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  • Backups lead Rams over SF

    By R.B. Fallstrom
    Associated Press
    Marshall Faulk's understudy looks like he's ready now.

    Steven Jackson ran for 119 yards on 26 carries, his first career 100-yard game, to help the St. Louis Rams compensate for Marc Bulger's shoulder injury in a 16-6 victory over the San Francisco ***** on Sunday. Jackson was the first running back taken in this year's draft and he took advantage of Faulk's bruised left knee to get his first full game.

    Bulger had taken every snap this season before leaving with a sprained right shoulder after a sack by Bryant Young late in the first quarter. His replacement, 38-year-old Chris Chandler, threw his first touchdown pass in more than a year, but also threw an interception into double coverage and lost a fumble.

    Chandler, the first quarterback other than Bulger to direct a St. Louis victory since the end of the 2001 season, was 18-for-27 for 216 yards and hit Torry Holt for a 22-yard score in the second quarter for the Rams' lone touchdown. He last threw a touchdown pass on Nov. 16, 2003 for the Bears -- against St. Louis.

    The Rams (6-6) added three field goals from Jeff Wilkins, two from 52 yards. The St. Louis defense sealed it against one of the worst teams in the NFL by holding the ***** (1-11) to 63 yards rushing on 27 carries.

    St. Louis had lost four of five and defense had been the main culprit, allowing 703 yards rushing to the last four opponents.

    Jerametrius Butler's interception at the 7 with 12:35 left and the Rams leading by a touchdown was St. Louis' biggest play, though. Butler stepped in front of Brandon Lloyd on a slant pattern for his fourth interception, and only the Rams' 11th takeaway of the season.

    Last year, St. Louis had 46 takeaways.

    Bulger entered the game with an NFL-leading 3,267 yards passing, 71 more than Peyton Manning. He was 3-for-4 for 22 yards before leaving with 1:40 left in the first quarter.

    Making matters worse, the player that Young beat, offensive tackle Grant Williams, also fell on top of Bulger. Williams, who has struggled for several weeks, was benched in the third quarter.

    Faulk had 123 yards rushing in the Rams' 24-14 victory at San Francisco on Oct. 10 and was active for the rematch, but he wasn't needed. The 231-pound Jackson carried eight times for 37 yards on St. Louis' opening drive that set up a 29-yard field goal by Wilkins.

    Jackson has started two other games in two-back sets, but Faulk had gotten the vast majority of the playing time. Jackson's previous bests were 64 yards rushing at Seattle on Oct. 10 and 13 carries against the Bucs on Oct. 18.

    Torry Holt had 10 catches for 160 yards to help the Rams go to 5-0 against the weak NFC West. The Rams are the fifth NFL franchise to win 500 games.

    Tim Rattay was 10-for-21 for 121 yards for the *****, who have lost seven in a row

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  • Nick
    Rams pull even in San Fran.
    by Nick
    Rams pull even in San Fran.
    By Greg Beacham
    Associated Press
    Sunday, Oct. 03 2004

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- There was nothing wrong with the St. Louis Rams' offense
    that a trip to San Francisco couldn't fix.

    Marc Bulger passed for 186 yards, Marshall Faulk rushed for 121 more and St.
    Louis sent the woeful ***** to their first 0-4 start in 25 years with a 24-14
    victory on Sunday night.

    Isaac Bruce had seven catches for 100 yards as the Rams (2-2) got their
    ninth victory in 11 games against their longtime rivals. This one was out of
    reach early: St. Louis built a 24-0 halftime lead, and the sellout crowd booed
    San Francisco off the field while heading for the exits.

    Shaun McDonald caught a touchdown pass and Joey Goodspeed and Steven Jackson
    had 2-yard scoring runs for the Rams, who met little resistance while scoring
    on all four of their first-half drives.

    The Rams rushed for just 108 yards in their previous two games, both losses
    to teams that missed last season's playoffs. Coach Mike Martz was criticized
    for failing to maintain a balance in his pass-heavy schemes.

