5 things to know after Rams sack Bucs 23-13

Two weeks ago, the St. Louis Rams were eliminated from playoff

contention. Just don’t tell Robert Quinn there’s nothing to play

for.

Quinn led a dominant defensive effort with three sacks, taking

the NFL lead and setting a franchise record, in Sunday’s 23-13

victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Last week he had two sacks,

a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in a victory over the

Saints.

Fellow defensive ends Chris Long and William Hayes carried Quinn

off the field after the Rams (7-8) kept the Buccaneers (4-11) in

neutral or reverse, and matched their victory total from last

year.

”At first, I was just waiting to congratulate him because I

didn’t get to congratulate him after the third one because it was

fourth-and-1 and we had to get back out there,” Long said. ”Some

people might think it’s overkill out there. I’ve never see anybody

like him. He deserves it.”

Quinn has 18 sacks, 1 1/2 more than the Colts’ Robert Mathis.

The last of the Rams’ seven sacks of Mike Glennon snapped the

franchise record of 17 by Kevin Carter in 1999, the franchise’s

Super Bowl championship team.

”The guys are happy for me,” Quinn said. ”I couldn’t have

done it without them.”

Whatever happens next week at Seattle, the Rams will complete a

decade without a winning record. They’re determined to finish

strong.

The Bucs must rally before finishing at New Orleans.

”It was a tough loss,” coach Greg Schiano said. ”Not for a

lack of work or for a lack of not caring, but the result is what

the result is.”

Five things to know after the Rams’ victory:

NO PICKS: Quarterback Kellen Clemens is 4-4 as the stand-in

starter while Sam Bradford recuperates from knee surgery.

Though he lost a fumble and didn’t have a touchdown pass, he was

effective managing another win. Clemens has five TD passes and no

interceptions in the four victories, and two TD passes with five

interceptions in the losses. He’s struggled against top

competition, with three of the losses to top-10 defenses – Seattle,

San Francisco and Arizona.

”When Sam went down, we rallied,” Fisher said.

EARLY OFFENSE: The Buccaneers entered ranked last in the NFL in

total offense and passing offense and didn’t improve their position

against the Rams.

Though they’ve enjoyed early success, scoring on their second

possession 11 times in 15 games with four TDs, including Bobby

Rainey’s 1-yard run for the lead Sunday, they finished with just

170 yards of offense, setting a season low for the second straight

game, and were held to 20 or fewer points for the eighth time.

Vincent Jackson was the lone standout, making five catches for

98 yards.

OFF AND RUNNING: Rams rookie Zac Stacy carried the load again,

shaking off a lost fumble and finishing with 104 yards on 33

carries and a TD.

Stacy didn’t start until Week 5 but needs just 42 yards in the

finale to give the Rams a 1,000-yard rusher for the ninth

consecutive season. Steven Jackson put up eight straight before

taking a free agent deal with the Falcons. The Rams have emphasized

the run since Bradford was hurt in Week 7. Trickery produced their

other first-half TD: rookie Stedman Bailey’s 27-yard reverse.

”Just being honest, we defensively got our butts kicked in the

first half,” Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. ”They ran

the ball on us at will, whenever they felt like it.”

O-LINE JUGGLES: Rodger Saffold returned to his original NFL

position, left tackle, after Jake Long was sidelined with what the

Rams believe is a torn ACL on his right knee on the first

series.

”We are anticipating the worst for Jake,” Fisher said.

Shelley Smith was plugged in at right guard, where Saffold had

been, and the new line did enough things right. The most notable

play was a 5-yard quarterback sneak by Clemens on fourth-and-inches

in the fourth quarter, with more than enough push from the line to

help set up a 25-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein that made it

20-13.

”Basically, what it comes down to is following my rules,”

Saffold said. ”Basically, what I did was constantly work on my

technique because I knew I would be able to react to whatever

happens.”

BAD HANDS: Rams rookie outside linebacker Alec Ogletree forced

two fumbles, one leading to the go-ahead score and the second

setting up the clinching field goal.

Bailey’s TD came the snap after Rainey lost a fumble and Glennon

coughed one up in the fourth quarter on a sack by Ogletree and

James Laurinaitis that set up Zuerlein’s 48-yard field goal that

made it a two-score game.

”I did a terrible job of securing the ball the way I’m supposed

to, so I put the game on me,” Rainey said. ”We played behind

because of me.”

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org