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(Sunday, November 1st)
Final Score: St. Louis 17, Detroit 10
Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Steven Jackson rushed for 149 yards on 22 carries and scored the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter, as the St. Louis Rams snapped a franchise-record 17-game skid with a 17-10 victory over the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.
Jackson also caught three passes for 17 yards for the Rams (1-7), who won their first game since beating the Cowboys on October 19, 2008. Marc Bulger completed 17-of-35 passes for 176 yards and an interception. Daniel Fells caught a TD pass on fake field goal for St. Louis, which gave Steve Spagnuolo his first win as a head coach in the NFL.
"Obviously I'm very happy about the win, I think the guys played their guts out. We talked about it all week, they never quit, I mean even during the week at practice, which was a tough one because you come off a tough loss and seven of them, but they continue to work. I'm just so proud and happy that they now have a reward, and it's just one reward, this isn't the end but I just prayed for them to have a reward for all the work that they put in and finally they got that," Spagnuolo said.
Matthew Stafford connected on 14-of-33 passes for 168 yards and an interception for the Lions (1-6), who have dropped four in a row after winning their only game of the season on September 27 against Washington. Stafford had a rushing TD, while Maurice Morris rushed for 63 yards on 14 carries. Kevin Smith hauled in four passes for 49 yards and rushed for 45 yards on 16 carries in defeat.
The Lions were without star wide receiver Calvin Johnson for a second straight game due to a knee injury. They did get Stafford back, though, after he missed the last two contests with a knee injury.
"Hard fought game. Congratulations to the Rams, but this is a game that we've got to find a way to win. Way too many missed opportunities in this game; way too many critical errors in this game in key positions. We need to put more points on the board; we need to make more big plays on offense. We can't play small-ball the way that we did," Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said.
St. Louis, which was ahead by eight late in the third, was marching down the field and had the ball in the red zone; however, Bulger was intercepted by Dewayne White at the 17.
Detroit capitalized with a 10-play scoring drive to tie the game. A 36-yard catch by Bryant Johnson along the right sideline set the Lions up at the five- yard-line. Two plays later, Stafford scrambled into the end zone from four yards out. A successful two-point conversion pass from Stafford to Morris made it 10-10 with 13:51 remaining in the fourth.
Following a series of punts, the Rams took over on their own 38 with 2:26 to play. A defensive pass interference call on third down gave St. Louis a first down at the Lions' 42. Jackson then rushed 17 yards up the middle before breaking the 25-yard game-winning TD run with 1:38 left.
"It means a lot. We've been working hard since March to win a game and unfortunately we lost seven in a row coming into today. It means a lot because we worked hard to finally get a victory," said Jackson, who scored his first rushing TD of the season.
St. Louis' defense then forced four straight Stafford incompletions to seal the victory and end the long winless drought.
The Rams put together an 11-play, 57-yard drive on their first possession of the contest. St. Louis was set up at the Detroit 13, but an offensive holding call made it 1st-and-20. The Rams sputtered from there and were forced to settle for a 41-yard Josh Brown field goal for a 3-0 edge with 3:57 left in the first.
A crazy play led to the Lions' first points of the game. Early in the second, James Butler picked off a Stafford pass that deflected off the hands of Aaron Brown. Butler made the interception in the end zone and started to run the other way before running back into the end zone. Smith was there to make the tackle, resulting in a safety and two points for Detroit.
St. Louis used some trickery to take a 10-2 lead. The Rams set up for a field goal on a 4th-and-8 at the Lions 36. The holder took the snap and flipped the ball to Brown, who passed to an open Fells for a touchdown with 54 seconds left in the half.
"They had a good call on for what we had and they executed the play. If they actually try a field goal and we force a miss we've got a chance to put points on the board at the end of the first half of a low scoring game. It's sort of like blitz score at the end -- too aggressive," Schwartz said of the fake field goal.
The Lions broke a 19-game losing streak when they beat the Redskins this year...St. Louis outgained Detroit, 362-289...The Rams lead the all-time regular season series with the Lions, 42-37-1, including a 41-34 win when the teams met at the Edward Jones Dome in 2006...Despite the win, the Rams are 6-34 in their last 40 games dating back to 2007...With 14:19 left in the third quarter, Jackson recorded a six-yard rush to give him 49 yards from scrimmage in the game and 8,158 yards from scrimmage in his career. The yardage total passes RB Eric Dickerson (8,157) for fifth on the Rams' all-time yards from scrimmage list...Bulger completed a seven-yard pass to tight end Randy McMichael late in the second period. That pass gave Bulger 100 passing yards in the game and 22,224 passing yards for his career, passing Roman Gabriel (22,223) for second on the Rams' all-time passing yards list...The Lions play at Seattle next Sunday, while the Rams have a bye week before hosting the Saints on November 15.
11/01 18:53:33 ET
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