Rams Pull Out a Sloppy Victory

From Associated Press

Marc Bulger was so off-target with his passes that St. Louis Ram Coach Mike Martz almost yanked him.

Instead, Martz let his young quarterback play through an awful performance, leaving Kurt Warner on the sideline as the defense led the way in a 33-22 victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night.

"Marc slugged it out pretty good," Martz said. "It did cross my mind, but Marc needs to go through this. They all go through that, and Marc's no different from anybody else."

The Rams forced seven turnovers and knocked rookie quarterback Kyle Boller out of the game. That performance covered up for a suddenly incompetent offense that had been ranked No. 1 in the NFL.

St. Louis also had four turnovers, two by punt returner DeJuan Groce.

Bulger completed 13 of 26 passes for 110 yards, with two interceptions and no touchdowns.

"I certainly am in charge of the offense and I wasn't in rhythm tonight, but the defense was outstanding," Bulger said. "There's no excuse for how I played."

The 11 total turnovers were the most in an NFL game this season.

The Rams (6-3) managed only 121 total yards, well below their league-leading average of 374.5, and had only seven first downs. They had seven straight three-and-outs on offense and had zero yards total offense in the second quarter.

"That team is deservedly the No. 1 offense in the league," Raven Coach Brian Billick said. "Our defense gave them nothing. Nothing. And that's encouraging."

Marshall Faulk was contained after sitting out five games because of a broken left hand and injured right knee. Faulk had 48 yards in 20 carries, but had two short touchdown runs.

Jamal Lewis of the Ravens, the NFL's leading rusher, had 111 yards in 27 carries for his seventh 100-yard game, but also lost two fumbles.

Boller left the game because of a sprained left knee at the end of the first half.

The team scheduled an MRI exam for Boller today.

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