Fisher Press Conference Wrap: Improved Run Game to Credit for Offensive Strides

Posted Oct 14, 2013

Following his team’s largest margin of victory since taking over as head coach in 2012, Jeff Fisher credited the Rams’ improvements in the run game for the offensive unit’s progress.

The Rams narrowly missed a second consecutive week of 100 yards rushing against Houston, finishing with 99 yards on 25 carries. RB Zac Stacy led the way on the ground with a career-high 79 yards on 18 carries. According to Fisher, the threat of a resurgent running game has also contributed to the Rams’ success through the air.

“I think one of the things that has helped the red-zone production has been our ability to run the football,” Fisher said. A number of the opportunities that we’ve taken advantage of have been off of play-action. We established the run, and now you force the defense to be balanced.”

The Rams grabbed an initial 7-0 lead on their second possession when QB Sam Bradford found TE Cory Harkey open for a two-yard touchdown, a play that became possible when the Houston defensive front sold out on Bradford’s run fake to Stacy. Such plays were harder to come by in weeks preceding the Rams’ recent strides on the ground.

The Rams can also look to their offensive line’s work against Houston All-Pro defensive end J.J. Watt for a key to their success. Watt, who led the NFL with 20.5 sacks in 2012, was held to only a single quarterback pressure and no tackles on Sunday. The Rams’ offensive line prevented a sack for the third time in six games this year.

“Our plan was, No. 1, to recognize his (Watt’s) ability and his strengths, and then try to design an offensive plan where we can either run away from him or get him doubled, and I thought the guys executed very well,” Fisher said.

News and Notes:

-LB Alec Ogletree’s 98-yard interception return on Sunday was the longest ever by a rookie linebacker in the NFL.

-QB Sam Bradford has 13 touchdown passes in six games, which ties him for fourth-most in the NFL. His three interceptions are the second-fewest among NFL quarterbacks who have appeared in six games this season.

-DT Michael Brockers’ two sacks against Houston were a single-game high. Brockers also finished with seven tackles, including three for a loss.

-DE Robert Quinn collected his sixth sack on Sunday, which leads the NFC.

-Fisher attributed the Rams’ success in red-zone defense to the Texans’ need to throw the football late in Sunday’s game.

“When you know they’re going to throw, it gives you a chance,” Fisher said. “With the ends and the production and the rush from the whole defensive line for that matter, there’s not a lot of time to let routes develop. You have to get rid of the football, and that’s one of the reasons (LB) Alec (Ogletree) made a great play because the ball came out a little quick.”