BALTIMORE (AP) – Jeff Fisher’s plan to rejuvenate the St. Louis Rams’ offense with Case Keenum didn’t exactly go as expected.
And while Fisher couldn’t point to one factor that led to a disheartening 16-13 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, most of his focus was centered on a unit that produced only 213 yards and 13 first downs.
“We’re asking a lot of our defense right now when we’re not getting a lot out of our offense,” Fisher said.
Instead of bringing the Rams (4-6) to .500 for the third time this season, Fisher was left to ponder an injury-riddled line that didn’t protect his quarterback, an offense that coughed up four fumbles, an ineffective running game and a 3-for-13 effort on third down.
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“We’ve got too much talent without getting things done,” he said.
Keenum was selected as the Rams’ starter on Monday, replacing Nick Foles in a move that Fisher said was designed to bolster the offense. The switch did not pay immediate dividends.
Keenum completed 12 of 26 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown. When the Rams needed him to move them deeper into Baltimore territory with the game on the line, he couldn’t get any closer than the 34, and Greg Zuerlein’s 52-yard field-goal attempt with 1:41 left was wide right.
Justin Tucker then missed a 51-yarder for the Ravens (3-7), and a mistake-filled game was decided on one final miscue: Keenum fumbled when sacked by Courtney Upshaw, and Lawrence Guy recovered the loose ball for Baltimore at the St. Louis 41.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco tore ligaments in his left knee during the ensuing drive, which ended with Tucker kicking a 47-yard field goal as time expired for the win.
“At the end of the day, we had the game and let it go,” Rams running back Todd Gurley said.
Afterward, Keenum was being examined for a concussion and was not made available to reporters.
Baltimore won despite committing two turnovers, missing two field goals and being penalized 10 times for 137 yards. The Ravens have lost seven games by a total of 32 points, but this close one went their way.
They trailed 13-3 before coming back behind Flacco, who went 27 for 44 for 299 yards and a score.
The Ravens appeared to be doomed by their own mistakes until Gurley lost a fumble at the St. Louis 42. Flacco directed a seven-play drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Kamar Aiken with 11:11 remaining.
A 20-yard field goal by Tucker tied it with 5:12 to go. The kick capped a 76-yard drive, highlighted by a 46-yard completion to Crockett Gillmore.
The Ravens played the majority of the game without Justin Forsett, who left in the first quarter after being driven to the turf by Aaron Donald for a 5-yard loss.
Rookie Javorius Allen took over and finished with 67 yards on 22 carries.
One sequence in the third quarter summed up the struggle each team experienced trying to generate offense. Keenum and Gurley failed to execute a handoff, resulting in a Baltimore fumble recovery. Flacco gave it back with a poor pass that was intercepted by Trumaine Johnson and returned to the Baltimore 49.
Three plays later, Keenum threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Lance Kendricks for a 13-3 lead.
Keenum went 3 for 10 for 31 yards in the first half, yet the Rams led 7-3 despite accumulating a meager 74 yards of offense.
Baltimore made a variety of mistakes before the break, most notably an interception by Flacco and six penalties totaling 107 yards.
The Ravens were flagged for roughing the quarterback on a third-down incompletion, offensive pass interference on a 26-yard gain and unnecessary roughness on a punt return.
And there was this: A 49-yard penalty for pass interference against cornerback Jimmy Smith led to a 1-yard touchdown run for Gurley and a 7-0 lead.
Baltimore’s only first-half points came after Tavon Austin fumbled a punt to set up a 25-yard field goal.
Notes: Rams RT Andrew Donnal left the game early in the second quarter with an unspecified knee injury. “It doesn’t look good, “ Fisher said.. … Rams backup running back Tre Mason was inactive after violating team rules, Fisher said. … Ravens LT Eugene Monroe left in the third quarter with an injury to his left shoulder.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP–NFL