2 long TDs help Bears beat Rams 37-13
ST. LOUIS (AP) Zach Miller used the video board in the north end zone to chart a path through the St. Louis Rams defense. It was especially helpful when he had just one more man to beat.
The Chicago Bears tight end with the 11.6-yard career average per reception got a rare chance to show off his speed and elusive qualities on an 87-yard score that was one of two plays St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher called ”backbreakers” in a 37-13 victory on Sunday.
”I did not want to get caught,” Miller said. ”I’d be getting clowned by everybody if I got caught.”
Cornerback Trumaine Johnson was bearing down on Miller just past midfield. But Miller noticed and swerved at the St. Louis 45, leaving Johnson grabbing nothing but air.
Miller caught a second touchdown pass, and Jeremy Langford also had two TDs for Chicago.
Jay Cutler added a 26-yard scramble, the quarterback’s longest since 2009, for Chicago. He could have had had more had he not made a safety-first slide in the third quarter, but said it wasn’t because he’d spotted defenders bearing down on him, joking, ”I’m not that talented.”
The 87-yarder was the longest receiving TD by a Bears tight end since Willard Dewveall had a 91-yarder in 1960 against the 49ers, according to STATS. It was the longest receiving TD by any tight end since Heath Miller’s 87-yarder in 2006 for Pittsburgh against the Dolphins.
The Bears (4-5) improved to 3-1 on the road. They brought thousands of fans to the Edward Jones Dome, which had a season-best 58,663 tickets distributed, about 8,000 shy of capacity.
”We knew going in they wanted to be the bullies,” said backup running back Ka’Deem Carey, who had 56 yards on 14 carries. ”I like being the bully.”
Langford was untouched on an 83-yard TD on a screen caught behind the line of scrimmage, and also had a 6-yard scoring run. The running back, filling in for the injured Matt Forte, had seven catches for 109 yards and 73 yards on 20 carries.
Todd Gurley had a 6-yard scoring run on the opening drive for the Rams (4-5), who have lost two straight since entering November with a winning record for the first time since 2006. Their defense entered ranked fifth overall.
Nick Foles, acquired from the Eagles for Sam Bradford in the winter, has just one TD pass the last four games. He was 17 for 36 for 200 yards with an interception.
Backup Case Keenum got mop-up duty, seeing his first action of the year, but Fisher said he’s sticking with Foles.
”That’s my choice, but I’m just going to look at it,” Fisher said. ”We’ve got to play better around him.”
Foles added: ”There’s no pointing fingers in situations like this. It’s easy to point fingers. It’s all of us.”
Gurley was bottled up, rushing for 45 yards on 12 carries with a long of 9 yards, and led St. Louis with three catches for 44 yards.
Wes Welker had three catches for 32 yards, one for a first down, in his 2015 debut six days after signing with St. Louis. The Rams were 4 for 14 on third down, slightly improved from 4 for 37 the previous three games.
The Rams had blitzed and linebacker Akeem Ayers slipped in coverage, opening things up for Miller’s long touchdown. He split two defenders before outrunning Johnson.
Langford, a fourth-round pick, made his second straight start and had 73 yards on 20 carries and 109 yards on seven receptions.
The Rams clicked on their opening 80-yard drive, which featured passes of 29 yards to Jared Cook and 31 yards to Gurley and set up Gurley’s 6-yard scoring run. They mustered 205 yards the rest of the way.
NOTES: The Edward Jones Dome installed a thick rubberized surface near the stands on both sides of the field after two players slipped on bare concrete the previous two home games. San Francisco 49ers running back Reggie Bush injured his left knee when he slipped at the end of a punt return last week and is out for the season. … Rams rookie G Jamon Brown (broken right foot) was carted off after Willie Young’s’ interception late in the fourth and is likely out for the season. Fellow rookie OL Rob Havenstein (calf) was sidelined in the third quarter. Havenstein, the right tackle, was out last week with an Achilles injury. … Rams LT Greg Robinson was whistled for holding three times. Robinson was the second overall pick in 2014. …… An extremely risky fake punt by the Rams fizzled in the fourth, turning it over to the Bears and setting up Robbie Gould’s third field goal.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL