In 2007, the Rams started 0-8; they were 0-4 last season. Now heading into the home opener this week against Green Bay, they are 0-2 following a close-but-no-cigar 9-7 loss at Washington.

The Rams had opportunities in this game, including a drive deep into Redskins territory early in the fourth quarter. But a Donnie Avery fumble inside the 5-yard line ended the possession and another excruciating loss was placed on the ledger.

"I'm very disappointed. There's no moral victories in this league. But I'm mostly disappointed in the fact that we've got a football team that works their butts off, and they haven't had a chance to feel victory yet. We've got a long ways to go here," Spagnuolo said.

"It is a cliche that you take one or two plays out of a game and the outcome changes. But in this particular (game), that would be true. Because there were certain plays in there that if they went differently, we might be on the other end of the win-loss column."

There were more positives the Rams could take out of this game as opposed to the 28-0 loss to Seattle the previous week. There were just six penalties against the Redskins, and the Rams at least managed to score their first touchdown of the season. They were 6 of 12 on third downs after converting just 2 of 12 against the Seahawks.

The defense stopped the Redskins three times in the red zone, holding Washington to three field goals.

Still, the offense ran only 50 plays, and they will work to control the ball more this week against Green Bay.

To do that, Avery has to have more impact on the offense. The Rams have just two turnovers in two games, and both have been by Avery. Against the Redskins, a drive that began on their own 25 ate up the final 6:22 of the third quarter. On third-and-4 from the Washington 9-yard line, quarterback Marc Bulger connected with Avery for his only reception of the game.

Avery had first-down yardage, but the Redskins recovered his fumble. Even a field goal would have given the Rams the lead.

"I was just trying to get more yards," Avery said. "I was trying to get YAC (yards after the catch) on the play, and ended up fumbling. I let the team down."

On Washington's next possession, the Rams' first sack of the season almost resulted in a game-tying safety, but Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell managed to fall forward to the 1-yard line.

It was that kind of day for the Rams, who have now lost 29 of their last 34 games.

Said Spagnuolo, "We'll get this one out of our system and move on to next week."

LINEUP WATCH: Rookie right tackle Jason Smith left the game with a knee injury late in the first half and was replaced by Adam Goldberg. Smith was to have an MRI on Monday, but it seems likely Goldberg will start against Green Bay.

BY THE NUMBERS: The Rams have actually won more games on the road the last two seasons than at home. Each of the last two seasons, there has been one home win. In 2008, it was over Dallas (NFC East) and in 2007 over Atlanta (NFC South). Green Bay of the NFC North visits on Sunday.


— RT Jason Smith left the game in the second quarter with what was described as an injury to the meniscus cartilage in his knee. Smith will have an MRI on Monday.

— C Jason Brown missed five plays after leaving the game in the first quarter with a knee injury. However, Brown is expected to have an MRI on Monday. He was said to be walking "gingerly" after the game and coach Steve Spagnuolo said it's possible he has a MCL injury.

— C Mark Setterstrom saw his first regular-season game action since injuring his knee in the third game of the 2007 season. Setterstrom replaced Jason Brown when he left the game against Washington with a knee injury.

— LT Alex Barron was able to finish the game against the Redskins although he suffered a thigh injury during the game.

— DE Leonard Little, who had a knee injury during training camp, suffered a calf injury against the Redskins.

— QB Marc Bulger received treatment after the game for a back injury suffered on a play where he slid after a run and was hit by two Redskins players. No penalty was called on the play.

— DE Victor Adeyanju was inactive for the second consecutive game, even though DT La Juan Ramsey and LB Paris Lenon were active after being with the team for a combined total of 18 days.

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