The St. Louis Rams have taken on an entirely new offensive identity ever since quarterback Sam Bradford went down five weeks ago with a torn ACL. This identity was on full display in Sunday afternoon’s contest against the Chicago Bears in the Edward Jones Dome.
Throughout the game, the Rams ran the rock seemingly at will. Starting with just their third play from scrimmage, which resulted in rookie wide receiver Tavon Austin bringing one out of the backfield for a 65-yard score, the ground attack was off to the races. The Bears’ defense simply had no answer.
Before leaving early with an apparent concussion, Rams starting running back Zac Stacy was able to rack up 87 yards and a touchdown on a dozen carries. Backup Benny Cunningham joined the party in the second half, going for 109 on 13 attempts with a score of his own. In total, the team ended the game with a very solid 258 rushing yards en route to the 42-21 victory.
Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer’s recent ground-and-pound approach has lasted over a month with a great deal of success. The Rams are averaging nearly 190 yards rushing through their last four games. Even more impressively, they have put up a combined 80 points the last two times out.
Head coach Jeff Fisher’s crew will be looking to continue their upward trend on the road next week against the San Francisco 49ers. Now at 5-6, the Rams find themselves fighting for playoff positioning. That is a destination the franchise has not found themselves in since January of 2005.