Rams end eight-game slide against Cardinals
Monday, December 6, 2010
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — A great performance wasn’t needed for the St. Louis Rams to end their eight-game losing streak to Arizona.
Whether that’s a reflection of how much the Rams have grown or how low the Cardinals have sunk is an open question.
Steven Jackson rushed for 102 yards, including 27 on the game’s lone TD, and St. Louis sent Arizona to its seventh loss in a row with a 19-6 victory Sunday.
The Rams improved to 6-6 after going 1-15 a year ago, won consecutive road games for the first time since Nov. 18, 2007, and remained in a first-place tie with Seattle in the weak NFC West. Their six wins equals their total combined for the previous three seasons.
Even though this Arizona team is a far cry from the ones that won the division the past two seasons, the Rams saw the victory as a milestone.
“We really want to make this thing go and turn this thing around,” Jackson said. “It has to go through Arizona. They were the division winners last year. I have a lot of respect for this team and to come out with this win was very meaningful for us. It has been a long time.”
Josh Brown tied his career best with four field goals and the game ended with the Rams within range for another one.
“I love it, I really do,” Brown said. “It’s obviously a big change, from the last two years, being on the field a number of times. I was kind of begging for that fifth one, quite honestly. The coaches didn’t want to do that.”
Rookie quarterback John Skelton made his NFL debut for Arizona (3-9) in the fourth quarter after Derek Anderson was benched and backup Max Hall went out with a dislocated left shoulder.
“I really wasn’t too nervous,” Skelton said. “I guess I was about as nervous as a third-string quarterback going into his first action.”
Arizona wasted a defensive effort that was a vast improvement from its showing in Monday night’s 27-6 loss to San Francisco.
“But we were still short,” defensive tackle Darnell Dockett said. “In the end, we didn’t play good enough.”
St. Louis scored 19 consecutive points after Jay Feely’s first-quarter field goals of 45 and 41 yards put Arizona up 6-0. Up 9-6 at the half, the Rams outscored Arizona 10-0 in the second half, holding the Cardinals to 47 yards.
“We had not played very well and yet we were up by three points,” St. Louis coach Steve Spagnuolo said. “We kind of rallied around that in the second half, knowing that we had to play better, and we did that.”
Rams QB Sam Bradford passed for 187 yards and threw just his second interception in the last seven games.
Arizona’s Tim Hightower gained 81 yards in 15 carries, but had just 14 yards in six attempts in the second half. Anderson completed seven of 20 passes for 93 yards with one interception.
Brown’s field goals of 28 and 52 yards tied it at 6, and the Cardinals had third-and-10 at the St. Louis 31 when Anderson’s pass over the middle went right into the arms of safety Craig Dahl. He returned it 23 yards to the Rams 33. St. Louis drove to the Arizona 2, but the Cardinals, whose red-zone defense has been one of the few bright spots for the team, held the Rams out.
Brown’s 20-yard field goal with 4 seconds left put the Rams up 9-6 at the half.
St. Louis went 85 yards in 10 plays in the third quarter for the game’s lone TD. The Rams went without a huddle and Jackson broke free down the sidelines for the 27-yard score that made it 16-6.
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