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QB Drew Stanton Hurt in Cardinals 12-6 Win over the Rams

QB Drew Stanton Hurt in Cardinals 12-6 Win over the Rams

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS) -- The Arizona Cardinals now hold the best record in the NFL after their 12-6 win over the St. Louis Rams on Thursday night, but it came at a price. Quarterback Drew Stanton had to leave the game with a right knee injury.

The Cardinals had to turn to Ryan Lindley to fill in for Stanton, who was filling in for the injured Carson Palmer. Lindley wound up completing 4 of 10 passes for 30 yards.

"[He's] been in this stadium and played against these guys," Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said of Lindley. "And it was not a time to put Logan [Thomas] out there. He's going to be a good player someday, but he's not ready for this yet, and Ryan was more than ready and really liked his poise and confidence."

The team has used four quarterbacks this season despite their impressive record.

With both teams without their starting quarterbacks, neither team was able to score a touchdown.

Now at 11 wins, the Cardinals have tied their franchise record for most wins in a single season while the Rams clinched their 10th straight year without a winning season.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 12/11/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 12/11/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NHL: Chicago Blackhawks 3 (20-8-1; 41pts) – Boston Bruins 2 (15-13-1; 31pts)

Buffalo Sabres 4 (11-16-2; 24pts) – Calgary Flames 3 (17-11-2; 36pts)

Philadelphia Flyers 4 (10-13-5; 25pts) – New Jersey Devils 1 (11-14-5; 27pts)

Columbus Blue Jackets 3 (11-15-2; 24pts) – Washington Capitals 2 (13-10-5; 31pts) OT

Los Angeles Kings 5 (15-9-5; 35pts) – Ottawa Senators 3 (11-12-5; 27pts)

Tampa Bay Lightning 2 (19-8-3; 41pts) – Carolina Hurricanes 1 (8-17-3; 19pts)

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Rams Defeat Washington 24-0 for Second Straight Shutout

Rams Defeat Washington 24-0 for Second Straight Shutout

Leon Halip/Getty Images(LANDOVER, Md.) -- For the second straight week the St. Louis Rams shutout an opponent, the first time since 1945 that the Rams (6-7) have performed that feat. On Sunday, St. Louis beat the Washington Redskins 24-0, one week after trouncing Oakland 52-0.

After a scoreless first quarter, Shaun Hill connected with Jared Cook on a 35-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring. Despite a missed extra point, the defense prevented the Redskins (3-10) from doing anything productive on offense.

It wasn't until the third quarter that St. Louis began to put the game well out of reach. The Rams scored 18 points in the period, including another scoring catch from Cook and a 78-yard punt return to the house by Tavon Austin. Hill finished the game with 213 yards in the air and a pair of touchdown passes.

St. Louis' defense totaled seven sacks in the win and held the Redskins to just 27 rushing yards.

Washington's Colt McCoy was intercepted twice, completing 20-of-32 passes for 199 yards. Previously benched quarterback Robert Griffin, III made a late appearance and was 3-of-4 passing.

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St. Louis Police Officers Angered by Rams Players Protest

St. Louis Police Officers Angered by Rams Players Protest

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS, Mo.) -- As the Rams began their player introductions Sunday against the Raiders, five players on St. Louis' squad drew the ire of the local police for raising their arms in support of the protests that have swept Ferguson, Missouri. 

Tavon Austin, Kenny Britt, Jared Cook, Stedman Bailey and Chris Givens were seen on CBS with the "hands up, don't shoot" pose as they ran onto the field.

The St. Louis Police Officers Association issued a statement with a harsh criticism of the players' statement, demanding punishment be issued by the league and the team:

"...now that the evidence is in and Officer Wilson's account has been verified by physical and ballistic evidence as well as eye-witness testimony, which led the grand jury to conclude that no probable cause existed that Wilson engaged in any wrongdoing, it is unthinkable that hometown athletes would so publicly perpetuate a narrative that has been disproven over-and-over again."

"All week long, the Rams and the NFL were on the phone with the St. Louis Police Department asking for assurances that the players and the fans would be kept safe from the violent protesters who had rioted, looted, and burned buildings in Ferguson. Our officers have been working 12 hour shifts for over a week, they had days off including Thanksgiving cancelled so that they could defend this community from those on the streets that perpetuate this myth that Michael Brown was executed by a brother police officer and then, as the players and their fans sit safely in their dome under the watchful protection of hundreds of St. Louis's finest, they take to the turf to call a now-exonerated officer a murderer, that is way out-of-bounds, to put it in football parlance," Roorda said.

The SLPOA is calling for the players involved to be disciplined and for the Rams and the NFL to deliver a very public apology. Roorda said he planned to speak to the NFL and the Rams to voice his organization's displeasure tomorrow. He also plans to reach out to other police organizations in St. Louis and around the country to enlist their input on what the appropriate response from law enforcement should be. Roorda warned, "I know that there are those that will say that these players are simply exercising their First Amendment rights. Well I've got news for people who think that way, cops have first amendment rights too, and we plan to exercise ours. I'd remind the NFL and their players that it is not the violent thugs burning down buildings that buy their advertiser's products. It's cops and the good people of St. Louis and other NFL towns that do. Somebody needs to throw a flag on this play. If it's not the NFL and the Rams, then it'll be cops and their supporters."

This comes after the announcement last week from St. Louis prosecutor Robert McCullough that officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted for the shooting death of Michael Brown. 

 

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Rams Bulldoze Broncos 22-7

Rams Bulldoze Broncos 22-7

Leon Halip/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS) -- Kenny Britt hauled in four catches for 128 yards and a touchdown to help the St. Louis Rams upset the Denver Broncos 22-7 Sunday.Shaun Hill returned to the field to complete 20 of 29 passes for 220 yards and a touchdown in his first start for the Rams (4-6) since Week 1."It's a constant process to stay up, especially as a backup, it's tough," Hill said. "But it's something you've got to do."Greg Zuerlein kicked five field goals, including two from over 50 yards, and the Rams' defense picked off Peyton Manning twice as the Broncos lose for only the third time this season."We didn't execute very well and I just think I didn't play very well," Manning said. "No excuses. I have to play better and we have to score more points than seven."Denver (7-3) attempted to get into the game before halftime when Manning threw a 42-yard touchdown to Emmanuel Sanders, moving the Broncos within 6 points. That was the last time Manning would find the end zone, as his streak of 15 consecutive games with at least two touchdown passes was snapped.Denver did have some unfortunate luck as well. The Broncos lost Julius Thomas (ankle), Montee Ball (groin) and Sanders (concussion) to injuries.Rams running back Tre Mason had 29 carries for 113 yards in the win.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 11/16/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 11/16/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NFL Week 11: Kansas City Chiefs 24 (7-3) – Seattle Seahawks 20 (6-4)

Atlanta Falcons 19 (4-6) – Carolina Panthers 17 (3-7-1)

Cincinnati Bengals 27 (6-3-1) – New Orleans Saints 10 (4-6)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27 (2-8) – Washington Redskins 7 (3-7)

St. Louis Rams 22 (4-6) – Denver Broncos 7 (7-3)

San Francisco 49ers 16 (6-4) – New York Giants 10 (3-7)

Chicago Bears 21 (4-6) – Minnesota Vikings 13 (4-6)

Houston Texans 23 (5-5) – Cleveland Browns 7 (6-4)

Arizona Cardinals 14 (9-1) - Detroit Lions 6 (7-3)

Green Bay Packers 53 (7-3) - Philadelphia Eagles 20 (7-3)

San Diego Chargers 13 (6-4) - Oakland Raiders 6 (0-10)

NBA: New York Knicks 109 (3-8) – Denver Nuggets 93 (2-7)

Milwaukee Bucks 91 (5-5) – Miami Heat 84 (5-5)

Houston Rockets 69 (9-1) - Oklahoma City Thunder 65 (3-8)

NHL: San Jose Sharks 2 (10-8-2; 22pts) – Carolina Hurricanes 0 (5-9-3; 13pts)

Minnesota Wild 4 (10-7-0; 20pts) – Winnipeg Jets 3 (9-7-3; 21pts) OT

Chicago Blackhawks 6 (10-7-1; 21pts) - Dallas Stars 2 (6-8-4; 16pts)

Florida Panthers 6 (6-4-5; 17pts) - Anaheim Ducks 2 (11-4-4; 26pts)

Montreal Canadiens 4 (14-4-1; 29pts) - Detroit Red Wings 1 (8-4-5; 21pts)

Top 25 Men’s College Basketball:  (1) Kentucky 71 (2-0) – Buffalo 52 (1-1)

