Fisher: Miscues Are the Difference in Loss to Tennessee

Posted Nov 4, 2013

Amidst another stout performance from his rookie running back and a significant second-game improvement from his quarterback, the Rams may well have been headed for their fourth win of the season on Sunday, if not for the outcome of two plays.

A missed field goal near the end of the first half and an early fumble proved to be too much to overcome on Sunday.

“We missed a field goal and fumbled the ball in plus territory, to pretty much sum it up,” Head Coach Jeff Fisher said. “There’s all kinds of things that happened in the game. Their run defense struggled with our run game. ‘Kell’ (QB Kellen Clemens) played better, but to me, the big difference was the missed field goal and the fumble in that game.”

The first miscue came on the Rams’ first possession of the game. On a drive in which the Rams traveled from their own 20-yard line to the cusp of the Titans’ red zone, RB Benny Cunningham lost control of the football while appearing to switch the ball from his right arm to his left. The fumble thwarted what would have had the Rams on the verge of a potential game-tying scoring opportunity.

“It just squirted out, and he’s not a fumbler,” Fisher said following Sunday’s game.

Tied 7-7 near the end of the first half, the Rams placed themselves in field-goal range following CB Cortland Finnegan’s first interception of the season. Second-year K Greg Zuerlein, who entered the game having connected on 14 of his 15 attempts, pushed his 44-yard kick wide right to keep the game deadlocked entering halftime.

The two key mishaps were certainly not helped by the season-best performance from Tennessee RB Chris Johnson. While Johnson may not have been the game’s determinant on Sunday, he was a key contributing factor, as he finished the day with 150 yards rushing on 23 carries.

“We got a lot of good run stops against a good run football team, but obviously, we have to do better,” Fisher said. “We told them all week that that was going to be their emphasis, it was going to be their attack. They had two weeks to prepare and he (Johnson) can run – he can really go. They cut our defense a couple times, but the positive is we had a lot of good run stops as well. I don’t believe that was really the difference in the ball game. It was a contributing factor, but I don’t think it was the difference.”

News and Notes:

-Fisher was pleased with the work of rookie WR Stedman Bailey, who grabbed his first career reception in Sunday’s game.

“We’re going to get him more involved,” Fisher said. “His time’s coming. He’s improving on the practice field. It was a great play, keeping his balance and picking up extra yards and so we’ll get him more involved.”

-With his 127 rushing yards on Sunday, RB Zac Stacy ended the day leading the NFL in rushing yardage since Week 5 with 471 yards. His per-game average of 94.2 yards is the league’s third-highest per-game total during that time.