Following another close loss on Sunday — his team’s fourth by less than two scores this season — there was only one thing on the mind of St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson.
What must the Rams do to get better?
St. Louis didn’t have the answers on Sunday in a 23-20 defeat to the Arizona Cardinals, and it left No. 39 frustrated.
“We’re tired of having the same results,” SJ39 said. “I think we, as a team, practice really hard and I think we prepare week in and week out. We position ourselves a lot of times in these games – especially the last four or five weeks – to win the games. We keep coming up short.”
The Rams took an early lead Sunday, courtesy of a punt return touchdown by Nate Miller. The two teams then traded field goals and at halftime St. Louis led 10-3. No. 39 carried 11 times in the first half, piling up 45 yards for an average of over four yards per carry. He also had three catches for 14 yards before halftime.
But Arizona scored 17 unanswered points in the third quarter, and once it trailed, the St. Louis offense had trouble moving the ball. Steven received just six carries and gained 19 yards the rest of the way. The Cardinals led, 20-10, entering the fourth.
St. Louis finally began to produce in the final frame and a 48-yard field goal by Josh Brown just 11 seconds into the fourth made it 20-13.
Then, after two failed drives, the Rams capitalized on the field goal position obtained on a fumble recovery to go 43 yards in three pass plays and tie the game on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Sam Bradford to Brandon Lloyd.
The Cardinals turned their next possession into a field goal to retake the lead, but the Rams got the ball back with 4:09 and plenty of time to at least tie the game. A second down throw to Brandon Lloyd put the Rams in a third and one with a chance to move the ball. They opted to throw to Lance Kendricks, and when the pass fell incomplete, St. Louis punted. Arizona ran out the clock and the Rams never got the ball back.
“We keep coming up short in areas, to be quite honest with you, on the offensive side of the ball which is very frustrating,” Steven said. “Me being a part of that side of the ball, I’m definitely embarrassed. I take responsibility in that area as well. I don’t know what we need to do, but hopefully we find an answer to it because when you have that field position, when you have defense creating turnovers, we as a unit have to come out with points.”
After getting just seven touches in the second half, SJ39 finished with 64 rushing yards and 14 receiving yards. Watch Steven talk more about Sunday’s game below:
The Rams head west next week to take on the division-leading San Francisco 49ers by the bay. Though things may seem bleak, Steven promises he and his teammates will continue to fight.
“At this point, we’re 2-9 on the season,” he said. “You’re playing with guys that are sacrificing, putting themselves in situations that you’ve just got to respond to the call of duty.”
Sunday’s kickoff is scheduled for 3:15 CST and the game can be seen on FOX.
- Song remains the same for Rams (Belleville News-Democrat, November 28, 2011)
- Rams going in reverse (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 28, 2011)
- Cardinals at Rams NFL.com Box Score (NFL.com, November 27, 2011)
- Steven Jackson (The St. Louis American, November 22, 2011)
- Rams Fighting to Finish (StLouisRams.com, November 27, 2011)
- Rams lose heartbreaker to Cardinals (StLouisRams.com, November 27, 2011)