Wednesday, November 14, 2012
101ESPN St. Louis audio: Miklasz Show
Bernie Miklasz and I focused solely on the St. Louis Rams during our weekly conversation on 101ESPN St. Louis.
There was plenty to review following the Rams' 24-24 tie against San Francisco at Candlestick Park in Week 10. There is much to consider moving forward as well, including how the Rams' better-than-expected showing against the 49ers has recast expectations for the immediate future.
Beyond the big-picture stuff, one oddity I raised was the Rams' continued failure to recover fumbles frequently enough.
The Rams have fumbled 14 times and recovered only four of them. They badly needed to recover rookie running back Isaiah Pead's fumble during a kickoff return after the 49ers scored to cut the Rams' lead to 17-14 in the fourth quarter. Instead, the 49ers recovered and scored on their next play, taking the lead.
St. Louis also failed to recover two fumbles by 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
The Rams have recovered only one of their opponents' six fumbles for a league-low percentage of 16.7. Arizona, meanwhile, has recovered seven of nine opponent fumbles for a league-high 77.8 percentage.
Chase Stuart has done related work breaking down the types of fumbles defenses are most likely to recover. This could bear a closer examination in relation to the Rams.
Mostly, though, the Rams need to force more fumbles overall. Their opponents are fumbling less frequently than any other team's opponents through Week 10. It's tough to recover opponents' fumbles without forcing them.
The Rams' next opponent, the Jets, have averaged 1.7 fumbles per game, sixth-most in the NFL.