Most Mondays have been tough for the Rams, who are 1-7 at the midpoint of the season, but usually because they've been trying to move past a blowout. The latest defeat had to be a lot more difficult to swallow because it came down to an attempt to pin the Cardinals deep that went spectacularly awry when Peterson evaded four tackles on his 99-yard touchdown return in overtime.
Spagnuolo was convinced Peterson wouldn't field the ball in overtime, and even if he did, the coach expected to get a stop that would result in an Arizona punt and a short field for St. Louis.
"It's still amazing that somebody fields that punt," Spagnuolo said Monday. "He's got a lot of confidence in himself. The flip side is if he fields that thing and we tackle him at the 3, in an overtime game when all you need is a field goal to win, and certainly that's what we were hoping for."
The failure of a Rams punt-coverage unit that entered the game fourth in the NFL and exited at 21st was the last of several late missteps -- being stuffed on a fourth-and-1 running play, having a game-winning field-goal attempt blocked -- by a team that couldn't build on its upset of the New Orleans Saints the previous week.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press