Posted December 10, 2012 on
AP on Fox
St. Louis Rams
Steven Jackson has been around for enough of the bad times in St. Louis to appreciate what it means to still be in the playoff hunt at this time of year.
Slim as the Rams' hopes might be, Jackson's going to enjoy this as much - and for as long - as he can.
''At this point in December, for us to still have meaningful games, for guys to come collectively together as a team, it means a lot,'' the veteran running back said. ''This team is definitely showing growth and maturity.''
After five consecutive losing seasons, the Rams (6-6-1) took their latest step forward under first-year coach Jeff Fisher with a 15-12 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. A week after rallying St. Louis to a 16-13 overtime win over San Francisco, quarterback Sam Bradford produced his second consecutive fourth-quarter comeback with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Gibson with 48 seconds remaining.
They've now won three straight for the first time since closing the 2006 season with a 3-0 finish. They won on cold, wet day, with temperatures in the high 30s and a light rain falling for much of the second half. And victory came on the road, where the Rams were 1-3-1 this season, and 8-36-1 since 2007.
''I think this team grew up a little more today,'' Bradford said. ''When it mattered, the guys stepped up and made plays.''
The defense did its part by making five sacks and forcing two turnovers, including when linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar ended the Bills' final drive by intercepting Ryan Fitzpatrick pass.
And then there was Bradford, who directed the decisive 14-play, 84-yard drive in which he twice converted on third down, and also hit receiver Austin Pettis while facing fourth-and-1.
''Sam's not a guy who gets flustered,'' Fisher said.
No, that's the M.O. of a Bills team that at 5-8 continues to find ways to lose, and is all but mathematically certain of extending the NFL's longest active playoff drought to 13 years.
''Yeah, we have to develop a killer instinct,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''As an offense, we have to put them away, and we didn't do that today.''
The offense settled for two field goals and running back Fred Jackson's fumble in three drives inside the Rams 25 in the first half.
And the defense unraveled when it mattered by squandering a lead in the final 70 seconds for the second time at home this season. The other time that happened came in 35-34 loss to Tennessee on Oct. 21.
What's worse, safety George Wilson twice had chances to intercept Bradford on the final drive, only to drop the ball each time.
''You have to be a finisher in this league,'' Wilson said. ''Those are the plays you replay over and over in your head, wishing that the ball would've bounced your way.''
Much of the blame is starting to be directed at third-year head coach Chan Gailey, who was once again being second-guessed for his play-calling.
Despite having three timeouts, and the ball on the Rams 34 with 38 seconds left in the second quarter, the Bills mismanaged the clock by getting off only three plays for 10 yards before settling for Rian Lindell's 40-yard field goal.
And questions remained as to why Gailey was overly cautious in limiting the workload of running back C.J. Spiller, the team's most dynamic weapon. Despite leading the NFL in averaging 6.62 yards per carry, Spiller only had three carries for 27 yards in the second half, and finished with seven carries for 37 yards.
Gailey chalked it up to his two-back rotation. And when it came time to run the ball, Jackson happened to be the one on the field.
''Bottom line, we could not make plays,'' Gailey said. ''It is a bitter pill to swallow.''
NOTES: Fitzpatrick finished 25 of 33 for 247 yards with a 2-yard touchdown to Lee Smith, and an interception. ... Bradford finished 19 of 39 for 209 yards, an interception and hit Chris Givens on a 2-point conversion. ... Jackson had 64 yards rushing and scored on a 1-yard plunge, while Gibson made six catch for 100 yards. ... Bills DE Mario Williams had a sack, his sixth in four games to give him a team-leading 10 1/2. ... Bills RB Fred Jackson's status is uncertain after he was carted off from the sideline after hurting his right leg late in the fourth quarter.
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
There are a lot of things that can be taken away from recent weeks in NFC Football. Among them the reemergence of the NFC West, Sam Bradford and Steven Jackson. The 2011 season saw the San Francisco 49ers represent the NFC West in a time when the division was setting the foundations for rising from the NFL basement.
A new season and the NFC West has stood up for itself. The Niners...