(2) Arizona 86 (2-0) - CS Northridge 68 (0-2)

(3) Wisconsin 89 (2-0) – Chattanooga 45 (1-1)

(6) North Carolina 103 (2-0) – Robert Morris 59 (0-2)

(9) Virginia 67 (2-0) – Norfolk State 39 (1-1)

(10) Texas 85 (2-0) - Alcorn State 53 (0-2)

(19) Oklahoma 78 (1-0) – Southeastern Louisiana 53 (0-2)

(21) Nebraska 80 (1-0) – Northern Kentucky 61 (0-2)

(23) Syracuse 65 (2-0) – Hampton 47 (0-2)

Holy Cross 58 (1-0) – (25) Harvard 57 (1-1)

NASCAR: Kevin Harvick captured the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup championship on Sunday with a win in the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. 

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Peyton Manning: It Won’t Be Easy in St. Louis

Peyton Manning: It Won’t Be Easy in St. Louis

Justin Edmonds/Getty Images(DENVER) -- The Denver Broncos will travel to St. Louis on Sunday to take on the Rams.

Quarterback Peyton Manning is well aware of the Rams defense.

"Their front has been active all season long in my opinion," Manning said. "They got really good players, a lot of first round draft choices. That's where it starts for any defense, we've got to be able to control those guys somehow and that falls on everybody."

Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders realizes that the Rams are hot right now.

"You can't take these guys lightly. Their last three games they faced San Francisco, Seattle, Arizona, and they played those guys really well," Sanders said. "This is a good football team that we're facing with a great defensive line and we're playing them at home, we definitely have to bring our A-game."

Denver comes into the game at 7-2 and is 2-2 on the road this year.

The Rams (3-6) announced this week that Shaun Hill will be the starting quarterback.

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Carson Palmer Exits Cardinals Win with Injury

Carson Palmer Exits Cardinals Win with Injury

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(GLENDALE, Ariz.) -- The Arizona Cardinals improved to an NFL-best 8-1 on the season with a 31-14 win over St. Louis on Sunday. However, team officials are fearful that quarterback Carson Palmer suffered a torn ACL in the fourth quarter and could be out for the rest of the year.

Arizona was trailing the 3 and 6 Rams 14-10 entering the fourth quarter, but were driving when Palmer went down. The 34-year-old was carted off the field after clutching the same left knee that was surgically repaired in 2006 after tearing his ACL and MCL in a playoff game against Pittsburgh.

"We don't know anything about Carson's injury or the length, whatever it is yet," coach Bruce Arians said. "He will be evaluated and get an MRI and everything and we will know something by tomorrow and hopefully by Tuesday."

With their leader sidelined, and the scoreboard not in their favor, the Cardinals turned to Drew Stanton and immediately took control. Stanton found Josh Brown on a 48-yard touchdown pass to take a 17-10 lead before the defense sealed the deal. Patrick Peterson picked off an Austin Davis pass and ran it back 30 yards before Antonio Cromartie recovered a fumble and scored, putting the game out of reach for St. Louis.

Davis threw two interceptions for the Rams, who were held to 244 total yards of offense. Prior to the injury, Palmer was 25-for-36 for 241 yards and an interception. 

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Rams Hold Off Kaepernick and 49ers

Rams Hold Off Kaepernick and 49ers

Leon Halip/Getty Images(SANTA CLARA, Calif.) -- The Rams (3-5) buckled down on defense late and forced Colin Kaepernick to fumble the ball with seconds remaining at the goal line in their 13-10 win over the 49ers (4-4) on Sunday.

St. Louis was ready for Kaepernick to try and sneak the ball into the end zone, and forced a fumble that was recovered by James Laurinaitis.

The Rams defense sacked Kapernick eight times in their big road victory.

"I just went to kind of meet him head-to-head down there and as I'm going down, I just see the ball sitting there," Laurinaitis said. "Jo-Lonn [Dunbar] did a great job recognizing sneak. You can just kind of tell by a quarterback's mannerisms when they're going to sneak."

The play was reviewed and upheld after officials looked the play, but Kaepernick still disagreed with the call after the game.

"I know I crossed the line. I was looking into the end zone," Kaepernick said.

Greg Zuerlein kicked the go-ahead field goal with 5:25 left in the game.

The Rams have now beaten the 49ers and Seahawks by a combined five points this year.

