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Three things revisited: Rams-Bears

11/24/2013

St. Louis -- A look at how the St. Louis Rams fared in three key areas of Sunday's 42-21 win against the Chicago Bears.

Attack with Zac

It was a no brainer to assume the Rams would look to establish the running game against Chicago's 31st-ranked rush defense, especially given the Rams and running back Zac Stacy's recent success running the ball.

Sure enough, that's precisely what the Rams did as Stacy got the ball early and often. He pounded away at the Bears for 87 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries before leaving the game with a head injury. The Rams turned the reins over to fellow rookie Benny Cunningham who had even more success in rushing 13 times for 109 yards and a touchdown of his own.

Electric rookie Tavon Austin added to the mix with his scintillating 65-yard touchdown jaunt on the game's third play as the Rams finished with 258 yards on 29 carries for three scores.

Protecting it

Turnovers are a key to every game but the Rams set the tone early by forcing a fumble from Chicago running back Matt Forte on the Bears' first play from scrimmage. Linebacker James Laurinaitis recovered it at Chicago's 7 and the Rams promptly went up 14-0.

Both teams stayed turnover free despite some close calls until the game's closing moments when the Rams sealed it with takeaways. End Robert Quinn forced a fumble, recovered it and ran 31 yards for a touchdown for the final margin and safety/cornerback Rodney McLeod intercepted Bears quarterback Josh McCown with a minute and 32 seconds to play.

All told, the Rams were plus-three in the turnover battle.

Screen protection

Early in the game, the Rams seemed to be prepared for any attempts to throw screens to Forte or any other Bears back but Forte eventually found some room. He finished with 40 receiving yards on seven catches and Michael Bush added a catch for 10 yards as the Rams struggled with open field tackling.

Still, the Rams found a way to limit the damage on those plays as none of the backs had a gain longer than Forte's 13 yards on a catch.