TSX: Rams Report Card

The St. Louis Rams needed a win against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday and they got it. The Rams' 25-17 win put them in position to win the NFC West with a victory in Seattle on Sunday. See how The Sports Xchange graded the Rams' performance.

RAMS REPORT CARD VS. 49ERS

PASSING OFFENSE: A-minus -- The only reason for the minus is the sack/fumble on a first-down play that originated at the 49ers' 10-yard line. Other than that, QB Sam Bradford was on his game, spreading the ball around to seven different receivers and hitting a 46-yard play to Danario Alexander and one of 41 yards to Brandon Gibson. WR Danny Amendola contributed eight receptions, and Bradford had a passer rating of 107.0.

RUSHING OFFENSE: C-minus -- The going was tough, but the Rams didn't abandon the run even though RB Steven Jackson managed just 48 yards on 24 carries. Three end-arounds were called, and the biggest was a 14-yard run by Gibson on which he dived for the final yards that gave the Rams a first down on their final possession of the game.

PASS DEFENSE: B -- The only factor keeping this from an "A" grade were the big plays. The pressure was good, as 49ers quarterbacks were sacked four times and fumbled four times. However, eight pass plays accounted for 227 yards, including six plays of 22 yards or more. Aside from the eight plays, QBs Troy Smith and Alex Smith combined to complete nine of their other 26 attempts for 46 yards.

RUSH DEFENSE: B-plus -- The running game wasn't a factor. Brian Westbrook averaged 4.0 yards per attempt but totaled just 40 yards. Anthony Dixon had just 17 yards on six rushes.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B-minus -- The biggest blemish was a 78-yard punt return for a touchdown by Ted Ginn, the second kick return for a score against the Rams this season. That was nearly offset by an 84-yard kickoff return by Danny Amendola in the fourth quarter that put the ball at the San Francisco 12-yard line and led to a field goal and the final points of the game. Amendola averaged just 3.7 yards on punt returns, mostly because of P Andy Lee's 53.8-yard average. PK Josh Brown made all three of his field-goal attempts, and he did a good job on directional kickoffs that limited Ginn to a 16.7-yard average with a long of 20 on six returns.

COACHING: A -- Coach Steve Spagnuolo has pushed the right buttons all season, getting his team to believe it could compete for a division title. Most important is that the Rams have won six more games this season than they did in 2009. He helped get the team focused on the second half Sunday, which resulted in the Rams outscoring the 49ers 13-3. The defensive coaches dialed up the pressure, and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur called a game that included 38 pass plays and 28 runs, and Bradford didn't have an interception for the sixth game this season.

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