Originally posted on Fox Sports Midwest  |  Last updated 11/23/12
ST. LOUIS (AP) An errant pass bounced off hands of the New York Jets' Joe McKnight on the sideline, tantalizingly soaring just out of the reach of St. Louis Rams safety Quintin Mikell and an easy touchdown return. In the opening series of last week's loss, Mikell stripped Mark Sanchez, and the ball bounced right back into the quarterback's hands. Those are just two of the latest frustrations for St. Louis, which hasn't forced a turnover the last five games - tied for the NFL's worst since 1950. Given turnovers are such momentum changers, it should come as no surprise that the Rams (3-6-1) are 0-4-1 during that stretch. "We're stripping, the ball's flying around, it'll just happen," coach Jeff Fisher said. "But I don't think I've been in a stretch before that long." In the last 62 years, only the Rams, the 2011 Indianapolis Colts and 2006 Washington Redskins have gone five games without a takeaway. They'll try to avoid setting a dubious record on Sunday at Arizona, which lost a fumble in Week 5 for the Rams' last turnover. If they're tired of hearing about it, players realize it's on them. Take the ball away and it'll take the topic out of play. "We've got to do something about it. You never get tired of preaching turnovers, that's one of the key factors in wins and losses," linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar said. "I never get tired of taking about it, and I hope the guys don't get tired of it. "We're getting them out, we're just not recovering them." After the first five games, the Rams had eight interceptions and a fumble recovery. They've had no takeaways since Week 5 when Robert Quinn forced a fumble that was recovered by fellow defensive end William Hayes in a 17-3 victory over the Cardinals, the team they'll be playing this week at Arizona. Cornerback Cortland Finnegan had three interceptions the first three games, and has none since. Of course, teams learned early to pick on rookie Janoris Jenkins, instead. "If you try to do too much, you hurt the team," Finnegan said. "Turnovers are something you want to overemphasize in practice, but you never want to get out of your element in a game." The Jets fumbled twice without losing it last week, and the 49ers recovered all four fumbles a week earlier. Meanwhile, the Rams' turnovers were costly. The Jets' Bart Scott had a 38-yard fumble return to set up the go-ahead touchdown after Muhammad Wilkerson stripped Sam Bradford. Rookie Daryl Richardson's lost fumble led to another touchdown that put New York up 27-7 midway through the fourth quarter. "You win games when you turn it over," Fisher said. "They strip-sack and they pick it up and run it 50 yards. We strip-sack and it falls on Sanchez's lap." It's not all just about the bounces, because sometimes there aren't any. In Weeks 7 and 8, the Packers and Patriots had no fumbles. "Part of it's luck and part of it's creating your own luck and part of it's what we emphasize, and we've been emphasizing it a lot," defensive end Chris Long said. What doesn't need to get emphasized, Long adds, is the streak itself. "We can't get caught up in thinking, Oh, this has been the longest streak or Man, it's been this many weeks," Long said. "Our opportunity is Sunday to get the ball out, so these past weeks are non-existent." There's enough pressure Sunday, given the Cardinals forced six turnovers last week in a 4-point loss at Atlanta. Middle linebacker James Laurinaitis is still disappointed that in the first meeting against Arizona, Kevin Kolb threw 50 passes with no interceptions. On Sunday, they'll be trying to take it away from a team led by a rookie making his starting debut, Ryan Lindley. "Turnovers really come into play, and we know firsthand that their defense is a ball-hawking defense," Laurinaitis said. Though they're 0-4-1 during the turnover blackout, it could have been worse. They had just one turnover in a tie at San Francisco, one again while pressing the Packers in a 10-point loss and one in a 3-point loss at Miami that boiled down to special teams meltdowns. "It's not like we're turning the ball over five or six times a game," Fisher said. "We're just not getting the takeaways to get the extra drives."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Rockets have 'serious chance' at landing Chris Paul

MotoGP qualifying for the Dutch Grand Prix saw three frightening crashes Saturday

Report: Knicks attempted to move Joakim Noah with Kristaps Porzingis

Hornets GM mistakenly introduces Dwayne Bacon as Dwyane Wade

Three A's players knock first MLB homers in the same game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Cuban-American businessman emerges as potential Marlins buyer

Charles Oakley: Kristaps Porzingis was ‘wrong’ to skip exit meeting

Ranking the toughest divisions in the NFL

Sixers already looking to extend Joel Embiid

WATCH: Klay Thompson fails miserably attempting a 360 dunk

Jays closer Roberto Osuna says he’s dealing with anxiety

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

Box Score 6/23: Philly continues to trust the process

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Gary Payton Award for best trash talk of the year

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker