Ram Win Streak Hits a High Five
Marc Bulger carried the St. Louis Rams another step in their improbable run toward the playoffs although Kurt Warner made a cameo appearance a week earlier than scheduled.
Bulger threw for 347 yards and two touchdowns Monday night as the Rams beat the Chicago Bears, 21-16, to win their fifth straight after opening the season with five losses. That pulls them within two games of San Francisco in the NFC West.
“We just feel like we’re finally out of a hole and we can make progress to our goal of getting to the playoffs,” Coach Mike Martz said. “I’m proud of the way our team worked to get here. I’m not happy yet with where we are.”
Isaac Bruce had six receptions for 141 yards and Adam Archuleta led a Ram defense that sacked Chris Chandler seven times. Despite a sore neck, Chandler was playing in place of Jim Miller, who had a sore elbow.
The Bears (2-8) have lost eight in a row.
Warner, who sat out five games because of a broken pinkie and is scheduled to return next week in Washington, made his first appearance since Sept. 29 in the second quarter, when Bulger was taken to the locker room for X-rays on an injured index finger on his throwing hand.
Warner was sacked by Keith Traylor and completed one of two passes for 13 yards. Bulger, 5-0 as a starter, returned after X-rays were negative.
“Kurt’s our guy. I knew it going in, we talked all week about it,” Bulger said. “I’m glad we’re back to .500.
“It won’t be fun,” he added about returning to the bench. “Kurt’s a great player. He’s a two-time MVP. When he’s back, it will be another spark.”
With Marshall Faulk out with ankle and foot injuries, the Rams had almost no running game. Lamar Gordon, Faulk’s replacement, caught a 22-yard touchdown pass late in the first half, but St. Louis was limited to 62 yards on the ground.
The Rams scored on the first and last drives of the first half to take a 14-6 halftime lead.