Rams once again fail to sustain drives in loss to Bears

Bears coordinator Adam Gase's game plan kept the Rams defense off balance, helping lead to a time of possession advantage for Chicago of 34:22 to 25:38. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Looking back at three things to watch in the St. Louis Rams' 37-13 loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday:

1. Possession priority: The Bears' formula when they've had success this season has been pretty simple: control the ball and the clock and keep the defense on the sideline. Entering Sunday's game, Chicago was fourth in the NFL in time of possession. Offensive coordinator Adam Gase has installed a system that allows quarterback Jay Cutler to take care of the ball, make plays when the opportunity arises and keep the Bears offense on the field.

The Rams, meanwhile, entered Sunday's game near the bottom of the league in time of possession and first downs. It figured to be a dangerous mix if the Rams couldn't find ways to stay on the field offensively.

As it turned out, that's exactly what happened. Gase called a nearly perfect game and had the Rams defense completely off balance with a mix of quick passes and power runs. When it was all said and done, the Bears had the ball for 34:22 to the Rams' 25:38. Chicago also had 17 first downs to the Rams' 12. While the Bears also hit a couple of big plays, consider those just a bonus to a game plan that was perfectly executed. Given the time of possession disparity, the result of the game should be no surprise.

2. Whither Welker: As expected, Welker was active and involved on third downs less than a week after signing with the Rams. Quarterback Nick Foles targeted Welker quickly though he overthrew him on his first target. All told, Welker played just 11 snaps, most of those coming on third down and was targeted six times. He finished with three catches for 32 yards with a long gain of 14 yards.

Moving forward, Welker figures to be more involved in the offense as he takes on more of the playbook.

3. Holding their water: In the previous three weeks before Sunday's game, the Rams were flagged for offside penalties a whopping 12 times, including five against Cleveland three weeks ago and five more last week against Minnesota. Those flags have given opponents first downs, made getting another first down more manageable and many times altered field position in a significant way.

It was a point of emphasis during the week for those numbers to decrease and it was one of the rare times the Rams actually followed through on it. They picked up just one penalty for jumping offside and it didn't happen when the Rams were on defense. Safety Rodney McLeod jumped on an extra point attempt but otherwise the Rams were able to get the issue corrected for at least one week. It was actually one of the few things the Rams did well in an embarrassing loss.