Softening the blow, Jeff Fisher reminded St. Louis Rams players that 11 other teams lost on Sunday.

It's happened to the Rams three weeks in a row, though.

The Rams (3-6) finished a 15-point setback at Carolina without quarterback Sam Bradford, done for the year with a left knee injury. They were tantalizingly close in their first Monday night home game since 2006, 1 yard shy of the winning touchdown against Seattle. Last week they tied it late in the fourth quarter against Tennessee, turned it over and surrendered the deciding score on consecutive plays, then ran out of downs at the Titans 26 in the final minute.

So, they're coming close.

Still, the bottom line isn't pretty for a franchise that had appeared poised for a breakthrough in the second season under Fisher and general manager Les Snead. They were 9½ -point underdogs for Sunday's game at Indianapolis (6-2).


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