SB Nation St. Louis
Stay connected for news and updates Follow @sbnstlouis
Like us to subscribe
The Seattle Seahawks were clobbered by the high-scoring Kansas City Chiefs, and the St. Louis Rams took a narrow victory over the Denver Broncos, leading the Rams to the top of a virtual tie in the embattled NFC West. It’s the Rams’ second stint atop the division, but their first time there under .500.
The Seahawks couldn’t withstand a Chiefs attack that got Dwayne Bowe three touchdowns and saw Jamaal Charles rush for 173 yards. Close most of the afternoon, the Chiefs broke away with 21 points in the fourth quarter to make it 42-24.
The St. Louis Rams were up as much as 20 points over the Denver Broncos, but they’ll be happy to leave Colorado with a 36-33 victory. Sam Bradford had a career performance, topping 300 yards for the first time in his career and throwing three touchdowns without an interception.
The Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers will play at 7:10 tonight to determine who’ll be alone in third place in the West.
The St. Louis Rams looked like they might fumble a lead that was as wide as 33-13 in the third quarter, but they held on even after a furious Kyle Orton comeback and a blocked punt put the Broncos within three points, taking the win—their first on the road in 13 months—36-33 in Denver.
Kyle Orton, who finished 24-for-41 for 347 yards and three touchdowns, was a man possessed in the fourth quarter, where he put up 129 yards and two of those touchdowns. A blocked Donnie Jones punt with just a minute left in regulation put the Broncos back in control of the ball with no timeouts remaining.
Rams DE Chris Long was a difference-maker in that final Broncos drive. On first and 10 he sacked Kyle Orton for a six yard loss and—crucially—20 seconds off the clock. After two deep incompletions he got to Orton again, forcing an awkward pass on fourth-and-16 and ending the game.
Sam Bradford had a career game for the Rams. Bradford finished 22-for-37 with 308 yards and three touchdowns, carrying the Rams while Steven Jackson struggled for consistent yardage. Danario Alexander, returning from another left knee surgery, was outstanding early, picking up four receptions for 95 yards.
With the Seattle Seahawks’ 42-24 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs the Rams move into first place in the NFC West, at 5-6.
The St. Louis Rams defense is reeling following a series of long passes from Kyle Orton, who converted a fourth down in the process of throwing his second touchdown pass in three minutes, putting the Denver Broncos within a field goal of tying the St. Louis Rams, who led 33-13 at halftime. The score is now 36-33.
Kyle Orton now has 347 passing yards and three touchdowns, having hit five receivers for plays of at least 24 yards. Eddie Royal and Brandon Lloyd are the most recent benefactors, collecting touchdown passes of 16 and five yards. The Rams have just one field goal in the fourth quarter, after scoring four times in the second and picking up a touchdown in the third.
The Rams have 2:35 to burn in the game after a failed onside kick. No strangers to fourth quarter collapses, they’ll hope this game doesn’t turn out like previous heartbreaking losses in a 4-6 season that could have been much more than that.
The Denver Broncos looked backed against a wall, stuck at third and 17 with the pass rush bearing in on Kyle Orton, but the line held and Orton found Eddie Royal on the left side for 24 yards, starting a run of 57 yards in three plays for an Orton-to-Royal touchdown. The St. Louis Rams defense looked unprepared for that kind of run.
The Broncos missed the ensuing two-point conversion, leaving them down 10 points. Orton is 20-for-31 with 285 yards and two touchdowns, in the process of having an outstanding fourth quarter.
The Rams’ kicking has left four potentially crucial points on the board. Josh Brown missed a point-after in the second quarter, and couldn’t convert a 45 yard field goal attempt in the third.
But their main problem in the fourth quarter has been an inability to run clock with their running backs. Steven Jackson has been only intermittently effective, and the Broncos have the ball back down 36-26 with almost five minutes left in the fourth quarter.
The Denver Broncos struck on the first play of the fourth quarter after being quiet throughout the third Sunday afternoon; Kyle Orton’s 41 yard pass to Brandon Lloyd was good for their first passing touchdown of the day. For Lloyd, the NFL leader in receiving yards, it was his third reception of the afternoon, for 71 total yards.
Orton had been struggling since the opening drive. Now he’s 15-for-24 with 213 passing yards and the one touchdown. It ended a streak of five unanswered scores for the St. Louis Rams since early in the second quarter.
