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The Lake News Online
  • Rams start fast and finish fast, beat Bears 42-21

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    • 5 things to know after Rams beat Bears 42-21
      FAST START: The Rams emerged from the bye energized, scoring on their opening possession for the first time all season. They totaled 29 points in the first quarter the first 10 games, t...
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      5 things to know after Rams beat Bears 42-21
      FAST START: The Rams emerged from the bye energized, scoring on their opening possession for the first time all season. They totaled 29 points in the first quarter the first 10 games, then put up 21 against the Bears aided by Matt Forte's fumble at the 7 that led to a second quick score right after Austin's breakaway run.

      Last year, the Rams had just 3 yards total offense in the first quarter of a 23-6 loss in Chicago.

      "We couldn't have started off better," coach Jeff Fisher said. "They just played from behind for the rest of the game." St. Louis has won two straight, both impressively.

      SLOW START: Playing catch-up is not really the Bears' strong suit. The early deficit proved too much in a road contest that had appeared winnable, and with a sold-out Edward Jones Domes about half-full of their fans, too.

      The Bears have lost five of eight and missed a chance to take sole possession of first place in the NFC North. They're tied with Detroit, which also lost, and just a half-game ahead of the Packers.

      Coach Marc Trestman believes big plays against the Bears keep the team down too long. "We lost in all three phases," Trestman said.

      GROUND GAME: The Bears entered 31st in the NFL in run defense and were vulnerable all day, surrendering a season-high 258 yards rushing.

      Zac Stacy had 87 yards on 12 carries before halftime when he left to be examined for concussion-like symptoms and fellow rookie Benny Cunningham stepped up with his first 100-yard game, totaling 199 yards on 13 carries and a late score that helped the Rams put this one away.

      The Bears were held to 80 yards on 26 carries, a 3.1-yard average. They couldn't bang it in with first-and-goal from the 4 early in the third quarter and one of the keys to the game was on fourth-and-goal from the 1 when Michael Bush was thrown for a 4-yard loss by Jo-Lonn Dunbar.

      WHISTLE FACTOR: The Bears piled up 10 penalties for 84 yards, one of them a holding call that nullified a 62-yard punt return for touchdown by Devin Hester early in the fourth quarter that would have cut the gap to six points.

      They worked too hard for Bush's 1-yard run to shave it to 27-21 with 7:15 to go, burning time after Martellus Bennett's short TD catch called back by a holding call. They perhaps benefited from a roughing the passer penalty on Michael Brockers that appeared to be a clean hit on replay, but that referee Jerome Boger told a pool reporter was the correct call because the player led with a helmet to the body of the quarterback.

      "I was a little frustrated with that," Fisher said. "I didn't think that was appropriate."

      BAD DEFENSE: The Bears are fourth in the NFL in scoring, averaging 27.5 points, but are giving up an average of 28 per game — only three teams have allowed more points.

      Before Sunday, they'd shown some improvement with opponents averaging 20 points the previous three games.

      The Rams put up a season-best 425 total yards and their point total was their biggest since beating the Colts in 2001. "We have to clean everything up," linebacker Jonathan Bostic said.
  • ST. LOUIS (AP) — The only time the brother vs. brother subplot got really physical was when Chris Long played the role of peacemaker.
    Racing off the sideline where he'd taken a play off, the St. Louis Rams defensive end rescued a teammate and dragged Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long out of a first-half fracas before it could escalate.
    "One way to defuse that situation was to get everybody out of there," Chris Long said. "He happened to be a body I saw, so I grabbed him."
    Until they posed for photos after the game with Mom and Dad after the Rams outmuscled the Bears 42-21 on Sunday, it had been mostly just another game day. They lined up close to each other all day, and traded the occasional glancing blow.
    "It's not like we went head to head much," Chris Long said. "I'm sure there's some out there disappointed with it if they were glued to the TV looking for conflict between us."
    There was plenty between the Bears and Rams, though.
    Tavon Austin's 65-yard touchdown run — his fourth straight this season from beyond midfield — jump-started a 21-point first quarter and the defense made some big plays, too.
    Coming off their bye, the Rams (5-6) followed up a 30-point rout of Indianapolis in front of their first capacity crowd of the season, about half of them clad Bears orange. Late scores by rookie backup running back Benny Cunningham and defensive end Robert Quinn helped finish off the Bears (6-5), who remained tied for the NFC North lead.
    "Guys are fighting," Quinn said. "We know we can make a run."
    Josh McCown passed for 352 yards and two touchdowns with an interception for Chicago, which had won four straight in the series. The Bears were dogged by penalties throughout, including a 62-yard punt return for touchdown by Devin Hester nullified by a holding call in the fourth quarter.
    On the play that ended with his big brother dragging him off the field, Kyle Long said he'd been reacting to a cheap shot in the back "about 30 yards away from the play." He had defensive end William Hayes down and delivered some forearm blows before Chris Long intervened.
    "I still don't know if there was a whistle. Some of the guys said there was," Kyle Long said. "You can't lose your cool, and I lost my cool."
    Kyle Long got a personal foul and there were two other major penalties declined on the play, intentional grounding on McCown and a facemask call on fullback Tony Fiammetta.
    Cunningham's 9-yard run with 3:05 to play plus a 2-point conversion pass from Kellen Clemens to Isaiah Pead put the Rams up 35-21. Quinn stripped McCown on a sack and then scooped up the ball on a 31-yard return just before the 2-minute warning for his first career NFL touchdown.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Bears had first-and-goal at the 4 on their opening drive of the second half trailing 24-14 and got nothing when coach Marc Trestman decided against a field goal and Michael Bush was thrown for a 4-yard loss by Jo-Lonn Dunbar.
    "We always talk on goal-line defense about never conceding anything," Dunbar said. "The second time they had too many opportunities and they finally got that one in. But we pride ourselves in holding them."
    Kyle Long took the blame, saying "I didn't pull far enough. That one falls on me."
    Cunningham rushed for 109 yards on 13 carries, most of it in the second half after Zac Stacy was sidelined with concussionlike symptoms. Cornerback Trumaine Johnson and guard Chris Williams also left following blows to the head.
    McCown's passing yardage total was the third-best of his career and most since 2005.
    The Rams stunned the Bears early with two big plays and two touchdowns.
    Austin reversed field on a pitchout for a 65-yard run that gave them points on their opening possession the first time all year. Stacy's 1-yard run capitalized on a lost fumble by Matt Forte at the 7 for a 14-0 cushion with 12:36 to go in the first quarter.
    Jared Cook added a 6-yard catch from Clemens late in the first for a 21-7 cushion, offsetting Martellus Bennett's 7-yard reception from McCown.
    The Rams totaled 29 points in the first quarter during the first 10 games before surging against a defense that been on the upswing, allowing an average of 20 points the last three games.
    Brandon Marshall got free with a little push off Janoris Jenkins on a 3-yard catch that cut the gap to 21-14 with 5:19 to go in the half.
    Notes: Forte had 77 yards on 16 carries and has 6,178 with the Bears, passing Neal Anderson for second on the franchise career list behind Walter Payton, who had 16,726. ... The previous best paid attendance for the Rams was 56,640 for the 49ers in a Thursday night loss on Sept. 26.
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