St. Louis Rams lose fourth straight game

The St. Louis Rams were blown out by the host Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, extending their losing streak to four games.

The St. Louis Rams couldn’t stop their losing skid on Sunday. 

The visiting Rams suffered their fourth straight defeat with a 31-7 loss against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. 

“Obviously a disappointing loss,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher told reporters. “They’re a good football team. If things happened differently early in the game maybe it’s a closer game. Disappointed in the turnovers.”

This defeat by the Rams (4-7) looked a lot like their previous three losses — and, to some extent, the two wins that preceded them — with the offense struggling to get anything going because of poor quarterback play and inconsistent execution by the offensive line. 

Nick Foles was back at quarterback because the guy who replaced him a week ago, Case Keenum, did not pass the concussion protocol. But he failed to seize the opportunity to earn the job back.

Foles completed 30 of 46 pass attempts for 228 yards, but threw three interceptions and recorded a QB rating of 49.9 — his second-lowest of the season and even worse than the 53.0 rating in his previous start against the Chicago Bears that got him benched.

“We didn’t do our job well enough to get the ball in the end zone and put points on the board,” Foles told reporters. “… We have to execute. It’s the fine details in football. There’s 11 guys out there trying to execute one play and we have to be more precise than we are right now.”

Fisher said after the game that Keenum, once he passes the concussion protocol, would regain the starting spot ahead of Foles.

“We’re not getting much production out of the offense,” Fisher said. “We understood the matchups this week and we tried to get the ball out sideways. We made some plays, but not nearly enough. Credit them, they are well-coached and an outstanding defense.”

The Rams gained 94 yards on 17 carries, an average of 5.5 yards per, but most of that yardage came on a 60-yard run by Tavon Austin. Their other 16 carries resulted in just 34 yards, 2.3 yards per, with rookie running back Todd Gurley rushing for 19 yards on nine carries. 

Fisher was asked afterward if he was OK with the effort of the team.

“Anyone implies it’s an effort issue, they can kiss my ass,” the coach said. “Because there are no effort problems with this team. That’s what happens when teams, when you lose four in a row — people say it’s effort. Come to practice, watch this team play and ask any other opponent or opposing coach. It’s not an effort issue right now. It’s execution. It’s 70 percent offense and 30 percent defense. I’ll leave (special) teams out of it. Because our teams always play hard.”

Then the coach was asked about himself, if he is doing a good enough job. 

“I’ve lost four in a row, so no,” Fisher said. “That’s not acceptable.  But we’re going to keep working at it. We have to get more production on offense.”

The Bengals (9-2), who snapped a two-game losing streak, led 10-0 early in the second quarter on a touchdown pass from Andy Dalton to A.J. Green and a field goal from Mike Nugent

Austin’s 5-yard touchdown run midway through the second quarter cut the deficit to 10-7, but then Dalton found Tyler Eifert for a touchdown pass late in the first half for a 17-7 lead at halftime. 

Cincinnati added to its lead with another Dalton-to-Green touchdown pass midway through the third quarter and then a 19-yard interception return for a touchdown by Leon Hall to make it 31-7. 

The Rams’ offense drove into Bengals territory in each of their four fourth-quarter drives, but weren’t able to score. Rookie quarterback Sean Mannion made his debut on the final series and completed six of seven passes for 31 yards. 

You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter at @NateLatsch or email him at natelatsch@gmail.com


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