Rams look for elusive road victory
The surprising St. Louis Rams have made great strides so far and
are in contention halfway through the regular season.
To stay in the playoff race, however, the Rams (4-4) need to
find a way to end their struggles on the road.
The Rams have won four of six to join the Seattle Seahawks atop
the NFC West, but all four of those victories have been at
St. Louis hasn’t won a road game since Nov. 1, 2009, at Detroit,
a 17-10 victory that was its only win of the 2009 season. St. Louis
won just one road game in the 2008 season, 19-17 at Washington, in
a 2-14 season.
This season, St. Louis has been competitive away from home in
all but one game – a 44-6 blowout at Detroit.
They’ll have to be better if they want to stay in contention for
the NFC West title.
The Rams have four of their next five away from St. Louis,
beginning Sunday in San Francisco.
Coach Steve Spagnuolo said Friday that he’s not looking beyond
this weekend’s game against the division rival 49ers (2-6).
”Well, I’m not real into the four out of five,” Spagnuolo
said. ”I’m into the one, which we’ve got this week. We’re going to
play San Francisco whether we play it here, there, or at a neutral
site. We’re going to try to play it the same way and try to win a
Rookie quarterback Sam Bradford said that is the correct
approach to hitting the road.
”I think we need to just be ourselves. I don’t think we have to
try to do anything different, I don’t think we have to try to force
anything,” said Bradford, who has thrown for 1,674 yards and 11
touchdowns. ”I think we just have to come out and be ourselves,
and we’ve got to do it for a whole game.
”I think that’s been the problem. We came out against Tampa and
played great the first half and then just shut down in the second
half. If you want to win a football game in this league, you can’t
Running back Steven Jackson said it’s difficult to figure out
what has caused the road problems.
”Well, we’ve struggled. I don’t think it’s one thing,” Jackson
said. ”We’ve struggled because we’ve struggled, I guess. But we’re
going to change that. We’re going to turn it around. We have eight
games left in the season.”
Spagnuolo said he’s only focused on this weekend’s game.
”We treat them all the same,” Spagnuolo said. ”Again, we talk
in terms of taking them one at a time. I think maybe when you get
in the playoffs it becomes a little bit different when it becomes a
one-and-done type of deal.
”Right now, again, we’ll take it one at a time, get as many
wins as you can, add them up and hopefully you’re in the
Notes: Safety James Butler will be out Sunday with an ankle
injury. Craig Dahl will take his place in the lineup. Offensive
tackle Rodger Saffold saw limited practice time with an injured
shoulder, but Spagnuolo said he will play against the 49ers.