Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/16/12

ST. LOUIS –- Robert Griffin III followed up his brilliant NFL debut with another solid performance. But the other quarterback was just a little better.

St. Louis’ Sam Bradford threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns Sunday as the Rams scored their first win for new coach Jeff Fisher with a wild 31-28 decision over Washington at the Edward Jones Dome.

In a matchup of former Heisman Trophy winners, Bradford overcame an interception in the end zone and his team’s array of errors in the first half to outdo Griffin in a game featuring multiple momentum swings and altercations that almost overwhelmed the replacement officials.

"Sam has the ability to put things behind him," Fisher said, "and move on to the next play. I think you’ve seen him play two quality games against two difficult defenses."

Bradford’s 1-yard scoring flip to tight end Matthew Mulligan, who blocked a Sav Rocca punt to set St. Louis (1-1) up on the Redskins’ 24-yard line on the first play of the fourth quarter, gave it the lead for good. Its defense managed to make it stand up against Griffin III, who accounted for three touchdowns a week after throwing for 320 yards in a 40-32 win at New Orleans.

But last year’s Heisman Trophy winner couldn’t get his suddenly explosive Redskins (1-1) on the scoreboard after going seven yards on a quarterback draw to give them a 28-23 edge with 5:27 left in the third quarter. Griffin finished 20 of 29 for 206 yards in the air and rushed for 82 yards on 11 attempts.

"I think we did a better job of executing down the stretch and our back seven made some big plays," Rams defensive end Chris Long said. "I can’t imagine chasing down (Griffin) every week. For a rookie, he plays with some poise. He’s something."

Billy Cundiff came up short and wide on a 61-yard field goal attempt with 1:13 left. The kick was pushed back 15 yards when Josh Morgan was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after coming up a yard shy of a first down on a third-down catch.

It was the last of 11 penalties against the Redskins for 96 yards. The teams scuffled frequently in a lengthy first half, even exchanging words and shoves while the officiating crew led by Wayne Elliott conducted a replay review.

"You can look at that 15-yarder and see it was a big mistake," Washington coach Mike Shanahan said. "But there were other mistakes we made earlier in the game that also made a difference."

Griffin III could have been the Rams’ property had they opted to take him with the No. 2 overall pick and trade Bradford, as some opined they should have done back in April. But St. Louis dealt the selection to Washington for multiple draft picks and stuck with its third-year signal-caller.

Bradford made the decision look really good in this one, liberally using Danny Amendola and getting support from the running game to overcome a 21-6 second-quarter deficit.

Amendola more than made up for a first-play fumble that Josh Wilson returned 30 yards for a touchdown, catching a career-high 15 passes for 160 yards. Amendola’s 12 first-half catches tied Reggie Wayne for most ever by a wide receiver.

"I thought we had some good plays in the game plan this week," Amendola said. "I’m not happy with losing the ball and giving them seven points. But it was nice to come back from that and help us get a big win."

Daryl Richardson tacked on 83 yards on 15 carries for St. Louis, giving its running game a spark after Fisher benched veteran Steven Jackson in the second quarter. Jackson was stopped for no gain on third-and-goal from the 1, then drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for arguing with officials and spiking the ball in anger.

Notes: The Rams distributed adhesive mustaches to each fan in the sellout crowd in honor of Fisher … It’s the third straight season that the teams have played in St. Louis … Redskins WR Pierre Garcon was inactive with an ankle injury suffered in last week’s win at New Orleans and teammate Brandon Meriweather also sat out.


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