Orton’s famous understudy, Tim Tebow, has not made an appearance in this afternoon’s game. The Broncos trail the Rams 33-20, thanks to a career performance from rookie Rams quarterback Sam Bradford, who has 308 passing yards and three touchdowns in 34 pass attempts. As well as the Broncos have managed to stifle Steven Jackson, despite their trouble defending the run to date, the passing game has been left wide open.
The St. Louis Rams have a season-high 33 points, and after a first half in which he did nothing at all Steven Jackson broke free of the Denver Broncos in the third quarter, getting the Rams to the one yard line for a Kenneth Darby touchdown. Jackson now has 49 yards on 18 carries, after picking up just 20 in his first 14. It’s only the second time all season that the Rams have broken 30 points, and it comes with first place in the NFC West on the line.
The Rams’ drive was built on a Knowshon Moreno fumble, forced by O.J. Atogwe and recovered by Na’il Diggs at the Broncos’ 31. From there Jackson rushed for 20, four, and six yards on consecutive attempts. After an incomplete pass attempt to Jackson left him slow in getting up Darby had no trouble walking in for the touchdown. The touchdown was Kenneth Darby’s first carry of the afternoon.
The St. Louis Rams looked as good as they have all season and the Denver Broncos struggled after a hot start; at halftime, the Rams lead the Broncos 26-13. Sam Bradford has led the way; he’s 15-for-23 with 216 yards and three touchdowns, all to tight ends. Danario Alexander’s reappearance has been crucial, but Michael Hoomanawanui left the game after scoring his third touchdown of the season.
The Broncos were keyed on Steven Jackson from the beginning, and they’ve stuffed him almost completely; he has 14 carries for 20 yards and was stopped twice at the goal line. But they’ve been unable to adjust to a surprisingly agile Rams offense, which has responded to Jackson’s invisibility with a brand-new deep passing game and even some Danny Amendola end-arounds. Bradford’s 9.39 yards per attempt would be a career-high by a wide margin.
Alexander has played in three games as a Ram and he’s been their dominant force at wide receiver in two of them, which shows just how important it is that his knee hold up this season. He’s got three receptions for 71 yards today, after picking up four for 72 and a touchdown in his debut.
Kyle Orton looked tough early, but he’s struggled since; he’s 9-for-18 with 112 yards passing. Knowshon Moreno has eight carries for 47 yards and a touchdown.
Sam Bradford and the St. Louis Rams’ tight ends have victimized the Denver Broncos today; Billy Bajema caught his second touchdown of the day—and his career—to put the Rams up 20-13. (Josh Brown missed the extra point, his first miss since the 2005 season.) Bradford is 12-for-17 with 176 yards and three touchdowns.
The Rams’ three primary tight ends have combined for seven touchdowns in Sam Bradford’s rookie season—Michael Hoomanawaui has three and Daniel Fells and Bajema each have two.
A major factor has been the return of enigmatic rookie wide receiver Danario Alexander. After missing four weeks following the fifth knee surgery of his career, Alexander—who’s played in just three NFL games—has emerged as the Rams’ primary wide receiving threat again, picking up three receptions for 71 yards. If he can stay healthy he could be the deep threat Bradford’s rookie season has lacked thus far.
The Broncos’ offense has slowed down considerably after a hot start that saw them look almost unstoppable while they scored their first touchdown.
The St. Louis Rams lead the Denver Broncos 14-13 at home after Sam Bradford found his second tight end for a touchdown pass—getting Billy Bajema near the goal line after an early run by Michael Hoomanawanui. Bradford is 10-for-14 for 105 yards and two touchdowns.
He’s been doing it in spite of Steven Jackson finding no daylight in this first half; he has 12 carries for 16 yards and was stopped twice on the one-yard line before Bradford scrambled to find Bajema. The Rams have twice faked to Jackson for finding Danny Amendola on an end-around—the slot receiver has 43 yards on those two plays, which gives some idea of the way Jackson’s being targeted.
The touchdown was the first of BIlly Bajema’s career. Fellow tight ends Daniel Fells and Michael Hoomanawanui have two and three, respectively—Bradford has been eager to find his tight ends in his rookie season, no matter who’s lined up there.
After Billy Bajema dropped a pass over the first-down marker Sam Bradford went to Danario Alexander for the first time since the former Mizzou star went down with knee surgery number five. Alexander stayed on his feet after a big hit—going down on his free hand to make space—and lunged over the line for a 12-yard reception, just his sixth of the season.