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Rams Lose Jake Long and Brian Quick to Season-Ending Injuries

Rams Lose Jake Long and Brian Quick to Season-Ending Injuries

Leon Halip/Getty Images(EARTH CITY, Mo.) -- The injuries continue to pile up for the St. Louis Rams as tackle Jake Long will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL while wide receiver Brian Quick will also miss the remainder of the season after suffering a torn rotator cuff and separated shoulder.

This is the second time Long has tore his ACL in under a year, same with starting quarterback Sam Bradford, who has missed the entire season.

When on the field, Long has been as good as advertised for the Rams as he's provided steady protection for quarterback Austin Davis this season.

For Quick, this is a tough blow for him as he was firmly establishing himself as the Rams go-to wide receiver. In just seven games this season, Quick had already set career highs in catches, yards, and touchdowns.

"He was very productive," Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said. "He took advantage of all the opportunities, he made tough plays, tough catches, we're going to miss him. But as is the case when you have injured players, people step up so we have got to have people step up."

Receivers Stedman Bailey and Chris Givens will see an increase in playing time now.

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Andy Reid Prepares for Rams

Andy Reid Prepares for Rams

Jason O.Watson/Getty Images(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- The Kansas City Chiefs (3-3) are expecting everything from the St. Louis Rams (2-4) on Sunday.

Kansas City will host the Austin Davis led Rams at Arrowhead Stadium and head coach Andy Reid will have his team prepared.

"On the offensive side, they’re explosive. Anytime you can take a young quarterback like that and have him come in and play at the level that he’s playing at, first of all means he’s talented, but it also means you’re doing a heck of a job coaching him," Reid said this week.  "Their runners are good, their receivers are good, their tight ends-everybody’s contributing there. Then, special teams, they’re scoring points too and making big plays. You got a good football team that you’ve got to get ready for. They throw a lot of things at you, offensively, defensively and on special teams. That’s been a [Rams head coach] Jeff Fisher trait over the years that he’s been a head coach."

Davis led the Rams to a 28-26 win over the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday and Reid said that he's come a long way."He’s accurate and gets the ball out. Looks like he’s managing things very well, everybody’s where they need to be. Looks like he’s hitting the right receivers. To me, I mean, I studied him when he came out, he’s a good football player," Reid said.  "He’s transferred that from college into the NFL. He’s a football player, he gets it. That’s an impressive deal, I think. That’s a plus anytime your third guy can come in and do a great job. (Rams Offensive Coordinator) Brian (Schottenheimer) is a great coach too, so he’s lucky to be in good hands there, from an offensive standpoint."

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Austin Davis Says He’s Humbled by Brett Favre’s Comments

Austin Davis Says He’s Humbled by Brett Favre’s Comments

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS) -- St. Louis Rams quarterback Austin Davis received some high praise from future Hall of Famer Brett Favre this week.

Favre spoke with ESPN's Ed Werder and compared the Southern Miss alumni to another future Hall of Famer.

"Austin can definitely play at this level," Favre told Werder this week. "Not to sound off my rocker, but [Davis], in my mind, can be the next Tom Brady or Kurt Warner. [Brian] Hoyer as well. Austin, like those mentioned, just needed a legit opportunity."

Davis was humbled by the comments and said that Favre has sent him text messages of encouragement. Still, he told reporters that he just wants to be himself.

"I don't really want to be the next anybody," Davis said. "I just want to be the first Austin Davis and just keep doing what we're doing."

Davis and the Rams are coming off a 28-26 win over the Seahawks last Sunday.

"It felt good to get one this past week. I think it was much needed for our football team," Davis said of the win.

The Rams (2-4) will travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs (3-3) on Sunday.

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Rams Surprise Seahawks

Rams Surprise Seahawks

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS) -- The St. Louis Rams pulled out all the stops to beat their division rival Seattle Seahawks with crafty special teams play in a 28-26 win on Sunday.

Stedman Bailey fooled everyone on a 90-yard fake punt return and Benny Cunningham's 75-yard kickoff return on a squibbed kick that rolled into the end zone in the second quarter put the Rams up 21-3.

The Rams would not be done though, Cunningham's 18-yard reception from kicker Johnny Hekker late in the fourth quarter extended a drive and a late fumble recovery closed the game out.

"It was great execution by them on a couple different scenarios," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. "It made a huge difference in this game."

