Quick Thoughts from the St. Louis Rams’ 34-7 Loss to the Kansas City Chiefs


In their worst loss since a 34-6 opening week defeat by the Minnesota Vikings, the St. Louis Rams fell 34-7 to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday afternoon. While the team was decimated by injuries, it was a collective struggle, as the Rams struggled in all three facets of the game. Here are a few quick thoughts from Sunday’s loss:

  • The Rams’ offensive line really fell apart on Sunday. Left tackle Jake Long (knee), center Scott Wells (elbow), and right guard Rodger Saffold (shoulder) all went down with injuries and didn’t return. This necessitated the usage of all three of the Rams’ active backup linemen—Davin Joseph at right guard, Barrett Jones at center, and Mike Person at left guard—in addition to the shift of rookie left guard Greg Robinson to left tackle. None of those players really looked comfortable, and when you factor in that right tackle Joe Barksdale had by far his worst game of the season (and probably of his Rams career), it was a really rough day for quarterback Austin Davis, who got sacked seven times.
  • I would be pretty surprised if the Rams didn’t boost their depth on the line this week. Backup center Tim Barnes hasn’t practiced in two weeks and can’t be relied upon to return next week. It’s unlikely that all three of Wells, Long and Saffold will be back next week, and even if they do it’d be very risky for the Rams to count on their health throughout the game. Internal options could be practice squad linemen Mike Remmers and Brandon Washington.
  • The Rams’ depth in the defensive backfield was ravaged just as much as it was on the offensive line Sunday. The team was already starting two rookie corners, E.J. Gaines and Marcus Roberson, along with rookie nickelback Lamarcus Joyner. As has been the case for most of this season, they kept only three safeties active. That depth was tested, however, as free safety Rodney McLeod went down with a knee injury, and shortly after his replacement, Cody Davis, suffered a possible concussion. That left Joyner, who hasn’t played free safety since last year at Florida State, as the man at that position. Rookie Jemea Thomas, who was just promoted from the practice squad yesterday, took over as the nickelback. It’s probable that starting cornerbacks Trumaine Johnson and Janoris Jenkins will be back next week, but the Rams may also decide to start dressing rookie safety Maurice Alexander for insurance at the position.
  • Jeff Fisher’s “back-by-committee” approach is nice in theory, but it would be nice if they could get at least a little bit of continuity in the backfield. For Zac Stacy to go from getting no touches last week to tying for the most of any back this week really doesn’t make much sense.
  • It’s getting to the point where it doesn’t feel like the Rams can trust kicker Greg Zuerlein anymore. He missed a 38-yard field goal that absolutely crushed the Rams’ momentum as the game was tied 7-7 in the second quarter. The third-year kicker is now 8-for-11 on field goals this year, with five of those kicks coming from less than 40 yards. It should be interesting to see how much longer of a leash he has.
  • On the plus side, Robert Quinn is suddenly the Rams’ leader in sacks after failing to get to the quarterback in the first five games of the season. It’s crucial that the Rams continue getting production from the young defensive end that they invested so heavily in this year.