Alexander caught a pass over the middle later in the drive, taking it all the way for another lunging finish, this time going down at the one-yard line. He’s already showing the talent that’s tantalized Rams fans who will be looking askance at his knee for the whole of his career, displaying a dynamism no other Rams wide receiver has been able to manage.
Bradford has been heavily relied-upon early, with Steven Jackson struggling mightily; Jackson has just 17 yards on 10 rushes, for a long of four. Bradford is 9-for-13 with 103 passing yards and one touchdown. He’s gone to seven receivers on those eight attempts, with only Alexander and Laurent Robinson picking up two receptions. Danny Amendola has just one reception for two yards but has been used to play on the Broncos’ overt aggression toward Steven Jackson; he has two rushes for 43 yards.
The St. Louis Rams’ decision to go for it on fourth and one paid off Sunday, as the St. Louis Rams’ rookie tight end, Michael Hoomanawanui, took a short pass all the way downfield for a 36-yard score, his third of the season. The Rams relied upon Steven Jackson, struggling in the early going, and it paid off, converting fourth down on the Denver Broncos’ 35 yard line.
Sam Bradford has been solid since moving to a no-huddle offense, but he’s only gotten downfield with the tight ends—Daniel Fells has a 10-yard reception, and Hoomanawanui has the 36-yard completion. Steven Jackson has seven carries for just nine yards against one of the worst run defenses in the league—clearly they prepared for him. Danny Amendola took an end-around for 13 yards but was stiffed on third down before Jackson put them over the line.
Through the first quarter, the Rams trail the Broncos 10-7, having struggled to control Kyle Orton and Knowshon Moreno.
St. Louis Rams wide receiver Danario Alexander, whose breakout rookie debut was followed almost immediately by the fifth knee surgery of his young football career, will be active for week 12’s game against the Denver Broncos after missing several weeks to recover.
Alexander has described this surgery as less severe than previous ones, but that does little to assuage Rams fans who have had to deal with the exact uncertainty that caused this potential number one receiver to go undrafted.
The Rams will look to Alexander as a downfield threat, but possibly in a limited capacity—nobody’s quite sure how healthy he is, or will ever be. Alexander was taken off the practice squad prior to week 6, with the Rams’ receiving corps reeling, and put together four receptions for 72 yards ands a touchdown in his debut. But after being targeted just twice in week 7 he went under the knife prior to week 8, and he hasn’t been heard from since.
The Denver Broncos got off to a fast start in the first drive of their game against the St. Louis Rams, driving 69 yards on six plays ending in a Knowshon Moreno touchdown run. Kyle Orton, already over 3000 passing yards on the season, was 3-for-4 for 43 yards on the drive. Moreno was the start, taking two rushes for 20 yards and then catching a pass for 18 more.
The Broncos also scored first in last week’s loss against the San Diego Chargers.
The Rams proved more tentative on their first drive—after an excellent kick return from Danny Amendola put them on the 40 yard line the Rams rushed Steven Jackson up the middle twice for just four yards; on third down Bradford put it in Amendola’s hands but the wide receiver couldn’t hold onto the ball. Donnie Jones punted it into the end zone for a touchback, and the Broncos got the ball back a the 20.
WIth the entire NFC West taking a fall last Sunday—and in brutal fashion—the St. Louis Rams go into their Week 12 matchup against the Denver Broncos with a reprieve, still just one game back of the division-leading Seattle Seahawks. With Danario Alexander closer to return than ever, they'll hope to get a few more yards out of a passing game that's been accurate and competent but has lacked the spark that their offense needs to put teams away late.
Sam Bradford, for all his justly deserved plaudits, remains near the bottom of the NFL in yards per attempt and yards per completion, something that's been evident in the two games where the Rams, taking a narrow lead into the second half, are unable to put a team away, and a worn-out eventually surrenders the last points. A downfield threat is the last thing keeping this team from putting things together, and a crucial piece if this defense ever hopes to get off the field. (In last week's loss to the first-place Atlanta Falcons the Rams' defense found itself on the field 11 minutes longer than the offense.)
The Broncos have had no problems with their passing game. Surprise star Kyle Orton has already crested the 3000 yard mark for the season, with 17 touchdowns to just six interceptions and a passer rating of 94.5. Top receiver Brandon Lloyd has averaged nearly 20 yards per reception, and leads football with 1046 passing yards.
Orton's had to work with a rushing game that was almost completely invisible for much of the season, and a defense that's allowed 29 points per game. But the Broncos' offense could go off at any moment, and the Rams' secondary has a tough assignment.