The Seahawks have now lost back-to-back games and sit at 3-3.

"Grateful for the effort, an entire team effort," Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said.  "That's a really good football team and that's an understatement."

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.

"We have a team that's full of fighters," Wilson said.  "There's nothing better than having your backs against the wall.  That's where we're at right now.  You just play 1-0 and try and focus on what you can control."

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49ers Defeat Rams 31-17

49ers Defeat Rams 31-17

NFL via Getty Images(ST. LOUIS, MO) -- The Rams came out fast taking a a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but the 49ers dominated the other three quarters to win 31-17.

Colin Kaepernick took San Francisco on his shoulders and threw three touchdowns to push the 49ers record to 4-2.  Midway through the second quarter, Brandon Lloyd burned Janoris Jenkins in man coverage and Kaepernick threw it to him in stride. Lloyd outran Jenkins for an 80-yard touchdown that narrowed St. Louis's lead to 14-10. 

"We had Brandon Lloyd on a double move," Kaepernick said. "We liked the matchup. He did an amazing job."

Kaepernick and the 49ers came out in the second half on a mission.  The 49ers marched 80 yards down the field on a twelve-play drive that was capped off by an 11-yard touchdown grab by Anquan Boldin from Kaepernick. 

"Our receivers did a great job today," Kaepernick said. "Our offensive line did a great job, protecting us and giving us time."

The Rams were again held without a sack.  What was hyped in the offseason as one of the best four-man defensive fronts in the NFL has continued to struggle to generate a pass rush. 

The 49ers will now travel to Denver to face the Broncos on Sunday night.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 10/13/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 10/13/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- MLB: ALCS: Kansas City Royals - Baltimore Orioles (Royals lead series, 2-0) Postponed

NFL: San Francisco 49ers 31 (4-2) - St. Louis Rams 17 (1-4)

NHL: Anaheim Ducks 5 (2-1-0, 4 points) - Buffalo Sabres 1 (0-3-0, 0 points)

Colorado Avalanche 2 (1-2-0, 2 points) - Boston Bruins 1 (1-3-0, 2 points)

Ottawa Senators 1 (2-1-0, 4 points) - Florida Panthers 0 (0-2-1, 0 points)

Tampa Bay Lightning 7 (2-0-1, 5 points) - Montreal Canadiens 1 (3-1-0, 6 points)

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Scoreboard Roundup – 10/5/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 10/5/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- MLB: American League Division Series: Baltimore Orioles 2 - Detroit Tigers 1 (Orioles win series, 3-0, Advance to ALCS)

Kansas City Royals 8 - Los Angeles Angels 3 (Royals win series, 3-0, Advance to ALCS)

NFL: New England Patriots 43 (3-2) - Cincinnati Bengals 17 (3-1)

Carolina Panthers 31 (3-2) - Chicago Bears 24 (2-3)

Cleveland Browns 29 (2-2) - Tennessee Titans 28 (1-4)

Philadelphia Eagles 34 (4-1) - St. Louis Rams 28 (1-3)

New York Giants 30 (3-2) - Atlanta Falcons 20 (2-3)

New Orleans Saints 37 (2-3) - Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31 (1-4) - Overtime

Dallas Cowboys 20 (4-1) - Houston Texans 17 (3-2) - Overtime

Buffalo Bills 17 (3-2) - Detroit Lions 14 (3-2)

Indianapolis Colts 20 (3-2) - Baltimore Ravens 13 (3-2)

Pittsburgh Steelers 17 (3-2) - Jacksonville Jaguars 9 (0-5)

Denver Broncos 41 (3-1) - Arizona Cardinals 20 (3-1)

San Francisco 49ers 22 (3-2) - Kansas City Chiefs 17 (2-3)

San Diego Chargers 31 (4-1) - New York Jets 0 (1-4)

NASCAR: Joey Logano won at Kansas Speedway.

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Cowboys Rally from Down 21, Beat Rams

Cowboys Rally from Down 21, Beat Rams

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images(SAINT LOUIS) -- The Dallas Cowboys mounted the largest comeback in franchise history, rallying from a 21-0 deficit to beat the St. Louis Rams 34-31 on Sunday.

It's the fourth time this season a team has won after trailing by at least 17 points.

