Martz grateful Rams overcame mistakes

Tuesday, September 25, 2001

ST. LOUIS -- Despite costly turnovers and a high penalty count, the St. Louis Rams are 2-0.

"We made a lot of mistakes early," coach Mike Martz said Monday, a day after the Rams' 30-26 victory at San Francisco. "Fortunately, we were able to climb out of that hole.

"The second half, I thought went very well and we took the game over."

After trailing 16-12 at halftime, the Rams led 30-16 in the fourth quarter. Then, after the 49ers closed to four points, the Rams closed it out by killing the final 6:35 on the clock.

"What can you do?" Martz said. "You've got to fight through those things, and we did.

"It's hard to overcome those second-and-20s, second-and-25s, but we were able to do it fairly well."

The Rams made it hard for themselves with eight penalties for 92 yards, none of which Martz was disputing. He believed some of the problem was overly aggressive play against perhaps his team's biggest rival.

"I think that we're going fast and we're playing hard," Martz said. "We just have to play a lot smarter and the rest will take care of itself."

Wide receiver Torry Holt was whistled for three penalties, a very high total for that position. Again, no arguments from Martz.

"They were pretty legitimate, looking at the tape," Martz said. "I wish I could tell you I don't agree with the officials."

Kurt Warner also had a shaky start with an interception and a fumble. He was 14-for-18 for 224 yards and two touchdowns after the break, directing a largely unstoppable attack.

"I think that's what we are," Martz said. "Like I told our guys at halftime, we've been here so many times.

"You've just got to regroup and they did a great job of it. Kurt was outstanding."

The Rams will now prepare for Sunday's home opener against the Miami Dolphins.

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