Vaughn: Horrendous start for Rams - KMOV.com

Vaughn: Horrendous start for Rams

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St. Louis Rams quarterback Shaun Hill throws the football against the Minnesota Vikings in the first quarter at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis on September 7, 2014.  UPI/Bill Greenblatt By BILL GREENBLATT St. Louis Rams quarterback Shaun Hill throws the football against the Minnesota Vikings in the first quarter at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis on September 7, 2014. UPI/Bill Greenblatt By BILL GREENBLATT

(KMOV.com) -- Unfortunately, you don’t have to turn back the clock too far to find an opening game that went worse for the Rams.

In 2009, they were shutout by Seattle 28-0. The 2014 opener didn’t go much better, but at least they weren‘t shutout. The Rams did, however, see quarterback Shaun Hill and defensive end Chris Long leave with injuries. They also saw many of the 55,000 fans at the dome leave early in the fourth quarter to avoid witnessing the end of a very ugly 34-6 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

"You’re always shocked when something like that happens, “said linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar. “You don’t prepare for that. Obviously we’re shocked by it.”

Middle linebacker James Laurinaitis said “we put a lot of work into this preseason. We prepared hard. Thought we had a great week of practice. To come out here and play the way we did, in the opener, in front of the home crowd is embarrassing.”

“It’s very frustrating, to put it lightly” said defensive end Chris Long. “I know everybody watching it is frustrated. You can multiply that by ten hundred or whatever, that’s how frustrated people are in this locker room.”

Chris Long hurt his ankle in the third quarter and didn’t return. He didn’t want to talk about his injury after the game. He’ll have it examined tomorrow before the Rams will know how long he’ll be out.

The Rams defense played well in the first half and kept the team in the game until Cordarrelle Patterson went 67 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. That play sealed the Rams fate, and the game got uglier from there.

Jeff Fisher said, “There are things that just happened. If I can explain them, then I should be able to prevent them. But I’m certainly going to go into detail tomorrow. There are things that just shouldn’t happen.

“It’s all things we can change,” said offensive tackle Jake Long. “Things we know we’re good at. It feels horrible, but we’re going to correct it and move on.”

Offensive tackle Joe Barksdale said “I don’t believe in excuses and I’m not going to make one. We got to get better. That’s pretty much it.”

The Rams committed 13 penalties for 121 yards, coughed up two turnovers, and saw their quarterbacks sacked five times. Not exactly how they expected things to go against a Minnesota team picked by many to finish last in the NFC North.

“I can’t saw when I woke up this morning I thought this would happen,” said safety T.J. McDonald. “You got to expect the unexpected,  move on and get better. But we’ve got the guys in this room and the right mentality to bounce back from this.”

“This is the first one of the season,” said defensive tackle Michael Brockers. “We got a lot more to go. We can’t get down on this one, because the rest of them will be the same if we do.”

If there’s a silver lining to be found it looks like the Rams offense might put punter Johnny Hekker in the Pro Bowl again. He averaged 46.5 yards, with a long punt of 57 yards. He was one of the few bright spots in one of the worst season openers in St. Louis professional football history.

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