Sunday, November 28, 2010
Wrap-up: Rams 36, Broncos 33
By Mike Sando
Thoughts on the St. Louis Rams' 36-33 win against the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium in Week 12:
What it means: The Rams moved into a first-place tie with Seattle atop the NFC West at 5-6, but they hold the tiebreaker after beating the Seahawks in Week 4. By beating Denver, the Rams have finally claimed the breakthrough road victory they needed. They had to sweat it out, but could it be any other way for this team? The Rams will need to win another game on the road this season to reach 8-8. The way this division is shaping up, however, they might be able to win it at 7-9. Getting this victory to begin a three-game road trip takes off the pressure heading into a Week 13 game at Arizona. The Rams have to like their chances against the Cardinals and in the division overall.
Big Revelation: The Rams' recent production increases at tight end were not a mirage. Billy Bajema caught two first-half scoring passes. Fellow tight end Mike Hoomanwanui caught a touchdown pass of at least 25 yards for the second week in a row. The Rams' injury issues at receiver remain a limiting factor. That's why it's important for the team to develop its tight ends into receiving threats. That appears to be happening. Wide receiver Danario Alexander also bounced back from knee surgery with four catches for 95 yards.
What I liked: Rookie quarterback Sam Bradford passed for 308 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. He now has 11 TD passes and one INT since leading receiver Mark Clayton landed on injured reserve.
What I didn't like: The Rams had to sweat out a victory that seemed like a done deal in the second half. The Broncos outscored the Rams 20-3 in the fourth quarter. The Rams still need to learn how to finish. At least they won this time.
Hero: Safety Oshiomogho Atogwe returned to his ball-hawking ways by forcing a fumble to set up a key second-half touchdown as the Rams pulled away.
What's next: The Rams visit the Cardinals in Week 13.