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Rapid Reaction: St. Louis Rams

SAN DIEGO -- A few thoughts on the St. Louis Rams' 27-24 loss to the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium.

What it means: The Rams can’t consistently string together victories or even good performances. After a surprising win against Denver last week, the Rams again raised hopes they could become a factor and again failed to win consecutive games. They have yet to win two in a row this season. This time, the Rams failed to generate consistent offense and the defense struggled to stop basic screens and draws. St. Louis is now 4-7 on the season and even the most pie-in-the-sky optimist would be forced to admit that the postseason is out of reach for the 10th straight year.

Stock watch: Down -- quarterback Shaun Hill -- Hill was solid last week against the Broncos, not making any key mistakes. That wasn’t the case Sunday. He threw two picks, including a backbreaker at San Diego’s goal line on the final drive to kill the Rams’ comeback attempt. Hill also coughed up a fumble that led to a San Diego return for a touchdown. Simply put, this team can’t overcome big mistakes by its quarterback.

Missed chances: The Rams had a few golden opportunities to jump to a sizable lead in the first half but lost those chances with either penalties or some other mental miscue. The worst was a 49-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Britt that was wiped out by a hands to the face call against Greg Robinson (the call was actually against Joe Barksdale but was announced as Robinson). That would have made it 17-7 Rams. That came after the Rams failed to block for a 46-yard field goal attempt by Greg Zuerlein. San Diego safety Darrell Stuckey got credit for the blocked kick, keeping it a one-possession game. That missed chance was the difference in the game.

Game ball: Cornerback Janoris Jenkins -- Few players in the league can giveth and taketh away with Jenkins' consistency. For most of this season, he's done more of the former than the latter, but without him Sunday, the Rams would have been left in the dust. His 99-yard interception return for a touchdown staked the Rams to an early lead. Later, he chased down San Diego receiver Keenan Allen after allowing a big gain to force a fumble the Rams recovered, preventing the Chargers from extending their lead in the third quarter.

What's next: With their brutal eight-game stretch against 2013 playoff teams (plus Arizona) now finished, the Rams return home to take on the well-rested Oakland Raiders, who are coming off their first win of the season.