Fisher: Arizona Defense Proved Too Much On Sunday

Posted Dec 9, 2013

A day after his typically stout rushing offense found little to room to run in a 30-10 road loss to Arizona, Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher praised the Cardinals’ defense for their efforts in bottling up RB Zac Stacy and company.

Save for a 56-yard end around by WR Tavon Austin, the Rams searched for running room all afternoon with limited success. Stacy finished the day with just 25 yards on 14 carries, his lowest rushing total as a starter in the NFL.

With the production on the ground reduced considerably in relation to recent weeks, QB Kellen Clemens had to shoulder much of the offensive load. Clemens finished 16 of 27 passing for 181 yards and two interceptions.

“They’re a good defense, and we really just couldn’t get it going,” Fisher said. “If you can’t get ahead of the chains, it gets hard to convert. It’s personnel, it’s matchups, it’s their front. They’re sturdy and it’s just hard to get creases.”

In addition to facing what is now the fifth-ranked defensive unit in the NFL, the Rams employed a re-tooled offensive line. C Tim Barnes received his first NFL start in place of the injured Scott Wells, and G Harvey Dahl returned following a four-week absence due to a knee injury and played 27 offensive snaps as part of a rotation with T Joe Barksdale.

“It looked like it was his first week back,” Fisher said of Dahl. “He didn’t play all of the snaps, did OK. I would expect him to be better this week, but he was downfield and correct in everything he did.”

Fisher also addressed the work of the Rams’ secondary, which limited the Cardinals to less than 10 yards per completion, but allowed QB Carson Palmer to complete 27 of his 32 attempts. Palmer’s 84 percent completion rate was the highest the Rams have allowed this season. The Cardinals’ short passing game proved an effective remedy to a Rams’ pass rush that frequently hounded Palmer during the Rams’ 27-24 win over Arizona in the season opener.

“We were in position to make plays pretty much the whole game and we just didn’t,” Fisher said. He was very accurate. The ball was placed in a position where we couldn’t get our hands on it and we were forced to make tackles. Obviously, the ball was out, their plan was to get it out, and they did a nice job. They weren’t in a position to get the quarterback hit.”