With 17 dropped passes, the St. Louis Rams receivers have the dubious distinction of being one of the league's most oops-prone units. Chris Givens has six dropped passes, Tavon Austin has five and Brian Quick has four. The tight ends have contributed another nine drops. Nevertheless, quarterback Kellen Clemens is doing his best to keep his receivers looking forward and not tripping over the ghosts of passes left on the field.
"Drops are going to happen," Clemens said. "You're not going to catch all of them. That's just part of the game. It happens. I haven't lost a bit of confidence in any of these guys and we'll get back going. It's one game."
Jared Cook dropped two and Givens dropped one last week against San Francisco that helped bury the Rams. Givens dropped two passes the week before that, in the Rams win over the Bears. Prior to that, the second-year receiver hadn't dropped a pass in four games.
Clemens assigned himself some of the responsibility for getting the team's top receiver going again.
"I've got to throw him better, for one," the quarterback said. "The Chicago game, going back to that he was targeted, gosh, four or five times and there were plays there to be made and I missed him. We'll see kind of as the game plan unfolds, see if there's some opportunities - just get him one-on-one, just get him a catch here and there, maybe get him a carry or something, get him going."
Givens is still getting the majority of snaps and targets among the Rams receivers. It remains to be seen if that changes this week against a tough Arizona secondary. Clemens gave his receivers and his team the standard vote of confidence during remarks to the media on Wednesday.
"I think sometimes people have a tendency to overreact to either drops or to losses, poor performance by the quarterback," he said. "We'll get back in the saddle this week and get back to it."
The Rams playoff hopes are all but technically gone. And there are only four games left in the season to "get back to it." A strong finish would help buoy high hopes for 2014, not to mention give the young players something to build on going forward.