Rams pound Redskins for first preseason win

Saturday, August 28, 2004

By Jim Suhr ~ The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS -- Torry Holt and the St. Louis Rams finally had something to celebrate.

Holt's 7-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter was the first in three games this preseason for the Rams' starting offense, prompting a hip-gyrating dance that satisfied a restless crowd and helped St. Louis roll past the Washington Redskins 28-3 on Friday night.

St. Louis' first-string defense also got into the act, forcing their first turnover of the preseason in the second quarter. Cornerback Kevin Garrett stripped the ball from Taylor Jacobs after a long completion from Patrick Ramsey and Aeneas Williams recovered.

Two plays later, Rams backup quarterback Chris Chandler hooked up with Holt on a 58-yard pass to set up Chandler's 1-yard sneak into the end zone, which gave St. Louis a 14-3 lead at halftime.

Steven Jackson had 125 yards on 25 carries for the Rams (1-2), including a 5-yard TD run on the Rams' first possession of the third quarter. The rookie gained 103 of those yards in the second half, largely against Redskin reserves, before being pulled late in the fourth quarter.

Holt finished with seven catches for 143 yards, helping to please a home crowd that grew restless after watching their team produce just 13 points in the first two preseason games.

Chandler was 9-of-15 for 190 yards and a 35-yard TD pass to Shaun McDonald in the third quarter.

Starter Marc Bulger was 6-for-12 for 78 yards, including the scoring pass to Holt, but drew boos after overthrowing wide open receivers on several occasions.

Ramsey and Mark Brunell did little to resolve Washington's quarterback debate. Ramsey played the first half, but completed just 5-of-10 passes for 81 yards before giving way to Brunell, acquired in an offseason trade to challenge Ramsey for the job. Brunell was 5-of-8 for 28 yards.

Redskins coach Joe Gibbs has said he won't decide on a regular-season starter until at least next week.

In a 24-7 loss Monday at Kansas City -- an outing Bulger called "embarrassing" -- Rams quarterbacks were sacked five times and pressured relentlessly. But St. Louis' patchwork offensive line held their own against the Redskins, allowing just one sack and giving Chandler time to throw.

Clinton Portis had 13 yards on three carries for Washington.

John Hall's 28-yard field goal with 8:06 left in the first quarter was Washington's only score.

Notes: Redskins starting OT Chris Samuels sprained his right ankle in the second quarter and did not return; X-rays were negative. ... Rams G Tom Nutten sprained his right big toe in the third quarter and did not return ... Before the game, the Rams released T Jason Lenzmeier. ... Former St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Chargers head coach Don Coryell served as the Rams' honorary captain.

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