Run game hurting Rams on both sides of ball
ST. LOUIS (AP) The Rams want to run the football and stop the run. Two weeks into the season, Jeff Fisher's team is struggling with both of those areas.
"That's what we're about," Fisher said Monday. "On defense, you stop the run, you get off the field on third down, and we're not doing either one of them right now. And on offense, you need to run it."
The Rams (1-1) didn't do very well in their 24-10 loss to the Redskins on Sunday at FedEx Field, allowing 182 yards rushing on 37 carries and gaining just 67 yards on the ground. The 182 yards were the seventh most surrendered by the Rams since Fisher took over in 2012, and the most since their season-opening loss to the Vikings a year ago, when Cordarrelle Patterson and Adrian Peterson helped rack up 185 yards.
On Sunday, it was Alfred Morris and Matt Jones. Morris rushed 18 times for 59 yards, but Jones, a rookie reserve, came off the bench to gain 123 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries.
"We've got to fix our defense against the run," Fisher said. "It's a combination of things. It was a combination of gap integrity by the players. It was a combination of, as a staff, putting them in some bad positions. So overall, we're all going to take responsibility for that: the defensive staff, the defensive players. We've got to get that fixed - 153 yards a game rushing right now is not what we're about."
Through two weeks, the Rams ranked 30th in run defense, ahead of only Green Bay (31) and Cleveland (32), not counting the Monday night game. They ranked 11th in passing yardage allowed (205.0) and 18th in total yards allowed (358.0).
Offensively, the numbers aren't good either.
The Rams rank 31st in total yards per game (282.5) and 26th in yards rushing (71.5). They had 67 yards on the ground in their loss Sunday after gaining 76 on 26 carries in the overtime win against the Seahawks a week earlier.
"Run game offensively needs to get better," Fisher said. "We had three three-and-outs and four four-and-outs in the game, and that doesn't give your defense a chance to even rest, let alone give your offense a chance to make plays."
The Rams, who got starting running back Tre Mason back from a hamstring injury for the Washington game, are averaging 3.7 yards per carry.
After reviewing the game film, the coaches credited third-year outside linebacker Alec Ogletree with a career-high 18 tackles. That's the most for a Rams player since London Fletcher had 21 tackles against the 49ers on Sept. 23, 2001.
"He was just all over the field," Fisher said of Ogletree, who led the Rams in tackles the past two seasons. "He's playing really good ball right now."
Fisher said the team came out of Sunday's loss somewhat healthy and, as a result, doesn't expect to have any players miss practice time this week.
"Nick (Foles) got kicked in the shin right there at the last part of the game and he was a little sore, a little tender in the locker room last night," Fisher said, "but he appears to be OK today. I think we're healing up a little bit."
Fisher said rookie running back Todd Gurley, who worked out before Sunday's game, is getting closer to making his NFL debut after rehabilitating from his ACL injury.
"I thought the workout was outstanding yesterday, so we're going to continue to build his reps this week," Fisher said. "So he'll be week to week and he might be a game-time decision."
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL