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Rams run over Raiders to shutout win in Oakland
By Josh Dubow
AP SPORTS WRITER
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- The St. Louis Rams' much-maligned defense finally found an offense it could dominate.
The Rams took advantage of five Oakland turnovers, including two that set up touchdown runs by Steven Jackson, in St. Louis' 20-0 victory over the Raiders on Sunday.
Jackson finished with 127 yards on 31 carries, scoring on runs of 4 yards after Chris Carr fumbled a punt and 19 yards after Andrew Walter threw the first of two interceptions.
In a season full of historic lows, the Raiders (2-12) reached another in losing their seventh straight game. They also equaled their most losses in a season since Al Davis joined the franchise in 1963. And it was their third shutout loss of the year, including two at home. The Raiders had been shutout at home only once in their history before this season.
The Rams weren't much better on offense but didn't turn the ball over and relied on the defense to get the win. St. Louis entered the contest allowing more than 25 points per game but ended up with its first shutout since 2003.
Carr mishandled a punt early in the third quarter after calling for a fair catch and Chris Massey recovered at the 24. Four plays later, Jackson scored his first touchdown to make it 13-0.
Oakland got its own break on special teams when Isaiah Kacyvenski was called for illegal formation on a punt that Carr fair caught at the 6. On the re-kick, Jarrod Cooper broke through the middle of the line and Matt Turk dropped the ball without kicking it. Turk picked it up and was tackled at the St. Louis 36.
Oakland drove down to the 13 before Zack Crockett fumbled and Tye Hill recovered for St. Louis.
The Raiders got into scoring range on their next drive before Courtney Anderson was called for taunting after catching a pass at the St. Louis 24. Oakland turned it over on downs when Aaron Brooks missed an open Ronald Curry on a fourth-down pass.
That led to a quarterback change, but Walter was even worse than Brooks. Walter's first drive featured three false starts, a sack and an interception by Ron Bartell. Jackson then ran it in from the 19 on the next play to make it 20-0.
Walter threw another interception on his next drive, the fifth turnover of the game for Oakland.
Marc Bulger was just 11-for-22 for 137 yards for St. Louis. Torry Holt caught four passes for 59 yards, topping the 1,000-yard mark for the seventh straight season.
St. Louis put together a pair of long drives but settled for field goals by Jeff Wilkins as cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha twice broke up passes in the end zone to Holt.
The Rams' first drive went 17 plays for 85 yards, aided by a pair of pass interference calls against Asomugha and Fabian Washington that set up Wilkins' 24-yard field goal. Later, Isaac Bruce beat Washington on a 41-yard pass for the big gain in a 13-play drive that ended in Wilkins' 34-yard field goal.
For the third straight week, Oakland turned the ball over on its opening drive when Brooks was hit as he threw a deep pass that was intercepted by Fakhir Brown.