NFC ROUNDUP

Rams clamp lead


Rams running back Marshall Faulk runs for an 18-yard touchdown in the first quarter in front of Minnesota Vikings' Chris Hovan (99) and Henri Crockett (52), Sunday in St. Louis.

The Associated Press
Published: Monday, December 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, November 30, 2003 at 11:31 p.m.

ST. LOUIS - Marshall Faulk still knows how to get into the end zone, zooming past Hall of Famers Walter Payton and Jim Brown on the career touchdown list.

Faulk ran for three scores to help the St. Louis Rams beat the Minnesota Vikings 48-17 in a battle of division leaders Sunday.

He had his third straight 100-yard game after going 10 games without one. It was even better that he passed a couple of childhood heroes, giving him 127 career touchdowns. Faulk now has one more TD than Brown and two more than Payton.

``That's pretty good,'' Faulk said. ``Those are huge names, guys that I idolized, of course.''

Faulk missed five games earlier this year with a broken left hand and surgically repaired right knee and returned to the lineup three games ago averaging a puny 2.8 yards a carry. The last three games he has 311 yards, a 5.1-yard average and four touchdowns.

``I don't know what all the way back is, but we are playing good right now and running the ball effectively,'' Faulk said. ``It's just all working.''

Faulk had 108 yards on 17 carries and scored on runs of 18, 5 and 7 yards. He also concocted a 41-yard end-around pass from Isaac Bruce to Dane Looker that set up one of Faulk's touchdowns.

``I can't wait to get home to hear them say, 'Marshall, Marshall, Marshall' on TV,'' coach Mike Martz said.

The Rams (9-3) solidified their NFC West lead - they're tied with the Eagles for the best record in the NFC - and won their 12th straight game at home. The North Division-leading Vikings (7-5) are sinking fast after a 6-0 start.

``Well, that wasn't very good,'' coach Mike Tice said. ``That wasn't very good at all. We're just very disappointed. I don't know what else to say.''

The Rams had a pair of one-play touchdown drives created by turnovers. Faulk broke free off left tackle for the game's first score, and Marc Bulger scored on a 12-yard scramble after Tyoka Jackson intercepted a Daunte Culpepper pass that was tipped by Tommy Polley, making it 34-17 in the third.

  • BEARS 28, CARDINALS 3: Kordell Stewart made the most of another chance to start. So did Brock Forsey.

    With Chris Chandler sidelined by a sore shoulder, Stewart threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score to lead Chicago past Arizona.

    Forsey, a rookie from Boise State, started for Chicago in place of leading rusher Anthony Thomas, out with viral pneumonia.

    In his second NFL start, Forsey responded by gaining 134 yards on 27 carries. He scored on a 9-yard run with 3:33 to go, capping Chicago's 21-point fourth quarter.

    The road woes continued for Arizona (3-9). Unable to generate a consistent offense against an aggressive Bears' defense, the Cardinals fell to 0-6 away from home and have been outscored 203-68 in those games.

    Jeff Blake, who visited the Bears during free agency, threw two interceptions and fumbled once. Chicago (5-7) finished with a 422-197 advantage in total yards as the Cardinals managed only 46 yards rushing.

    Stewart, who lost the starting job to Chandler after an Oct. 12 loss to New Orleans, scampered for an 8-yard TD with 7:46 left. The score, set up by his 29-yard pass to Dez White, gave the Bears a 21-3 lead.

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