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St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) – Steven Jackson rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown, and iced the game with some clutch running late in the fourth quarter, as the St. Louis Rams held on for a 20-17 win over the San Diego Chargers at the Edward Jones Dome.
Sam Bradford managed the game well, throwing for 198 yards and a score on 18- of-31 efficiency for the Rams (3-3), who recovered after getting hammered 44-6 by Detroit last Sunday. St. Louis has won three of it last four.
“I think the way we played today and the way we prepared this week says a lot about the guys we have on our team,” Bradford said. “After a loss like last week, it’s not easy to come in and get back to work. But I feel like everyone put it in the past.”
Danario Alexander caught four passes for 72 yards and a score — his first career NFL touchdown — while the Rams’ defense combined for seven sacks. Josh Brown added a pair of field goals in the victory.
Philip Rivers completed 22-of-37 throws for 249 yards with one touchdown and an interception for San Diego (2-4), which suffered a setback at Oakland last weekend and has lost in back-to-back weeks for the first time since a three- game slide from November 16-30, 2008.
“From my standpoint I wasn’t as accurate as I can be and should be,” Rivers said. “You miss a few third-down throws and you are punting and those are huge possessions.”
Brown’s 39-yard field goal early in the first quarter gave the Rams the lead.
After an exchange of punts, O.J. Atogwe’s interception in the end zone put an end to a Chargers’ threat and St. Louis turned it into seven more.
Bradford’s 38-yard strike to Alexander made it a 10-0 game with 43 seconds left in the opening quarter. After the pick, Jackson ran for five and Bradford connected with Brandon Gibson for a 12-yard completion. A five-yard offsides penalty moved the ball back to the Rams’ 42 and three plays later Alexander’s diving grab in the end zone capped the brief five-play, 80-yard drive.
San Diego went three-and-out on its next two possessions and the hosts tacked on another score with 1:39 left in the half. Jackson led a time-consuming drive that took nearly eight minutes off the game clock. Then with the Rams facing a 3rd-and-13 from the Chargers 13, Bradford’s 11-yard pass to Danny Amendola coupled with a roughing-the-passer penalty gave the Rams a first-and- goal at the one-yard line. Following a six-yard sack, Jackson finished off the 17-play, 67-yard drive with an inside trap run.
Nate Kaeding’s 41-yard field goal with 23 seconds to play got the Chargers on the board at 17-3, which would be the score heading into the intermission.
Tolbert banged in from a yard out to complete an 11-play, 68-yard set to get the Chargers within 17-10 with 4:41 remaining in the third.
San Diego then had a lengthy drive end in misery when Kaeding slipped on a 49- year field goal attempt and had it blocked with 8:18 remaining in the fourth.
The miss led to Brown’s 48-yard boot and a 20-10 Rams’ lead with 3:56 left. However, the visitors quickly answered, going 76 yards on five plays. A Rivers-to-Buster Davis five-yard touchdown hookup made it a 20-17 contest just 40 seconds later.
On the ensuing possession with St. Louis facing a key third-and-six from its own 36, Jackson burst over left guard for a nine-yard gain and a first down that took the clock to the two-minute warning. Jackson then picked up another first down on a 12-yard run before Bradford took a trio of knees to kill off the remaining time.
St. Louis will visit Tampa Bay next Sunday, while the Chargers host New England…Chargers starting offensive tackle Marcus McNeill appeared in his first game of the season after recently ending his holdout. He agreed to a five-year contract extension on Wednesday…San Diego tight end Antonio Gates caught two passes for 12 yards before leaving late in the second quarter with a left ankle injury and did not return. He had caught touchdowns in nine straight games, which was an NFL record for tight ends…Chargers wide receiver Malcom Floyd left the game with a hamstring injury after pulling in two passes for 15 yards…The Rams hold a 6-4 edge in their all- time series with the Chargers…Larry Grant, James Hall and Chris Long each had a pair of sacks for St. Louis.
Danario Alexander, the former Mizzou wide receiver who’s spent the entire regular season rehabbing on the St. Louis Rams’ practice squad after knee surgery, caught a touchdown pass in his first NFL game Sunday against the San Diego Chargers.
Alexander, who wasn’t expected to contribute so soon after his knee injury, was rushed onto the active roster after Mark Clayton’s season-ending injury. So far, it’s been a good decision.
The St. Louis Rams didn’t have much to celebrate after last week’s 44-6 loss to the Detroit Lions, but the return to form of running back Steven Jackson, hobbled by a groin injury since Week 3, was certainly worth remembering. Jackson racked up a season-high 114 yards on the ground, 4.5 yards per carry, after picking up no more than 81 in his first four games.
With Mark Clayton out for the season and rookie quarterback Sam Bradford starved for targets, the Rams might be well-served by reintroducing Steven Jackson to the passing game — this year Jackson, who peaked at 90 receptions for 806 yards in 2006, has just 13 receptions.
He’s unlikely to get the 141 yards he needs to pass Eric Dickerson as the all-time Rams rushing leader in just one game, but 141 total yards would be a good place for him to shoot, with Bradford down to one receiver he trusts.