Zac Stacy rushed for 127 yards on 27 carries and added another six catches for 51 yards against a tough Titans defense, but it proved to not be enough as turnovers and missed opportunities continued to hut the Rams.
The Rams defense showed that it is inconsistent as they allowed Chris Johnson to 150 yards on 23 carries and two touchdowns just one week after they allowed Marshawn Lynch to only 23 yards. It was Johnson’s first 100 yard game and first rushing touchdowns of the season.
The Rams won the opening coin toss and opted to defer to the second half. That may have been a mistake as the Rams defense did not make the opening statement they had hoped for allowing 36 yards rushing on five carries and committed 25 yards in penalties which lead to a Titans opening drive touchdown.
The Rams looked to match that driving the ball inside the red zone down to the 15 yard line. As things usually go for the Rams, when things begin to go good for the Rams is usually when they begin to go bad. Without being touched, Benny Cunningham fumbled the ball which was coincidentally recovered by the Titans to end a very promising opening drive.
The Rams defense would step up the rest of the first half not allowing any more points and shutting down the Titans offense, and the Rams would score their first rushing touchdown of the season to tie the game at seven midway through the second quarter.
With less than a minute to go however, Finnegan intercepted Locker at the 26 yard line. The Rams offense struggled to move the ball which forced Greg Zuerlein to come in and kick a 44 yard field goal. Very un-legatron-like Zuerlein missed the field goal wide right.
At the half the Rams were tied 7-7 with the Titans, but a fumble in the red zone and missed opportunity on a turnover kept the Titans in the game. Similar to last week the Rams were leaving points on the board and in a situation where they could have been up 13-7 going into the half but instead were tied.
The Rams offense came out of the half with a mission and that was to score a touchdown and capture the lead they should have had. From second and two from the nine yard line, Zac Stacy muscled his way to the end zone to score his second rushing touchdown of the day and give the Rams the lead.
Like all season however, the Rams defense did not play well when the Rams needed them to the most. The Titans stormed down the field in seven short plays to tie the game at 14 with a 14 yard touchdown run from Chris Johnson.
That would not be the end of it. The Rams offense got cold and went three and out on the next two possessions. The Titans took full advantage of it and took the lead with a five yard touchdown run from Jake Locker.
Zac Stacy carried the team on his back like he had all game breaking three tackles and gaining 32 yards and adding to that 32 was a 15 yard horse caller tackle penalty. Stacy proved to be just the spark the Rams offense were looking for, and Jared Cook made a nice catch in the end zone against his former team to tie the game at 21.
The Titans offense marched down the field after the touchdown, but on second and nine from the Rams 40 yard line Rodney McLeod gave the Rams offense a chance to go down the field and put the game away by intercepting Jake Locker.
However, the next two plays would prove otherwise as Clemens fumbled the ball while trying to avoid a sack and the very next Titans play Chris Johnson ran the ball in the end zone from 20 yards out to seemingly put the game out of reach for the Rams.
With no timeouts left the Rams got the ball back at their own 40 yard line with just under a minute to go after a big Tavon Austin punt return. On 4th down from the Rams 26 yard line with :16 seconds left, instead of just going for the first down, the Rams took a shot to the end zone to Austin Pettis who could not make the catch. The would be the Rams’ second heartbreaking loss in six days that ended with an incomplete pass to the end zone.
The Rams are definitely showing promise without their starting quarterback, just coming up short the past two weeks against two quality opponents which you have to see as being promising. Clemens did finish 20/35 for 210 yards.
Stacy also seems to be the real deal rushing for over 100 yards the past two weeks. Since Stacy became the starter, prior to this week he was third in the league in rushing and led the league in carries that went for over ten yards.
The Rams just continue to keep their opponents in games that they have no business in being in due to missing out in key opportunities and shooting themselves in the foot.
Next week the Rams will travel to Indianapolis to play the Colts who have beaten the Broncos, Seahawks, and 49ers before they head into their bye week the following week. The Rams are 3-6, but it was just last season that the Washington Redskins‘ hopes of making the playoffs seemed out of reach before they won seven straight games and made the playoffs by beating the Cowboys in the final week.