    But during four sophisticated drives consuming more than 20 minutes, Martz
    called 19 running plays and 18 passes in the first half. Running the ball was
    easy and fun for Faulk, who had his fifth 100-yard rushing game against the
    ***** -- but so was passing, catching, blocking and tackling.

    Tim Rattay, who missed the *****' previous two games with a separated
    shoulder, was 31-of-47 for 299 yards and two touchdowns, while tight end Eric
    Johnson had career highs of 10 catches for 113 yards.

    But despite three lengthy fourth-quarter drives, the ***** are winless after
    four games for the first time since 1979, the year Bill Walsh took over the
    franchise and led its transformation into a five-time Super Bowl champion.

    Last week, the ***** were shut out for the first time since 1977 in a 34-0
    loss to Seattle. After three more scoreless quarters against the Rams, they
    avoided another goose egg on Curtis Conway's 9-yard TD catch with 13:33 to play.

    Rattay, who passed for 134 yards in the fourth period, added an 18-yard TD
    pass to rookie Rashaun Woods with 16 seconds left.

    The ***** were an NFL-worst minus-7 in turnover differential entering the
    game, and they quickly padded their lead with a fumble and an interception in
    the first 16 minutes.

    After St. Louis went 80 yards on its opening drive, Rattay lost the ball on
    a hit by Tommy Polley late in the first quarter. Leonard Little recovered at
    the San Francisco 11, setting up McDonald's short TD catch.

    Jerametrius Butler picked off Rattay's pass down...
    -10-03-2004, 10:38 PM
  • RamWraith
    Rams regain their balance
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch

    SAN FRANCISCO - Coaches will try just about anything to motivate their teams. And in the days leading up to Sunday night's contest with San Francisco, Mike Martz told his squad he didn't think the ***** were very good.

    "Yeah, and he was (saying things) like - 'And it's San Francisco, and it's personal,'" defensive tackle Damione Lewis said.

    The Rams players apparently took the coach at his word. Offensively, they pounded the ***** on the ground, and in the air. Defensively, they harassed ***** quarterback Tim Rattay and kept running back Kevan Barlow bottled up most of the evening. The result was a much-needed 24-14 victory over rival San Francisco that evened the Rams' record at 2-2.

    "This win is very important to us," Martz said. "It's a good feeling, because we came out here the last two years and were embarrassed."

    The Rams lost 30-10 here a year ago and 37-13 here in 2002. But they dominated the ***** in the opening half, and really didn't let them back in the game in the second half - despite a couple of fourth-quarter touchdowns.

    Eschewing the traditional pregame player introductions, the Rams came out on the field en masse, headed directly to midfield, and proceeded to stomp on the *****' helmet painted on the turf at Monster Park. It proved to be symbolic of what was to come.

    By halftime, St. Louis had a 24-0 lead, had outgained the ***** 251 yards to 82, and had given NFC West-leading Seattle - next week's opponent - something to think about. Rediscovering the running game, the Rams had a 2-to-1 advantage in time of possession in the first half.

    After seeing their NFL-record 420-game scoring streak end last week in a shutout loss to Seattle, the ***** didn't get on the scoreboard Sunday until early in the fourth quarter, with a touchdown before a missed 2-point conversion. But it was too little, way too late.

    Isaac Bruce enjoyed his fourth consecutive 100-yard receiving game. Marshall Faulk enjoyed his second 100-yard rushing day of the season. The Rams are 26-0 when Faulk rushes for at least 100 yards.

    Fast and furious became methodical and productive on the Rams' opening drive. After running the ball only 15 times in each of the two previous games, Martz called nine running plays on the series, with Faulk handling the first eight carries for 34 yards.

    But the ninth carry went to - surprise! - fullback Joey Goodspeed. In his third season, Goodspeed made his first NFL carry a memorable one. On fourth and 1 from the San Francisco 2, he plowed up the middle for a touchdown.

    The surprises continued on the next play from scrimmage. The Rams sent linebacker Tommy Polley on a blitz and he hit ***** quarterback Tim Rattay from behind just as Rattay was about to throw downfield....
    -10-04-2004, 08:53 AM
  • RamWraith
    Rams' late stand holds off *****
    by RamWraith
    By Greg Beacham

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Though the St. Louis Rams still have problems, they're nothing compared to the San Francisco *****' historic woes.

    Marc Bulger shook off another beating to pass for 155 yards and an early touchdown to Torry Holt, and the St. Louis defense was solid until the final seconds Sunday in a 13-9 victory over the *****, who lost their eighth straight.

    Bulger was sacked six times by the *****, who also sacked him six times in the clubs' first meeting. The Rams (2-8) couldn't score a touchdown after their opening drive and managed just 38 yards of offense in the second half, but the defense had little trouble with San Francisco's league-worst offense until two desperate fourth-quarter drives.

    After floundering all afternoon, the ***** (2-8) drove 68 yards in the final 1:28 to the St. Louis 21. But with 3 seconds to play, Trent Dilfer's final pass was intercepted at the goal line by Oshiomogho Atogwe.

    After the longest winless start in the franchise's 70-year history, the Rams have won both outings with Steven Jackson back in good health. The star running back had 92 persistent yards in his second full game after missing four weeks with a torn groin muscle and most of another game with a bulging disk in his back.

    Dilfer passed for 231 yards -- 141 in the fourth quarter -- while filling in for Alex Smith as the ***** slid into their longest losing streak since 1999. San Francisco hasn't won since its trip to St. Louis in mid-September, and hasn't scored a touchdown since the opening drive of its loss in Atlanta two weeks ago.

    San Francisco had a chance to tie it late, but tight end Vernon Davis and Darrell Jackson dropped tough potential touchdown catches on consecutive plays leading up to the 2-minute warning. Coach Mike Nolan settled for Joe Nedney's third field goal.

    Dilfer was 20-of-42 with an interception in his latest chance to fill in for Alex Smith, who sat out with a sore throwing arm that caused plenty of drama in San Francisco over the past week. Smith wore his helmet while watching on the sideline, but didn't play.

    After performing poorly in the *****' last three losses, Smith complained his arm wasn't as healthy as he or Nolan claimed, exposing a lack of communication between the coaching staff and its franchise quarterback.

    Until the final minutes, Dilfer couldn't spark an offense that managed 96 yards in the first three quarters before finishing with 244. The Rams' defense had its way with the San Francisco offensive line, repeatedly stopping Pro Bowl running back Frank Gore at the scrimmage line.

    Holt's 3-yard TD catch capped a 79-yard march on St. Louis' opening drive. Both defenses stiffened after that, particularly after halftime. Both teams combined for 29 net yards and one first down in the...
    -11-18-2007, 08:09 PM
  • RamDez
    Niners stun the Rams
    by RamDez
    By Greg Beacham
    Associated Press
    Sunday, Sep. 11 2005

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Coach Mike Nolan promised a new look and a better
    attitude in San Francisco. His ***** came through in his debut Sunday, when the
    NFL's worst team in 2004 looked nothing like its sad old self.

    Brandon Lloyd and Arnaz Battle caught second-quarter touchdown passes from
    Tim Rattay, and Michael Adams intercepted Marc Bulger's pass in San Francisco
    territory with 52 seconds left as the ***** hung on, 28-25 over their oldest
    rivals, the St. Louis Rams.

    Rookie Otis Amey returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown the first time he
    touched the ball for the *****, who erupted for 21 points in the second quarter
    -- more than last season's 2-14 team scored in any quarter of its wretched

    The *****' defense was on the field for nearly 40 minutes, but San Francisco
    held on for its first regular-season victory in regulation since Dec. 7, 2003.
    Both of the Niners' wins last season came in overtime against Arizona.

    Rattay, who beat out top draft pick Alex Smith to retain his starting job,
    went 11-of-16 for 165 yards, but his offense was shut out in the final 25
    minutes. The ***** hung on with just enough defense -- Nolan's specialty in a
    long career as an assistant coach.

