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Rams close preseason with 17-9 win vs. Chiefs

Friday, September 4, 2009

Kansas City went winless during exhibition play

ST. LOUIS -- In his first preseason game calling the plays, Kansas City Chiefs coach Todd Haley had just as much trouble finishing off drives as the man he replaced.

The Chiefs had four gains of 40 yards or more and totaled 406 yards, yet still lost 17-9 to the St. Louis Rams on Thursday to finish their fourth winless preseason this decade.

Quincy Butler's 28-yard interception return off Tyler Thigpen was the go-ahead score late in the third quarter for the Rams (3-1), who produced three turnovers and won the annual Governor's Cup. St. Louis had 12 takeaways in the preseason under new coach Steve Spagnuolo after totaling one takeaway in the 2008 preseason.

Haley fired offensive coordinator Chan Gailey on Monday and assumed that role, which he held while helping the Arizona Cardinals reach the Super Bowl last season. Kansas City (0-4) totaled 42 points in the preseason and scored only two offensive touchdowns.

Two teams from opposite sides of Missouri coming off 2-14 seasons played to thousands of empty seats, with announced attendance of 46,616 at the 66,000-capacity Edward Jones Dome.

Gov. Jay Nixon attended the game and was at midfield for the coin toss for a game won by the home team the last six years.

Besides giving virtually all starters cameo roles, both teams had to go with backup quarterbacks. Kansas City's Matt Cassel (knee) is out two to four weeks and St. Louis' Marc Bulger (broken pinkie) missed his third straight game but expects to be at full strength for the opener next week at Seattle.

The Chiefs had 208 yards at halftime, including three big gainers plus an interception that gave them possession at the Rams 23. They didn't get much from Brodie Coyle, who was 5 of 16 for 85 yards while getting sacked twice, and settled for three field goals by Ryan Succop and a 9-7 lead.

Sean Ryan turned a slant pattern into a 40-yard gain and Larry Johnson broke a 41-yarder on consecutive plays late in the first quarter before Kansas City stalled following consecutive penalties. Dantrelle Savage broke two tackles at the line on a 70-yard jaunt to the Rams 28 in the second quarter before a sack by Victor Adeyanju forced a 40-yard field goal, and the Chiefs gained only 7 yards after DaJuan Morgan intercepted a pass by Brock Berlin with 1:09 to go, ending up with a 34-yard field goal.

Berlin was 8 of 10 for 88 yards the previous series, with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Fells the first play after the two-minute warning to put the Rams ahead 7-6.

Kyle Boller started in place of Bulger for the third straight game and played the first quarter, going 3 for 4 for 24 yards.

Noteworthy

* Rams running back Samkon Gado, battling for the backup job behind Steven Jackson, left with a rib injury late in the first quarter.

* Rams defensive tackle Adam Carriker made his preseason debut after recovering from an ankle injury, but left with a shoulder injury in the third quarter.

* Rams defensive end Eric Moore left with an apparent right wrist injury just after the two-minute warning.


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