Patrick Peterson Returns Punt For Touchdown, Arizona Cardinals Stun St. Louis Rams In Overtime

Sam Bradford is in the lineup as the Rams play in Week 9 vs. the Cardinals.

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Rams Vs. Cardinals Final: Patrick Peterson Returns Punt For Touchdown, Arizona Stuns In Overtime

Patrick Peterson returned his third punt of the season for a touchdown, and this 99-yard shot came in overtime as the Arizona Cardinals stunned the St. Louis Rams by a score of 19-13. The Rams had neutralized Peterson all game in the punt game, but he surprised them by taking the ball out deep within Cardinals territory and confounded them by dodging nearly every Ram on the field on his way to the Cardinals’ overtime win.

For the Rams the loss is another ugly reminder of their offense’s inability to put the ball into the end zone. Despite 255 yards from Sam Bradford and 130 more from Steven Jackson the Rams were unable to score a single touchdown, relying on three field goals from Josh Brown and two consecutive safeties on Cardinals backup John Skelton to get on the board.

After a start that gave cause for optimism it looks like Rams fans are in for another week of speculation about Steve Spagnuolo’s future, courtesy the incredible Patrick Peterson and their own strange inadequacies.


Rams Vs. Cardinals Score Update: Overtime Forced As Cardinals Block Regulation-Ending Field Goal

The St. Louis Rams and the Arizona Cardinals will play overtime in their Week 9 contest—regulation ended with the score tied at 13 after the Rams’ game-ending field goal, a 42-yarder from Josh Brown, was blocked at the line of scrimmage as time expired. Sam Bradford and the Rams won the coin toss, leaving the game—and the Rams’ second win in a row—in the hands of their sophomore quarterback, back for his first game after missing two due to injury.

The Cardinals tied the game on a late touchdown from John Skelton to Larry Fitzgerald, who’d been quiet all day. The Rams’ offense has come from safeties, field goals, and some booming punts from Donnie Jones—Bradford has been excellent, but unable to reach the end zone due in part to serious pressure from the Cardinals’ defense.

The matchup between Brandon Lloyd and Patrick Peterson has been won, thus far, by Lloyd, who caught five balls for 80 yards in regulation. Steven Jackson’s over 100 yards rushing on the day after struggling in the third quarter.


Cardinals Vs. Rams Score: Larry Fitzgerald Grabs First Touchdown, Ties Game 13-13

The Arizona Cardinals scored the first touchdown of a truly ugly Week 9 matchup with the St. Louis Rams in the fourth quarter Sunday afternoon, with John Skelton hitting Larry Fitzgerald for a 13-yard touchdown catch with five minutes left in regulation to tie the score at 13. Skelton had his best drive of the night at the right moment, rushing for 28 yards and passing for 47 more to get the Cardinals in the end zone.

Fitzgerald had been mostly neutralized until the reception—he exits regulation with just four receptions for 43 yards and the touchdown—but John Skelton has looked strong in his first start of the season in place of the injured Kevin Kolb, going 20-for-35 for 222 yards and a touchdown and running the ball five times for 22 yards more, including those two crucial scrambles in that touchdown drive.

The Rams have looked strong on offense but still remain completely averse to the end zone—Sam Bradford is 22-for-31 for 251 yards and zero touchdowns, while Josh Brown has three field goals and the Rams’ defense two safeties.


Greg Salas Injury: St. Louis Rams' Rookie Carted Off Grabbing Leg

The St. Louis Rams may have just lost their second slot receiver—Greg Salas left their Week 9 nailbiter against the Arizona Cardinals with an apparent leg injury after catching his seventh ball of the day from Sam Bradford. Salas, a fifth-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft from Hawaii, had just emerged as an adequate replacement for Danny Amendola after an extremely slow start to the season. After holding his leg on the field Salas was carted off with an air-cast on, looking especially glum—this could be a serious injury for a Rams offense that couldn’t really take another.

With Salas gone, fourth-rounder Austin Pettis, heretofore confined to special teams, will likely take his place, while a bigger share of the offense will go to Brandon Gibson and Brandon Lloyd.

The Rams had already lost second-round pick Lance Kendricks in the first half, to another leg injury. If both injuries are serious it looks like we’ll see just how deep this maligned Rams receiver corps can be.


