Until Sunday, it had been nearly a month since the Rams played a home game at the Edward Jones Dome. It wasn’t worth the wait. Plagued by turnovers, unable to get consistently open on offense, and beaten on both sides of the line by the previously reeling New York Jets, the Rams went winless for the fifth game in a row, getting drubbed 27-13 before 57,711 at the Edward Jones Dome.
Looking nothing like the team that went toe-to-toe with division-leading San Francisco last Sunday, the Rams were outplayed and outcoached, looking flat for much of the afternoon. At 3-6-1, next comes a trip to Arizona. The Jets improved to 4-6.
For the third game in a row, the Rams scored a touchdown on their first possession of the day. But after that, it was all Jets for the rest of the opening half.
Using a solid running game, and taking advantage of a couple of misplays by Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson, the Jets scored the half’s final 13 points to take a 13-7 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Rams moved crisply down the field on their first possession on an 86-yard TD drive.
Not unlike the San Francisco game, the Rams started off with several handoffs to Steve Jackson, and then got the passing game going. The big play on the drive was a career-long 36-yard reception to the New York 17 by second-year man Austin Pettis.
After earning a first-and-goal at the Jets 5, the Rams faced a fourth down just outside the 1 three plays later. With the Rams going for it on fourth down, quarterback Sam Bradford threw to a wide-open Brandon Gibson for a TD and a 7-0 lead with 3:45 to play in the opening quarter.
The Rams used a bunch formation on the left side after sending rookie running back Isaiah Pead in motion. Nobody on the Jets’ defense decided to cover Gibson, or Danny Amendola for that matter.
But the Jets responded with a 51-yard field goal by Nick Folk on their ensuing position. After a sideline pass by Bradford was intercepted by safety Eric Smith, the Rams dodged a bullet when Janoris Jenkins _ back from his one-game suspension _ blocked a 26-yard Jets field goal attempt.
Later in the second quarter, defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson beat Rams left guard Shelley Smith and stripped Bradford of the football. Linebacker Bart Scott, the Southern Illinois-Carbondale product, scooped up the loose football and raced 38 yards. Tight end Matthew Mulligan saved a TD with by tackling Scott in pursuit, but it was only a temporary respite because two plays later the Jets were in the end zone.
Jets wide receiver Chaz Schillens got behind rookie Trumaine Johnson, who jumped an underneath route to Jeremy Kerley and couldn’t recover in time, for a 25-yard go-ahead TD on the second play after the Rams’ turnover. New York added to its lead after a 3-and-out by the Rams offense late in the first half. The big play on the drive was a 32-yard completion from quartertback Mark Sanchez to Kerley on second-and-16. Kerley appeared to get behind Johnson on that play.
That led to another 51-yard field goal by Folk and that 13-7 halftime led by the Jets. Wide receiver Chris Givens, also back from a one-game suspension, returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for an apparent touchdown, but the play was called back on a holding penalty against Rodney McCleod.
In the third quarter, the Jets controlled time of possession and field position. They then a commanding 20-7 lead on a five-yard TD run by Bilal Powell on the second play of the fourth quarter. Strangely, the Rams lined up in a three-man front on the play, so there wasn’t much resistance when Powell scored on a delayed handoff up the middle.
It became 27-7 in the fourth quarter after the Rams’ third turnover of the day, a fumble by rookie running back Daryl Richardson running off left tackle. The Jets recovered at the Rams’ 38 and scored on another Powell touchdown.