Rams beat Redskins 30-16 to end 14-game home skid

Conventional wisdom says as Steven Jackson goes, so go the St.

Louis Rams. The supporting cast made believers of the Washington

Redskins.

The Rams ended a 14-game home losing streak with a 30-16 victory

on Sunday by showing surprising depth. The go-ahead touchdown came

on a run by Jackson’s backup, and a defense minus both starting

safeties consistently made Washington (1-2) settle for field

goals.

”I’ll bet a lot of people would have written us off,” center

Jason Brown said. ”`Oh, Steven Jackson is carrying the Rams’

offense on his back.’ Well, you still have to have faith the rest

of the players can rally around and fill that void.”

The Rams (1-2) won for only the second time in the last 29 games

and were confident afterward it wasn’t a fluke.

”Hopefully, it’s one of many,” middle linebacker James

Laurinaitis said. ”I think that’s kind of the message that we want

to send, that it’s not just an awesome celebration because we won

one.”

Unsung Kenneth Darby scored his first career touchdown on a

12-yard run for a 21-16 third-quarter lead, kick-starting the Rams

to their first home victory since beating the Cowboys 34-14 on Oct.

10, 2008. That game was Jim Haslett’s debut as interim head coach.

Haslett is now the Redskins’ defensive coordinator, and his unit

surrendered the Rams’ best point total in two seasons under Steve

Spagnuolo.

”Needless to say, a very, very gratifying win,” Spagnuolo

said. ”When you can rise above some adverse situations, it’s even

better. We lose some of our best players and other players stepped

in there.”

Little went as planned for the Redskins, who lost their punter

during pre-game warmups. Josh Bidwell felt something pop in his hip

and kicker Graham Gano, the stand-in punter, had his first attempt

blocked by Dominique Curry.

Bidwell was able to hold on field goal attempts, however.

”That doesn’t happen very often,” Redskins coach Mike Shanahan

said. ”Something popped. We’re not sure what it is.”

No. 1 pick Sam Bradford was unflappable for St. Louis, the

offensive line opened holes for Jackson’s backups and role players

Danny Amendola, Mark Clayton, Brandon Gibson and Daniel Fells

combined for 17 receptions, 196 yards and a touchdown.

”Bradford, he was deserving of the first pick,” Washington

running back Clinton Portis said. ”Some receivers stepped up and

made plays. Guys that I’ve never heard of.”

The Redskins were held to three points in the second half and

finished 1 for 10 on third down conversions. Portis had only one

carry after the break, finishing with 44 yards on seven attempts

while sharing the load with game-week acquisition Ryan Torian.

Torian played his first game since Nov. 6, 2008 with the Broncos

and had 46 yards on seven carries.

”I can’t question it,” Portis said. ”When they called my

number and told me to go in, I went in the game.”

Spagnuolo was hopeful that Jackson, who’ll undergo an MRI exam

on his groin Monday, could play next week at home against the

Seahawks. Jackson scored on a 42-yard run for the game’s first

score and finished with 58 yards on 10 attempts.

The Rams led 14-0 after their first two scores in the first

quarter this season, then fell behind when the Redskins scored 16

straight points plus blocked a chip-shot field goal. Instead of

folding, St. Louis took control.

”Now we’ve just got to keep the ball rolling,” Fells said.

”There was no way we were going to let this game slip away from

us.”

Santana Moss had six receptions for 124 yards and a score for

Washington, but also lost a fumble in the first half that led to a

touchdown for St. Louis. Donovan McNabb, who gets his homecoming

game at Philadelphia next week, was 19 for 32 for 236 yards with

one touchdown and an interception.

”The red zone is just killing us,” Moss said. ”We’ve got to

find ways to stick it in.”

The pick by Bradley Fletcher at the Washington 41 with 3:39 to

play helped the Rams finish it off with Josh Brown’s third field

goal of the second half.

Bradford was 23 for 37 for 235 yards and one touchdown and one

interception for the Rams, spreading the ball to nine

receivers.