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Rams quarterback confident in offense
By R.B. FALLSTROM, AP Sports Writer
November 2, 2006
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Marc Bulger is doing his job. It's breakdowns elsewhere that have been costing the St. Louis Rams.
After consecutive losses, the quarterback's confidence has only grown. He produced 24 points last week against the stingy Chargers, has thrown 248 passes with only one interception, and ranks second in the NFL with a 101.3 passer rating.
"It's good anytime you face a top five defense and you can say you moved the ball," Bulger said Wednesday. "I know from my standpoint and I think I can speak for most of the guys, it doesn't matter who we're playing. We're confident we can score on anyone."
Bulger's efforts have been negated by a defense that has surrendered 68 points the last two games, and by key mistakes on offense. The Chargers and Seahawks totaled nine sacks.
Last week, Stephen Davis' fumble was returned 79 yards for a touchdown to give the Chargers a 21-7 lead in the first half, and three sacks shortcircuited other drives. That was enough to leave Bulger, who was 27-for-40 for 327 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions, playing catchup most of the day and ultimately in the loser's locker room after a 38-24 loss.
Bulger knows that's the bottom line.
"I feel good throwing it, although obviously there's still a way to go for the offense," Bulger said. "The record is all that matters."
Coach Scott Linehan said Bulger has done all that the Rams have asked of him. Giving credit to previous coach Mike Martz, he said it's clear that the quarterback has been trained well.
"There are some growing pains, and there are still are," Linehan said. "You can tell he's much more decisive about where to go, or this is what coach wants, this is what the play is designed for.
"He's doing a good job of being consistent and patient and doing what we ask."
The Rams (4-3) remained in a tie for first place in the NFC West because the Seahawks also lost last week. That, also, is Bulger's bottom line.
"We're not happy with the way we've played the last two weeks, but we're still there," Bulger said. "It's a matter of trying to win the division first and once you do that anything can happen.
"The Steelers proved that last year and we're going to try to do more than just win the division, but that's got to be our focus: just getting in."
Following that theme, he attached no special significance to this week's game against the intrastate rival Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs beat them 16-12 in the preseason in the annual "Governor's Cup" game.
"I know it's a big rivalry here, but it's just another game to us honestly," Bulger said. "They've had our number in the preseason and they always play well against us, so it's going to be nice to have them at home."