Rams dominate early in 31-17 win over Ravens

ST. LOUIS — Sam Bradford gave the St. Louis Rams a positive experience to end the preseason.

Bradford threw three touchdown passes in 11⁄2 quarters giving the St. Louis Rams a 31-17 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night.

Rams coach Jeff Fisher, taking over a franchise that has totaled 15 wins in the past five seasons, used virtually all of his starters until the score was 21-0 on a 9-yard catch by Mike Hoomanawanui with 6:59 to go in the half. Bradford threw five touchdown passes in the preseason, all of them at home for the Rams (2-2).

Ravens coach John Harbaugh, gearing up for a Super Bowl run after losing in the AFC title game last season, started just a handful of his regulars. The Ravens committed four turnovers and Tyrod Taylor started at quarterback for Joe Flacco, and they also rested running back Ray Rice and linebacker Ray Lewis.

Curtis Painter, the third-string QB for Baltimore (2-2) threw three interceptions and added touchdown passes to Billy Bajema and Deonte Thompson.

Rookie Janoris Jenkins played into the third quarter and made it 28-0 with a 76-yard interception return for a touchdown off a pass by Painter that deflected off Bobby Rainey’s hands.

The Rams intercepted Painter on the previous play, too, but Craig Dahl fumbled it back.

Robert Quinn had a sack, forced fumble and fumble recovery while stripping Taylor to set up Danny Amendola’s 7-yard score late in the first quarter. He also deflected a punt in the second quarter.

The Rams played well in both home games despite sparse attendance. The Edward Jones Dome, which holds 66,000, was probably about one-third full for the opening kickoff and all but empty at the end.

Fisher’s plan to play his starters backfired once when first-round pick Michael Brockers injured his right ankle after getting tangled up with Jah Reid near the end of the first quarter and did not return. Brockers was helped off the field by two trainers, but was able to put weight on the leg, then was carted off the field.

Bradford was 11-for-16 for 175 yards and spread the ball to eight receivers, with Austin Pettis starting the scoring with a 14-yard catch capped by a dive inside the pylon. Bradford recovered his own fumble off a center snap for a 5-yard loss the play before throwing the touchdown pass to Hoomanawanui.

The Rams’ Greg Zuerlein hit his fourth field goal from 50 yards-plus in the preseason with a 59-yarder that scraped the crossbar early in the fourth quarter. He was just short on a 62-yard attempt in the third quarter.

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