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Thread: Rams report
It is a place the Rams haven't been for a while, but their 19-6 victory over the Arizona Cardinals Sunday left them with a 6-6 record entering the final four games of the season and still tied for first place in the NFC West with the Seattle Seahawks.
Most important, the win was their second straight on the road after seeing their record drop to 4-6, it snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Cardinals and also stopped a 13-game losing streak in December or January games.
The Rams have now been at .500 after each four-game portion of the schedule (2-2, 4-4 and 6-6), which is significant in a division that could be won with an 8-8 record.
Equally significant is that the Rams won the second half of Sunday's game, something they had struggled with in recent weeks, giving up fourth-quarter leads in losses to Tampa Bay and San Francisco, and holding on for a 36-33 win over Denver the week before after leading 33-13 after three quarters.
At halftime Sunday, the Rams were leading 9-6, but had been outgained 177-134. In the second half, the Rams scored 10 points and blanked the Cardinals while totaling 154 yards to Arizona's 47.
In addition, the Rams were able to run off the final 5:17 of the game on a drive that went from their own 20-yard line and ended at the Arizona 14 as time ran out. The drive included a first-down completion to tight end Bill Bajema for 13 yards, a Steven Jackson nine-yard run on second-and-7 and a 26-yard pass to Bajema on third-and-3.
Said quarterback Sam Bradford, "That drive at the end, I think was a big step for this offense. It's something that we've struggled with in the fourth quarter. I think it was over five minutes, and we ended the game with the ball in our possession, which was big."
Added coach Steve Spagnuolo, "I think it was a total team win and it was good to see both sides of the ball and the special teams come out pretty good in the second half."
Asked about being tied for the division lead, Bradford said, "That's huge. That's what you play for. You play to make the playoffs. To be 6-6 and still be in the hunt, we really can't ask for much more. We've just got to continue to get better and win each week."
Concluded defensive end James Hall, "I think we are starting to understand the sense of urgency that the month of December has. Every game is going to be a big game, and every game is going to be a hard fought game."
BY THE NUMBERS: In the last two wins, both on the road, the Rams have minimized mistakes and been stout defensively on third down. They have had four takeaways and only one turnover, committed just six penalties for 45 yards and allowed Denver and Arizona to convert only 2 of 20 third-down plays.
LINEUP WATCH: The musical chairs at weak-side linebacker continued Sunday with David Vobora becoming the fourth player to start at the position in the last five games. Larry Grant started the first seven games of the season there, followed by Bryan Kehl, Chris Chamberlain for two games, Grant again and Vobora. Kehl was a healthy inactive against Arizona.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
—WR Mardy Gilyard, who has just six receptions for 63 yards this season, was a healthy inactive for Sunday's game against Arizona.
—CB Jerome Murphy, who suffered a hamstring injury in practice Thursday, was inactive for Sunday's game against the Cardinals.
—FB Mike Karney, who had been having a limited role in the offense, was inactive Sunday against Arizona, the second consecutive game he hasn't dressed to play.
—CB Ron Bartell left the game against Arizona in the second quarter with a stinger in his left shoulder, an injury that had bothered him in previous weeks.
—RT Jason Smith suffered an ankle injury in the third quarter Sunday when he tripped over guard Adam Goldberg, but was back in after missing only a few plays.
—TE Billy Bajema suffered a knee injury in the third quarter, but "showed some tremendous guts," according to coach Steve Spagnuolo when he came back and played. Bajema had two receptions for 39 yards on the Rams' final drive that ran out the clock.
—LB Chris Chamberlain suffered a hand injury Sunday, and coach Steve Spagnuolo said he's a "little bit concerned." Chamberlain came back in the game, and contributed four tackles on special teams, according to the press box statistics.
—LB Na'il Diggs suffered a shoulder injury in the fourth quarter Sunday. Coach Steve Spagnuolo said, "This one might be a little while. They'll let me know tomorrow (Monday).":ramlogo:
Re: Rams report
"—WR Mardy Gilyard, who has just six receptions for 63 yards this season, was a healthy inactive for Sunday's game against Arizona."
He has been a disapoitment me may off next year roster.:ramlogo:
-12-06-2010 #3thickandthin Guest
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