Rams Vs. Cardinals Score: Steven Jackson's Struggles Stymie Rams In Second Half

The St. Louis Rams have scored four points in the second half, thanks primarily to Donnie Jones and a hungry defense—while Sam Bradford continues to clam up near the red zone, the team’s major problem has been Steven Jackson’s struggles since halftime. After a solid-but-unspectacular first half in which Jackson averaged just under four yards per carry he’s been entirely neutralized in the second, finding himself consistently nailed behind the line of scrimmage to set an unpleasant tone in the Rams’ offensive drive.

Thanks to John Skelton’s struggled in his own end zone, this hasn’t been a problem. But in a game defined primarily by the Rams’ cautious offensive optimism this inability to produce positive yardage on first down from their star running back—let alone points through the air from their star quarterback—shows just how far the Rams have to go before they’ll be at the level everyone expected out of Josh McDaniels’s new offense.

In the fourth quarter Jackson has 21 carries for 76 yards, as well as one reception for 12 more. Backup Cadillac Williams has been quiet, carrying the ball three times for 17 yards of his own.


St. Louis Rams Force Second Safety Against Arizona Cardinals, Lead By 13-6 Score

John Skelton and the Arizona Cardinals are finding it strikingly difficult to get out of the end zone, thanks to the St. Louis Rams’ resurgent defense and Donnie Jones’s perfect punts. C.J. Ah You forced the Rams’ second safety in a row Sunday when Skelton was called for intentional grounding in the end zone. Despite a major offensive slowdown for Sam Bradford and company in the second half, the Rams now lead by a score of 13-6—three field goals, two safeties, and no touchdowns. The Rams were forced three-and-out again after the offensive line continued to struggle while protecting Bradford.

It’s no problem, so long as Donnie Jones is backstopping the fourth downs—for the third time in a row, following the second safety, Jones pinned the Arizona Cardinals back to the five yard line with another booming punt. He’s averaging 52 yards a punt on four attempts, including a 59-yarder on his first attempt of the day in Glendale.


Rams Vs. Cardinals Score: St. Louis Forces Safety, Leads Arizona 11-6

The St. Louis Rams’ defense hasn’t exactly been dominant in 2011, but a brilliant Donnie Jones punt helped them score two on a John Skelton safety Sunday, pushing the Rams’ lead over the Arizona Cardinals to 11-6 in Week 9. James Hall and Gary Gibson share the credit for the safety, which is the Rams’ fourth scoring opportunity without a touchdown.

Jones has averaged 51 yards per punt in two attempts Sunday, and pushed the Cardinals behind the five-yard-line after the fourth Sam Bradford sack of the afternoon ended the Rams’ third quarter drive.

The Rams will get the ball back just outside Cardinals territory after the safety. Sam Bradford, who’s 14-for-19 with 178 yards and an interception in his first game back from his high ankle sprain, will try to get his first touchdown of the day off the free kick. He’s looked solid, if a little less mobile than usual, operating mostly out of the shotgun. But if the Rams’ defense and special teams continues playing this well, it might not even matter.


Arizona Cardinals Score: John Skelton Looks Just About Like Kevin Kolb Vs. Rams

So, good or bad news for Arizona Cardinals fans, depending on how you feel about the Cardinals’ expensive acquisition of Kevin Kolb in exchange for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-rounder in the 2012 NFL Draft: John Skelton looks a lot like Kevin Kolb in the Cardinals’ Week 9 competition vs. the St. Louis Rams, despite the 9-3 first-half score.

Not better, certainly—Kolb’s actually been pretty solid in his first extended chance to start, averaging more than seven yards per attempt despite a porous offensive line that’s allowed him to go down 24 times for 187 yards. But Skelton, who drove the Cardinals’ downfield in the first drive of the third quarter to cut the Rams’ lead to 9-6, has been considerably more competent than he showed last year, going 10-for-17 for 123 yards in his first start of the 2011 season.

Skelton, undrafted out of Fordham, of all places, averaged 5.3 yards per attempt in four starts as a true rookie in 2010, after Derek Anderson revealed that he was still not an NFL quarterback. It looks, if today’s performance is any indication, like he’s at least a capable backup—which is good news unless you think that’s also Kevin Kolb’s upside.


