ST. LOUIS --There's nothing fancy about the Rams' formula for having success on offense. It's centered on a ground and pound ideal long favored by head coach Jeff Fisher.
Run the ball effectively, set up play-action passes, and control the ball and the clock. But, as the Rams proved again Sunday in their convincing 27-9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, if the run game isn't rolling, the Rams' offense is going nowhere.
In a drastic departure from the 200 rushing yards St. Louis posted in the first meeting with Seattle back in Week 8, the Rams managed just 13 yards on 18 carries, an average of 0.7 yards. The Seahawks loaded the box and dared the Rams to run it. When they did, it went nowhere.
"There were plenty of people up there, and we just couldn’t get it going," Fisher said. "We got hats on hats, but we just couldn’t -- we had a couple of cutback opportunities, and then we got behind, and bad field position. You can load up that way when the field position is the way it is and create problems for our running game."
Problems for the running game equal problems for the offense as a whole. Playing with a reconfigured offensive line once again, the absence of left tackle Jake Long was particularly glaring when the Rams tried to run it. Seattle crashed down hard for most of the game, often using safety Kam Chancellor like an extra linebacker.
Running back Zac Stacy carried 15 times for 15 yards, coming up well short of the 42 yards he needed to reach 1,000 for the season. And without a competent run game, the Seahawks allowed their physical defensive backs to handle business at the line of scrimmage and force quarterback Kellen Clemens into a pair of interceptions.
St. Louis finished with just 158 yards of total offense, most of which came in garbage time. Once Seattle reached a double-digit lead, this one was essentially over.
"They had about nine guys down there in the box," Clemens said. "You only have about seven or eight to block, and they did a good job. They had some movement up front I think, game-planned a little bit I think. For the most part they had one more guy than we had. Its also a little tougher in the run when you are dealing with the noise like that, because everybody is going at the same time because they are all watching the ball, so we weren’t able to use the snap count to our advantage like we did at home when we faced them nine weeks ago.”
A roundup of the weekend's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... In Saturday's Ram-blings, we revisited a trade the Rams made in the 2012 NFL draft that did not work out. ... We previewed the Rams-Seahawks matchup Saturday with three things to watch and the weekly matchup breakdown with a look at a trio of individual matchups to watch. ... Before the Rams and Seahawks were even underway Sunday, we took a look at the Rams' landing the second pick in the draft courtesy of Washington. ... Right after the Rams' loss, we offered up Rapid Reaction with quick thoughts on the game. ... Then we revisited three things to watch with an eye on how the Rams fared in those three key categories. ... Finally, we discussed how the Rams are easily baited into penalties in physical games, and how they aren't yet good enough to overcome them.
At stltoday.com, Jeff Gordon hands out grades. As you can imagine, they aren't pretty.
Bernie Miklasz offered quick takes on the Rams' loss, including their tendency to go too far with the penalties.
Jim Thomas provided a quick game recap with all of the day's happenings.
The Associated Press recounts Seattle's big win.
A quick look back at the game from Turf Show Times.
Fox Sports provides the video look at defensive tackle Kendall Langford's ejection.