|Winless Rams one game shy of tying franchise low|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 08 October 2007 13:21|
They can't seem to catch a break, either.
``You go, 'Why us?''' tight end Randy McMichael said. ``It just seems like everything that can go wrong for us is going wrong for us.''
The Rams ended up on the wrong end of a pair of controversial calls that led to touchdowns in the Arizona Cardinals' 34-31 victory on Sunday. They welcomed back guard Richie Incognito to an injury-ravaged offensive line, and Incognito lost control in the second half while being whistled for four major penalties.
``Really, I let the emotions get the best of me,'' Incognito said Sunday. ``I killed us today, I killed some drives.''
On Monday, second-year coach Scott Linehan was asked for the first time whether he worried about job security.
``I've, my entire life, been establishing myself as a person that fits in, so I don't worry about things like that,'' Linehan said. ``I control what I control, which is doing the best I can do, and if that's not good enough then so be it.''
The Rams are one of three winless teams in the NFL, along with the Dolphins and Saints. They've been 0-5 twice this decade, including 2002 when they began the year in a Super Bowl hangover after a last-second loss to the Patriots. The worst ever is 0-6 in 1962, when they finished 1-12-1.
Questionable officiating figured in two key scores that helped the Cardinals win for the third straight season in St. Louis.
Kurt Warner scored on a 1-yard sneak at the end of the half, a bonus play after the Rams got a delay of game penalty for kicking the ball as the Cardinals scrambled to get into formation as the clock was expiring. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said the ball squirted out of the hands of Cardinals center Al Johnson before a Rams player tapped it with his foot.
Linehan said it wasn't up to the Rams to hurry, noting that the Cardinals had gambled on a running play with 14 seconds to go and no timeouts and Edgerrin James was stopped short.
``We clearly weren't delaying the situation,'' Linehan said. ``To me, the half was over.''
Earlier in the second quarter, Cardinals lineman Reggie Wells was credited with a fumble recovery for a touchdown when he wrested the ball from Rams defensive back Jonathan Wade. Linehan contended it should have been a touchback, although officials said Wade had not been in control of the ball.
``He had control until the guy jumped on him,'' Linehan said.
A third call, offensive pass interference on wide receiver Torry Holt, short-circuited a potential game-tying drive early in the fourth quarter when the Cardinals led 27-20. Linehan said Holt did not use his hands until after Brian Leonard's 8-yard reception, but the Rams had to settle for a field goal.
The Rams submitted critiques of all three calls to the league office, although Linehan griped, ``I don't know what good it does.''
If it's not one thing, it's another. They were undone in the opener against Carolina when Steven Jackson lost two fumbles, and Dante Hall's late-game fumbled punt return was a crucial mistake in a 1-point loss to the 49ers in Week 2.
The injuries keep mounting, too. Two safeties were injured on Sunday, Jerome Carter with a broken foot that is likely to land him on injured reserve and Todd Johnson with a neck sprain. Starting free safety Corey Chavous (pectoral) missed the game, and the Rams finished the game with cornerback Ron Bartell at safety.
The offense featured only three starters from the season opener, and only two in their regular spots. They're likely to be without Marc Bulger (ribs) and Steven Jackson (groin) again this week at Baltimore.
Hall, who started at wide receiver in place of injured Isaac Bruce (hamstring), has what Linehan termed a ``significant'' left ankle sprain after being injured on a kickoff return.