The Rams (1-2) opened up their lead with a pair of first half touchdown throws from Austin Davis, holding a 14-0 lead just seconds into the second quarter. The advantage then went to 21 when Janoris Jenkins picked off Dallas quarterback Tony Romo and returned it 25 yards to the end zone. However, the St. Louis defense could not hold back a pass-happy Cowboys squad.

Romo led the comeback march beginning with an 80-yard scoring drive late in the first half, capped off by a DeMarco Murray touchdown run to get on the board. A field goal with just two seconds left in the period made it a 21-10 game at halftime.

"We never blinked, I can honestly say that," wide receiver Dez Bryant said.

Bryant contributed to the rally, catching a 68-yard pass from Romo in the third that brought the Cowboys (2-1) within four points. After another Dan Bailey field goal, Dallas trailed 21-20 heading into the final frame.

St. Louis would get a field goal early in the fourth, making it a four point contest, but Romo again captained a drive that ended with a Terrance Williams 12-yard touchdown catch, giving the Cowboys their first lead of the game at 27-20. On the next Rams possession, Bruce Carter returned an interception for a touchdown to help put the game out of reach.

The Rams did get a late score on an Austin Pettis touchdown reception, but they were unable to complete a comeback of their own. Despite throwing two picks, Davis tossed for 327 yards and three touchdowns in the loss for St. Louis.

Romo rebounded from an early interception to finish with 217 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns, earning his franchise-best 21st come-from-behind victory in the fourth quarter or overtime.

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Rams Reward Defensive End Robert Quinn with Four-Year Extension

Rams Reward Defensive End Robert Quinn with Four-Year Extension

National Football League(NEW YORK) -- Recognizing he's one of hte best defensive lineman in the NFL, the St. Louis Rams have rewarded defensive end Robert Quinn with a four-year extension.

ESPN is reporting Quinn's new deal is worth $66.575 million with $41.2 million guaranteed. Quinn's new deal will keep him under contract with St. Louis through the 2019 season. His new will began at the start of 2016.

"My family and I are excited about this opportunity," Quinn told the team's official website. "I would like to thank (owner) Mr. (Stan) Kroenke, the organization, my teammates, coaches, and the St. Louis Rams fans for their support. St. Louis has become home for my family and I, and we look forward to being here for the long term."

Now in his fourth season in the NFL, Quinn has established himself as one of the premier pass rushers in the league.

The 24-year-old Quinn recorded 19.0 sacks last season, which was the second-most in the NFL. He also had 10.5 sacks in 2012.

With Quinn locked up, the Rams have one of the best defensive lines in the league. Along with Quinn they also have Chris Long, Michael Brockers, and rookie Aaron Donald.

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ESPN: Sam Clears Waivers

ESPN: Sam Clears Waivers

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Defensive end Michael Sam cleared waivers Sunday, according to ESPN.

Sam was attempting to become the first openly gay player in NFL history. He came up short when he was cut by the St. Louis Rams Saturday, when all 32 teams had to trim their rosters down to the league-mandated 53 players. That put Sam on waivers until noon Sunday, meaning any team in the league could have picked him up. But the deadline passed meaning Sam is now clear to join a NFL team's practice squad.

Sam was cut Saturday in favor of undrafted rookie defensive tackle Ethan Westbrooks. After he was cut, Sam commented on Twitter."The most worthwhile things in life rarely come easy, this is a lesson I've always known," Sam tweeted Saturday. "The journey continues."

Sam, who was selected by the Rams in the seventh-round of this year's draft, had 11 tackles and three sacks in four preseason games.

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ESPN: Michael Sam Released by Rams

ESPN: Michael Sam Released by Rams

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS) --  Defensive end Michael Sam was released by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday, according to ESPN.

Sam was attempting to become the first openly gay player in NFL history, but came up short as all 32 teams had to trim their rosters down to the league-mandated 53 players.  He was beat out by undrafted rookie Ethan Westbrooks, who is one of nine defensive linemen to land a roster spot.

"You know what, it's not going to be like the draft," Sam said earlier this week. "I'm very confident that I'm going to sleep really well tonight and I'm very confident I'm going to be on a team, the Rams or any other team in the NFL."

Sam made headlines before the NFL scouting combine when he announced that he's gay. He'd be the first openly gay player in NFL history.

Even with a chip on his shoulder, Sam was unable to prove to Rams coaches that as a seventh round pick, he should make the team.

Despite being let go, Sam had a very productive preseason. In four preseason games, he's recorded 11 tackles while also registering three sacks.

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