Not so long ago Rams interim head coach Jim Haslett blamed turnovers for the Rams misfortunes. It was a dubious claim then, but lost even more credibility in the wake of yesterday's game. Yesterday, you see, the Rams had a decided edge in the turnover department, a +3 margin (4 for SF, 1 for the Rams). It was the Rams best turnover ratio since their week seven win over Dallas (+4). Oh, for those halcyon days...
That was only the fourth time this season the Rams have had the edge in turnovers: the wins against the Redskins (+2) and Cowboys and their narrow loss to New England (+1) in week eight.
There's an interesting parallel to yesterday's loss in the New England game: there too the Rams blew a fourth quarter lead to lose the game. (It was a three point lead, after being down by three at the half). On a drive bridging the 3rd and 4th quarters, they made it to the NE 10, but failed to convert and had to settle for a field goal that gave the Rams a 16-13 edge. Buoyed by the lead, no doubt, the defense held NE to a 3-and-out. The Rams offense followed that with two consecutive 3-and-out performances of their own, sandwiching a NE field goal that tied the game. Those two quote-unquote drives included an inexplicable pass to the since release FB Dan Krieder, a sack, an Alex Barron false start penalty, three incomplete passes, and on third and twenty, a pass short right to Dante Hall for 5 yards.
It got better after that. The Pats moved the ball down field and scored on, what else, a TD pass to Randy Moss. Down four, the next drive started off on the Rams 10-yard line thanks to an Eric Bassey holding penalty. After a Richie Incognito false start penalty on 3rd and 10, the drive ended with an interception, naturally.
Replace some of the names, and you have, mostly, the same thing we saw yesterday. Which, long story short, illustrates my point that turnovers don't lose games, bad teams lose games, sometimes because they make turnovers, but mostly just because they can't close the deal when they have the opportunity.