    Brandon Manumaleuna caught a 6-yard TD pass from Bulger with 2:13 to play,
    and San Francisco ran just 53 seconds off the clock on its next drive. But
    Bulger threw a pass behind Isaac Bruce across the middle and Adams, the nickel
    back abused by the Rams all day, swiped the deflection out of Bruce's hands.

    Torry Holt caught 10 passes for 125 yards for the Rams, but San Francisco's
    defense sacked Bulger seven times and limited Steven Jackson to 20 yards
    rushing after the first quarter.

    With the Rams trailing throughout the second half, Bulger went 34-of-56 for
    362 yards. Marshall Faulk, the key to so many St. Louis victories in San
    Francisco over the years, was barely a factor as Jackson's backup.

    St. Louis' deliberate offense and an early fumble by Rattay limited the
    ***** to five offensive plays in the first quarter. But when Rattay hit Lloyd
    for a 35-yard TD midway through the second, the receiver jumped up and started
    rapping, using the ball as his microphone.

    Showtime was just starting in San Francisco.

    Amey, a Bay Area native and an undrafted free agent from Division I-AA
    Sacramento State, made a beautiful punt return for a score, swerving through
    the heart of St. Louis' coverage team before coasting to the finish.

    With Candlestick Park rocking for just the second time since late 2003,
    Terry Jackson recovered an onside kick for the *****. That drive stalled, but ...
    -09-11-2005, 07:49 PM
  • RamWraith
    Season in Review Part One
    by RamWraith
    Monday, February 7, 2005

    By Nick Wagoner
    Staff Writer

    It was supposed to be a celebration of 10 successful seasons in St. Louis. Ideally, the Rams would have celebrated the milestone with a dominating, long playoff run that would result in a Super Bowl championship.

    Sometimes, though, the final cut doesnít match the Script. That isnít to say that St. Louisí season was a failure. In fact, the Rams season canít really be summed up in just a few words.

    It was a year of highs and lows, highs and lows that seemed to turn on a dime. By the end of the season, the only predictable thing about this team was how unpredictable it was.

    It was only fitting, then, that St. Louis finished 8-8, the perfect balance of ups and downs. Even in the playoffs, the Rams managed a .500 record, beating Seattle and losing to Atlanta. Throughout this week, we will take a look at the Ramsí 2004 season in five parts.

    No NFL season actually begins when the games start anymore. In reality, the action starts when the teams hit training camp. The Rams trip to Macomb for this seasonís training camp was so eventful that it had many an effect on the way the regular season turned out.

    First, right tackle Kyle Turley aggravated a back injury and was declared out for the season. Center Dave Wohlabaugh was forced to retire because of a hip injury and defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy broke his foot.

    When the preseason games actually began, matters only got worse. Cornerback Travis Fisher suffered a broken arm and left tackle Orlando Pace still had not reported. The Rams finished the preseason at 1-3 and escaped without any more injuries.

    Adding to the injury difficulties, which would prove to be a recurring problem, was the difficult adjustment the defense was making to new coordinator Larry Marmieís defense.

    With an offensive line that had been patched together and Pace reporting just before the first game against Arizona, the Rams opened their 10th season in St. Louis at home.

    Expectations were still at a high coming off a 12-4 season in 2003 in which the Rams won the NFC West Division title.

    St. Louis started the first meeting with the kind of offensive performance the fans had gotten used to. Although the offense seemingly moved the ball at will against the Cardinals, the Rams could not do what offenses of years past had been so adept at: putting the ball in the end zone.

    St. Louis moved the ball well, but found itself settling for field goals and turning the ball over in key situations. The Rams found themselves down by a point heading into the fourth quarter. An 8-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Marc Bulger to receiver Isaac Bruce gave the Rams a rather lackluster 17-10 win in a game that could have gone either way.

    There were some encouraging things that came from...
    -02-08-2005, 06:52 AM