Rams look for elusive road victory
Saturday, November 13, 2010
The St. Louis Rams have made great strides this year, entering the second half of the season at 4-4. They’ve yet to be successful on the road.
The Rams have won four of six to join the slumping Seattle Seahawks atop the NFC West but all four of those victories have been at home.
St. Louis hasn’t won a road game since last Nov. 1 at Detroit, a 17-10 victory that turned out to be their only win of the 2009 season. St. Louis won just one road game in 2008, 19-17 at Washington, in a 2-14 campaign.
This year, St. Louis has been competitive away from home in all but one game — a 44-6 blowout at Detroit.
They’ll have to better if they want to stay in contention for the division championship a year removed from a 1-15 season.
The Rams have four of their next five away from St. Louis, beginning Sunday in San Francisco.
Coach Steve Spagnuolo said Friday he takes games one at a time.
“Well, I’m not real into the four out of five,” Spagnuolo said. “I’m into the one, which we’ve got this week. We’re going to play San Francisco whether we play it here, there, or at a neutral site. We’re going to try to play it the same way and try to win a football game.”
Rookie quarterback Sam Bradford said that is the correct approach to hitting the road.
“I think we need to just be ourselves. I don’t think we have to try to do anything different, I don’t think we have to try to force anything,” said Bradford, who has thrown for 1,674 yards and 11 touchdowns. “I think we just have to come out and be ourselves, and we’ve got to do it for a whole game.
“I think that’s been the problem. We came out against Tampa and played great the first half and then just shut down in the second half. If you want to win a football game in this league, you can’t do that.”
What has caused the road problems isn’t easy to define, running back Steven Jackson said.
“Well, we’ve struggled. I don’t think it’s one thing,” Jackson said. “We’ve struggled because we’ve struggled, I guess. But we’re going to change that. We’re going to turn it around. We have eight games left in the season.”
While this is a big game for the young, developing Rams, Spagnuolo said he’s not going to build it up.
“We treat them all the same,” Spagnuolo said. “Again, we talk in terms of taking them one at a time. I think maybe when you get in the playoffs it becomes a little bit different when it becomes a one and done type of deal.
“Right now, again, we’ll take it one at a time, get as many wins as you can, add them up and hopefully you’re in the dance.”
On the injury front, safety James Butler will be out Sunday with an ankle injury. Craig Dahl will take his place in the starting lineup. Offensive tackle Rodger Safford saw limited practice time with an ailing shoulder but Spagnuolo said he will play against the 49ers.