But Sunday’s 30-16 victory over the Redskins snapped both those skids.
It also reenergized a team that wasn’t able to pull out victories in close games against the Arizona Cardinals and the Oakland Raiders the last two weeks and rewarded a fan base that has watched the team lose 15 games in 2009, 14 in 2008 and 13 in 2007.
“I want to thank the fans that were there and hung in and even when it was a little rough there at the end of the first half, I just thought the energy was terrific,” Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said. “I know it helped our football team and we’ll look forward to that being the same way in weeks to come.”
DARBY GETS FIRST TOUCHDOWN
Backup running back Kenneth Darby, pressed into a bigger role after Steven Jackson left the game in the second quarter with a groin injury, had a career-high 14 carries for 49 yards and his first career touchdown on a 12-yard run in the third quarter.
“It was just a good inside zone run that we’d been practicing this week,” Darby said. “I read the hole pretty well and the offensive line came off the ball, got a good push off on their defensive line. The whole opened up, I saw it, and I hit it.”
Darby impressed the Rams standout running back, Jackson.
“I think Darby did a great job,” he said. “I think our backs came in, showed that if something was to happen to me that they could come in and fill in and do their job. They knew their assignments. You could tell they ran with confidence. They took advantage of the opportunity, and that’s what you have to do in this league. When you get an opportunity you have to take advantage of it, and I think those guys answered. That was a big touchdown run on his behalf. He hit the hole and he looked very good, he made someone miss.”
ROOKIES MAKE DEBUTS
Rookie tight end Fendi Onobun, inactive for the first two games, made his debut Sunday and recorded the first two catches of his career.
The former college basketball player at the University of Arizona caught a 7-yard pass from quarterback Sam Bradford on the second play of the game and finished with two catches for 15 yards.
“I knew I was going to have an opportunity to make an early impact,” Onobun said. “My number was called. I just wanted to go out there and do the right thing. … It was absolutely amazing. I had fun. My first game ever in the NFL regular season, to get a win and just to know I contributed is a great feeling.”
Undrafted rookie defensive tackle Jermelle Cudjo was inactive for the first game, released and signed to the practice squad last week and then signed to the active roster on Saturday because of injuries to d-tackles Clifton Ryan and Darell Scott.
Cudjo made his debut on Sunday and recorded two assisted tackles.
CURRY MAKES BIG PLAY
Wide receiver Dominique Curry’s blocked punt in the first quarter was the first by a Ram since Drew Wahlroos blocked a punt against Jacksonville on Oct. 30, 2005.
But Curry, an undrafted rookie out of California University of Pennsylvania, suffered a knee injury a few minutes later in the quarter and had to leave the game.
Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said after the game that he was concerned that Curry could have an ACL injury, which is the same injury that ended rookie linebacker Josh Hull’s season two weeks ago.
TOSTON GETS FIRST CARRIES
Running back Keith Toston was active for the first two games, but only played on special teams. On Sunday the undrafted rookie out of Oklahoma State got a chance to run the ball and rushed for 22 yards on 11 carries.
GILYARD RECORDS FIRST CATCH
Rookie wide receiver Mardy Gilyard has done some good things on special teams already this season, but the University of Cincinnati product was more involved in the offense on Sunday.
Gilyard caught the first pass of his career, a 7-yard reception from Bradford in the third quarter, to convert a critical third down and set up Darby’s 12-yard touchdown run.
FLETCHER SNAGS FIRST INT
Second-year cornerback Bradley Fletcher has established himself as one of the Rams starting corners, opposite veteran Ron Bartell, and done a nice job playing his part in the team’s defense.
He recorded his first interception with 3 minutes and 47 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter on Sunday when quarterback Donovan McNabb was trying to get the Redskins back into the game.
GIBSON MAKES AN IMPACT
Wide receiver Brandon Gibson was inactive for the first two games of the season but was pressed into action on Sunday with starter Laurent Robinson out with an injury.
Gibson was targeted often by Bradford and finished with three catches for 33 yards.
“There’s no doubt that he helped, especially with Laurent (Robinson) being down and Dominique (Curry) going out early in the game,” Bradford said. “I thought Gibby did a great job. He had a great week of practice and I was very comfortable with throwing him the ball. I thought he did a good job making some plays down the field for us today.”