ST. LOUIS - SEPTEMBER 11: Steven Jackson #39 of the St. Louis Rams ruses for a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles at the Edward Jones Dome on September 11, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

St. Louis Rams Suffer Stupefying Mistakes Monday Night, Lose 28-16

Sam Bradford will play Monday Night for the St. Louis Rams vs. the New York Giants. Steven Jackson looks like a game-time decision.

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19 Total Updates since September 17, 2011
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Steven Jackson Injury: Jackson Missed St. Louis Rams Loss For "Long Term" Reasons

Steven Jackson's absence might have been the reason the St. Louis Rams' high-flying offense kept sputtering out when it came time to score from the red zone, but if there's any silver lining round that particular cloud it's this: Jackson's thinking long-term, for once. Turf Show Times takes an important quote from his Twitter: He wants to play—he's still Steven Jackson, after all, who last year was almost constantly suffering from one nagging injury or another—but he has to "be smart about the season." 

That's an important perspective for the Rams' workhorse to have. Maybe if everything had gone perfectly with Jackson the Rams could have come away with a win on Monday Night Football. But if they hadn't—if Jackson had reaggravated an injury that had kept him from practicing all week already—this would have just been an ugly loss made even uglier.

It was brutal to watch Cadillac Williams sputter out after his promising Week 1 performance, and more brutal still to watch him miss that lateral—but it would have been worse to have seen all of that after Jackson went down grabbing his leg again. 


Giants Vs. Rams Halftime: Giants Strike Again On Outstanding Domenik Hixon Play, Rams Victimized By Mistakes

The St. Louis Rams' offense fired on all cylinders in the first half, but nobody remembered to put it in park or lock the doors—the New York Giants have taken advantage of some awful mistakes by the Rams to open up a 21-6 lead at halftime on Monday Night Football. Eli Manning is just 9-for-18 with 104 yards—and two touchdowns.

Bradford's been rushed more intensely after the Rams' hot start; he goes into halftime at 11-for-23 with 197 yards, about as far away from the infamous Pat Shurmur/Danny Amendola Rams as you could possibly imagine. Danario Alexander, who backflipped his way into a 68-yard reception a week after being inactive, has been the primary benefactor of this newly opened-up offense. But without Steven Jackson to go to work near the goal line the Giants have been bruising Sam Bradford when the Rams near touchdown territory, not leaving enough time for the Rams' newly complex offense to make its last steps into the end zone. 

Without the mistakes the Rams would be in the lead going into the third quarter—with them they'll be hard-pressed to catch up. 


Monday Night Football Live Updates: St. Louis Rams' Offense Out Of Control In First Quarter

The St. Louis Rams’ offense looked exactly as advertised in the first quarter of Monday Night Football—outside the red zone, at least. Sam Bradford’s 68-yard connection to Danario Alexander wasn’t the only thing the New York Giants had to contend with—Bradford finished the quarter 6-for-11 with 139 yards through the air, getting Mike Sims-Walker, Brandon Gibson, and beleaguered rookie Lance Kendricks involved with some big plays as well.

Working without a huddle, the Rams ran the Giants so ragged that the New York defense clearly faked an injury to catch their breaths. But each time they neared the goal line, they locked up, the result being two Josh Brown field goals instead of two Sam Bradford touchdowns. Without Steven Jackson to account for the Giants put serious pressure on Bradford at the goal line, forcing awkward passes and stuffing Cadillac Williams.

The Giants carry a 7-6 lead into the second quarter, but they haven’t played that way—only a dropped Greg Salas punt return and the continued red zone misplays have kept them in this game against Josh McDaniels’s wrecking ball of an offense.


Eli Manning Interception Creates St. Louis Rams Field Goal

The St. Louis Rams’ defense bent but manages to break the New York Giants in Eli Manning’s first drive of Week 2’s Monday Night Football matchup, getting pushed downfield before free-agent pickup Quintin Mikell invaded a route for a clean interception. The Rams offense got down to the goal line—thanks to a beautiful pass from Sam Bradford that led to a beautiful catch from Danario Alexander—before settling for a field goal, picking up an early 3-0 lead.

Mikell was strong in the Rams’ Week 1 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles as well, picking up a sack and an interception; in his career, which he began as an undrafted free agent with the Eagles, he has 11 interceptions and five sacks. For Eli Manning it’s his second interception of the season, a year after leading the NFL with 25; his 114 in his career are seventh among active quarterbacks.

The Rams will need to take advantage of Manning’s propensity for making mistakes if they’re to stopper the Giants’ offense.

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