The Rams lost 16-12 to the Miami Dolphins in week 13 at the Edward Jones Dome. Considering the way the Rams have played over the past four weeks, the Rams played better.
The return of Steven Jackson helped the running game as Jackson ran for 94 yards on 21 carries. The return of Orlando Pace helped the offensive line which helped the running game and pass protection. For the first time in a long time, the Rams did not allow a sack.
That was especially a large task when facing off against Jerry Porter and the Miami defensive line. (Richie Incognito was on the sidelines in the second half in favor of rookie John Greco. Reports say that Richie was lightheaded, but I can’t see how that is any different than usual for Incognito.) However, even with the improved offensive line and good running game, the Rams were unable to find the end zone and settled for field goal after field goal.
Josh Brown was able to continue to hit these field goals and went four for four on the afternoon. Marc Bulger played solidly in the first half, but threw three interceptions in the second half. The last INT was thrown on the Rams final drive as Bulger was pressing the issue with a long throw into coverage. Some of his problems seemed to be traced to lack of communication with his young receivers.
The defense played fairly well, even against the vaunted Wildcat offense. The Rams stuffed for a loss the first attempt at the Wildcat and the Dolphins did not run it the rest of the game. This game and the previous week may see the Wildcat fad fade into oblivion. A bright spot for the Rams was OJ Atogwe who lead the team in tackles (not usually a good sign for your free safety) but also had a forced fumble. After a slow start to the year, Atogwe has picked up his ball-hawking skills.
The moral of the story here is that the Rams hung in with a solid Miami Dolphins team, but neither had enough offense or defense to go out and win the game. This is the effort Rams fans like to see from an overmatched and long finished 2008 Rams team. I never like to applaud moral victories like this one, but after how the Rams have played over the past four weeks, I’m not upset with this loss.