Lance Kendricks Injury: Rams Tight End Questionable To Return Vs. Cardinals

The St. Louis Rams' offense has been firing on more cylinders than usual against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 9, but they could be without rookie tight end Lance Kendricks for a while if his foot injury turns out to be serious. Or it's an ankle injury—or it's a leg injury—or, suffice it to say, Twitter and the football community at large are as confused as they are concerned about the injury to a guy who's struggled since being anointed one of the prime fantasy football sleepers of the 2011 NFL season.

Whatever it is, we know that Kendricks was carted off the field and is questionable to return. In the meantime ankle-injury-magnet Michael Hoomanawanui, coming off one of his better games in Week 8, is the best bet to see action in this newly reinvigorated Rams offense. For more updates, follow along in this storystream or check out Turf Show Times, the best St. Louis Rams blog on the internet, so far as we can tell.


Sam Bradford Injury Update: Limited In Practice On Friday, Remains Probable

Despite reports from earlier today suggesting the St. Louis Rams might downgrade quarterback Sam Bradford to doubtful, it appears the team has left him at probable:

@STLouisRams: Rams finish week of practice. QB Sam Bradford was limited in practice but did quite a bit in team drills. Listed as questionable

@STLouisRams: Rams and Bradford hopeful he'll be able to go but will most likely be a gametime decision.

The Rams have had to reshuffle their offensive playbook in the absence of Sam Bradford, relying on Brandon Lloyd to essentially carry their passing game.

If there were any week to let the star quarterback take some extra rest, Week 9 against the 1-6 Arizona Cardinals would be it. The Cardinals, coming off a 27-30 tough-loss to the Baltimore Ravens, have lost 6 consecutive games and may well be without their own starting quarterback, Kevin Kolb.

Expect the Rams to keep a close eye on Bradford in the coming days, but chances are he will miss this game.

For all breaking news St. Louis sports-related, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis. For more Rams commentary and analysis, check out Turf Show Times.


Sam Bradford Injury Update: St. Louis Rams QB Will 'Probably Sit'

After a second week of closely watching quarterback Sam Bradford's progress, St. Louis Rams fans may have more sad news:

@evansilva: ESPN's John Clayton on #Rams QB Sam Bradford: "Looks like he's gonna probably sit. ... Bradford is not in the lineup for St. Louis."

Yes, it appears Sam Bradford will be downgraded to doubtful later today after reportedly improving in yesterday's limited practice.

Bradford has missed two straight games for the Rams, who have installed veteran QB A.J. Feeley in his place. Oddly enough, though Bradford is the face of the franchise and one of the best players on the team, the Rams did not win at all with him at quarterback, getting their first win in Week 8 in an massive upset over the New Orleans Saints.

The Rams coaching staff will probably wait until closer to Sunday to make an official determination about Bradford's status, but at this point it appears unlikely he will play.

For all breaking news St. Louis sports-related, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis. For more Rams commentary and analysis, check out Turf Show Times.


Sam Bradford Injury Update: St. Louis Rams QB Does Drills, Sits During Team Practice

The official St. Louis Rams Twitter reports Rams quarterback Sam Bradford practiced on Thursday, but was again limited:

@STLouisRams: Bradford did more work than he's done in a couple weeks, participating in individual drills and 7 on 7. No team work but progress.

The Rams have been starting quarterback A.J. Feeley in the place of Sam Bradford, who has missed two consecutive games in his second NFL season. The veteran Feeley has not played terribly in Bradford's absence, but the team is still anxious to get their franchise QB back.

Yesterday, Bradford indicated he was hopeful he could play in Week 9, where the Rams (1-6) face the Arizona Cardinals (1-6), and his improved participation has helped those chances. However, because he is still not taking snaps during the team practice, it is safe to assume he remains a game-time decision.

For more updates on the St. Louis sports, keep tuned to SBN St. Louis, and head to Turf Show Times for in-depth analysis and commentary on the St. Louis Rams.


Sam Bradford Injury: Life Without Bradford A Struggle For St. Louis Rams' New Offense

The St. Louis Rams' new offense was supposed to involve turning Sam Bradford's cannon of a throwing arm loose after a season in Pat Shurmur's straitjacketed pass attack, and through five games we saw some version of that offense, however deeply inconsistent it proved to be. Bradford's yards per attempt was identical to 2010's mark—6.0, still among the lowest in football—but his yards per completion had leapt by nearly a yard-and-a-half, moving toward mid-pack after a season as the only full-time starter in the NFL whose average completion went for fewer than 10 yards. 

