Mistakes Plague Rams in Loss at Carolina

Posted Oct 20, 2013

Entering Sunday’s game at Carolina, a favorable turnover margin and red-zone success rate had the Rams poised to move above .500 through Week 7 for the first time since 2006. However, neither of those areas measured up to the previous two weeks in a 30-15 loss to the Panthers.

The Rams had no shortage of early opportunities against Carolina, but saw two first-half red-zone possessions yield just a 28-yard field goal and a turnover on downs following an unsuccessful fourth-and-goal attempt from the one-yard line. St. Louis entered the game having scored on touchdowns on 67 percent of its red-zone possessions, but reached the end zone on just one of its three possessions inside the 20-yard line on Sunday.

One week removed from the most efficient game of his four-year career, QB Sam Bradford struggled early. After not committing a turnover since Week 4 against San Francisco, Bradford was intercepted by Captain Munnerlyn on his first pass attempt of the day, which was returned 45 yards for Carolina’s first defensive touchdown of the season. Bradford finished the day 21 of 30 for 255 yards and one touchdown pass before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with a left knee injury.

The series of early miscues overshadowed a lopsided advantage in yardage. The Rams outgained Carolina 172-119 in the first half, with the majority of Carolina’s yards coming on an 80-yard scoring drive near the conclusion of the half.

Carolina QB Cam Newton completed 15 of 17 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown, good for a passer rating of 136.3. He also ran for 29 yards on eight carries.

The loss to Carolina was the first for the Rams since falling 15-0 in Charlotte on November 19, 2006.

Game Notes: Carolina

-Nine different Rams receivers caught a pass on Sunday, the team’s second-highest total of the year.

-DE Eugene Sims collected his second career safety and first since 2010 when he tackled Carolina RB Mike Tolbert in the end zone for a one-yard loss in the first quarter.

-WR Brian Quick’s 73-yard reception in the third quarter was the Rams’ longest play from scrimmage this season. His 97 receiving yards were a team-high for the day and established a career-best.

-RB Zac Stacy’s four-yard touchdown reception was the first of his career.

-DE Robert Quinn collected his NFC-leading seventh sack of the season.

-Stacy established career-highs in receptions (four) and receiving yards (39).

-Bradford’s first-quarter interception was his first since Week 4 against San Francisco.