By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Monday, Dec. 17 2007

Quarterbacks rarely ask to get knocked down. But the Rams' Marc Bulger, who had
missed two games after suffering a concussion, was eager to find out how he
would withstand the contact.

"I was hoping to get the first hit out of the way," he said. He didn't have to
wait long: On the second play of the Rams' first series Sunday, Green Bay
linebacker Nick Barnett burst through for a sack.

"I felt fine," Bulger reported.

Even after a solid blow to the head later, Bulger was unfazed.

"I'm not sure if it was a knee or a fist or what got me," he said. "I was
worried for a second or two, but it went away. So, I'm back to 100 percent."

Although Bulger had only a so-so outing in the 33-14 loss to the Packers at the
green-and-gold-tinged Edward Jones Dome, he held up physically. And that ranked
as a victory for the injury-riddled Rams.

"It's always good to have Marc back," left guard Milford Brown said. "He came
out and did what he does best: control the offense and throw touchdowns."

Bulger threw for one score, a 4-yard toss to wide receiver Torry Holt that made
it 7-7 late in the first quarter. "I think Marc did a good job," running back
Brian Leonard said. "His head was good."

Green Bay led just 17-14 at the half, but as has been the case all season, the
Rams wilted in the final 30 minutes.

"It was a tale of two halves again," right guard Todd Steussie said. "When the
game was tight and we were able to stay two-dimensional, things were a lot
better than at the end, when they were able to tee off."

Three of the Packers' four sacks came in the last quarter and a half, as the
Rams tried to play catch-up through the air. Running back Steven Jackson
pounded out a season-high 143 yards on 24 carries ó all in the first three
periods.

"They were overly aggressive in the first half, and in the second half they
kind of backed off and played traditional football," Jackson said. "But they
still didn't stop us in the running game. They got ahead, and when you've got
to fight from behind, that means more passing."

Bulger wound up completing 20 of 39 passes for 219 yards, with the TD to Holt
and two interceptions ó both the result of receivers letting catchable balls
slip through their hands.

"We hung in there in the first half," Bulger said. The Packers "can throw the
ball, they can run the ball, they have a good defense. So, it was going to be
tough once we got behind in the second half, and we couldn't get anything
going."

Bulger was injured in the first quarter Nov. 25 against Seattle. Gus Frerotte
finished that game and started the next week, when he threw for 311 yards in a
28-16 victory over San Francisco. But he suffered a partially torn labrum in
his right (throwing) shoulder and was available only for emergency duty last
week at Cincinnati.

When Bulger's symptoms recurred after two days of practice, he was scratched
and Brock Berlin, who never had taken a snap in a regular-season game, started
in the 19-10 loss to the Bengals.

A week's worth of incident-free practices helped move Bulger back into the
lineup; still, he said that some doubt lingered before kickoff.

"You don't want to second-guess yourself or maybe find out you made the wrong
decision," Bulger said. "The head issue, I can put that to bed now. And that's
nice. ...

"I'm pleased. I wish I would've played better, I wish the outcome was better.
But health-wise, I came out pretty good."