No clearer picture of that offense emerged than on September 19, in which the Rams' Monday Night Football loss to the New York Giants featured an incredibly dynamic offense hidden by some incredibly terrible red zone play. Despite completing fewer than half his passes Bradford finished with his second highest Y/A mark of the season, thanks to a Y/C of 14. That's the Josh McDaniels offense—and it's the offense the Rams have decided to build at considerable opportunity cost. 

Without Bradford the Rams have had to go to A.J. Feeley, and while he won them their first game of the season Week 8 against New Orleans, he's served as nothing so much as a monumental regression to the days of Shurmurball, averaging an ugly 9.6 Y/C and an even less impressive 4.67 Y/A. 

There's something promising in all that mediocrity-by-necessity, though—it's only by the grace of new acquisition Brandon Lloyd that Feeley's averaging even that many yards per completed pass. In his 12 receptions in two weeks as a Ram Lloyd has averaged 10.6 yards on 12 receptions, including Feeley's only touchdown pass. 

As it turns out, Brandon Lloyd—a combination of actual wide receiver talent and complete familiarity with Josh McDaniels's offensive scheme—is good enough to make even A.J. Feeley look competent on his targets. That's something the Sam Bradford we saw in New York and Green Bay is going to have the chance to take advantage of, and it could prove to be all the difference in this 2011 Rams season. 


Sam Bradford Injury: St. Louis Rams QB Has No Boot, But Is Not Practicing

CBS Sports is reporting that St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford is no longer wearing a boot, but remains day-to-day with his high-ankle sprain. It appears the Rams will wait until at least Wednesday before they try to work their star quarterback into practice, leaving his status uncertain as to whether or not he can start this Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.

The Rams (1-6) went without Bradford last Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, and quarterback A.J. Feeley -- with the help of a dominant Steven Jackson -- led the Rams to their first victory of the season. So, with the playoffs nearly out of reach this year and the team doing alright without Bradford, will likely err on the side of caution, resting Bradford this week if there's any sign of a setback.

For more updates on the St. Louis sports, keep tuned to SBN St. Louis, and head to Turf Show Times for in depth analysis and commentary on the St. Louis Rams.


Sam Bradford Injury: Bradford Out In St. Louis Rams Win, Still In Boot

The St. Louis Rams are still without injured star Sam Bradford, who has missed two games since suffering a high-ankle sprain.


Sam Bradford Injury: St. Louis Rams Rule Out Bradford For New Orleans Saints Game

The St. Louis Rams have made it official: The Sam Bradford injury -- a high ankle sprain -- will lead to another A.J. Feeley start on Sunday against the 5-2 New Orleans Saints. Bradford had been reduced to doubtful on Wednesday and then missed practice again on Thursday, leading many to suspect he would not be available on Sunday.

Bradford was not having a great year with the 0-6 Rams, passing for only a 72.1 passer rating, but given his supporting cast, it is not surprising. And though Sam Bradford gives the Rams the best chance of winning, Feeley, a 10-year veteran, has not played terribly through his first two games.

Hopefully, Feeley and the rest of the Rams can catch the Saints unawares and steal a win on Sunday.

For more updates on the St. Louis sports, keep tuned to SBN St. Louis, and head to Turf Show Times for in depth analysis and commentary on the St. Louis Rams.


Sam Bradford Injury Update: Rams' QB Officially Misses Practice Thursday, Could Practice Friday

The official Twitter of the St. Louis Rams has confirmed quarterback Sam Bradford missed practice today:

@STLouisRams: QB Sam Bradford (ankle) did not practice again. Status quo for now. Possible he could work out Friday again but not certain.

Unconfirmed reports appeared on Twitter earlier today, suggesting Bradford had indeed missed practice again. Now, the Rams have not only officially confirmed the continued injury, but suggested Friday could be out of the mix too.

The Rams take on the (5-2) New Orleans Saints on Sunday, and will at this point almost definitely turn once again to the services of veteran quarterback A.J. Feeley.

Bradford has been injured with a high ankle sprain for a week now, going on two. It is possible, though highly unlikely, he could play if he can participate in Friday's practice.

For more updates on the St. Louis sports, keep tuned to SBN St. Louis, and head to Turf Show Times for in depth analysis and commentary on the St. Louis Rams.

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