For Fred Jackson the 2012 season ends much the way the 2011 one did. On Tuesday the Bills placed the running back on injured reserve. This ends the season of Jackson. On Dec. 9, Jackson suffered a lower leg injury in a loss to St. Louis. Jackson will turn 32 before the start of next season and has seen drastic drops in his yards per carry and yards per reception. Should they keep...
Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson hurt his right leg in Sunday's loss to the St. Louis Rams and his status for the rest of the season is uncertain.
Coach Chan Gailey said he's hasn't yet talked to trainers, but described the injury as not looking good following a 15-12 defeat to the Rams.
Jackson was hurt with 5:26 remaining, when two Rams defenders sandwiched...
The Buffalo Bills have placed running back Fred Jackson on injured reserve, so now his season is officially over.
Bills officially placed RB Fred Jackson on IR.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 11, 2012
This is the second straight season that Jackson has ended up on IR.
Hopefully Jackson can bounce back next season, since he did just sign an extension with the Bills before...
Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson suffered a knee
injury during yesterday’s loss to the St. Louis Rams, and the veteran’s status
for the remainder of the season is uncertain, reports the Associated Press.
Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson hurt his
right leg in Sunday's loss to the St. Louis Rams and his status for the
rest of the season is uncertain.
Rams running back Steven Jackson stayed on track for his eighth straight 1,000-yard season with 64 yards and a touchdown Sunday at Buffalo.Fantasy Spin:Jackson seemed to be losing his job to rookie Daryl Richardson in the middle of the season but he's rebounded with 433 yards and two scores on 106 carries in his last five games.
Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson will miss the remainder of the season with a sprained ligament in his right knee.
Coach Chan Gailey provided the update on Monday saying Jackson is expected to miss between three and five weeks. And that won't be enough time to recover considering the Bills (5-8) have only three games left and have all but mathematically been eliminated...
The Buffalo Bills appear to be headed into the final weeks of the NFL without running back Fred Jackson. In the fourth quarter against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday, Jackson suffered a knee injury, after receiving a blow to his knee from a helmet. His injury was originally believed to be very severe, but head coach Chan Gailey has told reporters that he will likely miss 2-3 weeks...
Buffalo Bills coach Chan Gailey said on his weekly radio show that running back Fred Jackson will miss at least two to three weeks with a leg injury, ESPN.com reported Monday. Jackson was injured in the fourth quarter of the Bills' 15-12 home loss to the St. Louis Rams on Sunday when he was tackled by two defenders. With the Bills at 5-8 and not likely to make the playoffs...
USA Today via the Associated Press is reporting that Buffalo Bills oft injured running back Fred Jackson will miss the rest of the regular season with a sprained ligament in his right knee. Jackson’s knee won’t require surgery, but he will miss between two and four weeks. Chan Gailey released a brief statement on the [...]
[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website...
Bills running back Fred Jackson will miss 2-3 weeks with a knee injury, coach Chan Gailey said. SOURCE: Buffalo Bills' official Twitter accountFantasy Spin:With three games remaining, Jackson could be shut down for the season. He was injured when he took a helmet to the right knee Sunday against the Rams. It's been a disastrous year for Jackson; he sprained his MCL in Week...
Bills running back Fred Jackson left Sunday's game against the Rams due to an ankle injury.Fantasy Spin:Jackson had just 14 yards on nine carries and lost a fumble in the red zone. Not a good day for Fred.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Sam Bradford threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Gibson with 48 seconds remaining as the St. Louis Rams nipped the Buffalo Bills 15-12 at soggy Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Rams, who won three straight for the first time in six seasons, improved to 6-6-1 and kept alive their playoff hopes. The Bills dropped to 5-8 and are almost assured of missing the playoffs...
The Buffalo Bills put together one of their most complete performances of the season last week, albeit against a weaker Jacksonville Jaguars squad.The team's task at hand this week is a bit more ominous, however, with a St. Louis Rams unit coming off an exciting OT victory against the 49ers and still touting a pretty strong defensive front. The Bills' defense has looked pretty...
ORCHARD PARK -- The National Football League is a league of finishers, according to Buffalo Bills linebacker Bryan Scott. "The teams that know how to finish, win," he said. "And the teams that don't, lose." Scott's theory passed muster Sunday afternoon at soggy Ralph Wilson Stadium as the St. Louis Rams, behind quarterback Sam Bradford, finished with...