Rams make final tuneup a 27-23 win over Chiefs

Saturday, September 3, 2005

ST. LOUIS -- Two quarterbacks battling for roster spots, including Ryan Fitzpatrick, a rookie from Harvard, appeared to help their causes Friday night in the St. Louis Rams' 27-23 preseason win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Skill position starters played briefly or not at all.

The Rams (3-1) played on three days rest after beating Detroit 37-13 Monday night. Backup quarterback Jamie Martin was 5-for-9 for 71 yards and an interception in a little less than two quarters before giving way to Fitzpatrick. The rookie may have solidified his bid to become the third-string quarterback.

Fitzpatrick was 12-for-22 for 195 yards, one interception and two touchdowns, including the 20-yard winner to Dane Looker with 3:42 left in the fourth quarter. His quarterback rating was 95.8.

Kansas City (0-4) has lost six straight preseason games since beating the Rams 24-7 on Aug. 23, 2004.

Fitzpatrick threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Shaun McDonald in the third quarter. Avion Cason scored on a 1-yard run, and Jeff Wilkins kicked field goals of 32 and 47 yards.

The game featured mostly bottom-of-the-roster players and vanilla schemes. KC's Priest Holmes played less than a quarter, carrying six times for 13 yards. Tony Gonzalez caught one pass for 4 yards in a little over a quarter.

The Rams didn't play quarterback Marc Bulger or running back Marshall Faulk, while Steven Jackson (four carries for 9 yards) and receivers Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce played only the first series.

Two St. Louis starters left with what appeared to be minor injuries. Star offensive tackle Orlando Pace sprained his left ankle late in the second quarter. An X-ray was negative. Cornerback Travis Fisher sprained a knee. Their availability for the Sept. 11 opener at San Francisco was unknown.

Fitzpatrick, a seventh-round draft pick, is trying to oust Jeff Smoker as the Rams' third-string quarterback. Smoker has thrown just four passes this preseason, completing two for 26 yards, and did not play against the Chiefs.

Before the game, the Chiefs released wide receiver Freddie Mitchell.

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