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Rams spice 16-game skid with OT loss
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Maybe Maurice Jones-Drew was right.
Maybe the Jacksonville Jaguars needed to run the ball more. It certainly worked well against the winless St. Louis Rams.
Then again, so did everything else.
Jones-Drew ran for 133 yards and three touchdowns, David Garrard threw for 335 yards and the Jaguars rebounded from their worst loss in coach Jack Del Rio's seven seasons with a 23-20 victory in overtime Sunday.
Josh Scobee provided the winner, a 36-yard field goal with 8 minutes to play in the extra frame, and Torry Holt got to celebrate a win in his first game against his former team.
St. Louis (0-6) extended the NFL's longest current losing streak to 16 games. The Rams had two shots at snapping the skid. They took a 17-13 lead with 4:36 remaining on Leonard Little's 36-yard interception return for a score, but couldn't stop the Jaguars (3-3) on the ensuing drive. They got near the goal line in the final seconds, but settled for a tying field goal.
Jacksonville won the toss, made a few plays and got Scobee in position for the winner.
And Jones-Drew looked like a genius.
"I just wanted to show people my frustration of losing," Jones-Drew said. "I feel we are on the verge of being great, but we just have to feel the same way about frustration. I lashed out a little bit. I think I went overboard, but the coaches understood after I talked to them and told them what it was about."
Jacksonville finished with 492 yards and was 11 for 16 on third down, but turnovers kept it close.
Jones-Drew fumbled deep in St. Louis territory on the first play of the second quarter, then Garrard threw two interceptions in the second half. The first came at the 5-yard line, the second was returned for a touchdown.
The Rams used those mistakes to stay out front most of the game.
Jones-Drew's second TD run put the Jaguars ahead 13-10 early in the fourth. They had the ball near midfield on the next possession, but Garrard's pass to Greg Jones in the flat got intercepted. Little, the oldest player on the team, made an athletic catch and took it to the end zone.
Jacksonville came right back, putting together a 75-yard drive and moving in front 20-17 on Jones-Drew's third TD run.
The Rams had the ball with 1:53 to play and just one timeout, but Marc Bulger found Steven Jackson open in the flat for a 38-yard gain. A few passes later, and St. Louis had first-and-goal at the 9.
Bulger spiked the ball to stop the clock and threw it away on second down. With 7 seconds left -- maybe enough time for one more throw to the end zone -- coach Steve Spagnuolo turned to Josh Brown. He kicked a 27-yard field goal with 4 seconds remaining.
Should the winless Rams have gone for the win?
"It was too close," Spagnuolo said. "We never wanted something [bad] to happen and we just couldn't take the chance. I think it was the right thing to do."
Bulger, back in the starting lineup after missing two games because of a bruised shoulder, completed 22 of 34 passes for 213 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. Jackson had 50 yards rushing and 78 receiving.
Spagnuolo had little to say to his players after being so close to their first win.
"I don't have any magical words," he said. "But I asked them to hang together and hang tough. Basically that's what I said and let's go home."
The losing streak could stretch to 17 games next week against Indianapolis (5-0).
"Anytime you lose in this league, frustrating," Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis said. "But the guys fought extremely hard. The thing about the guys in this locker room is that we're not into moral victories. This team wants to win. Doesn't taste good right now. Have to swallow it and move on. Can't sulk on losses in this league because the team you're playing next doesn't care."
Garrard completed 30 of 43 passes. He also ran for 31 yards. Mike Sims-Walker, a week after getting benched for violating curfew, caught nine passes for 120 yards. Holt finished with five receptions for 101 yards, his first 100-yard receiving game in nearly two years.
Jones-Drew, though, got the game ball. The Jaguars also got some confidence back.
"This offense can battle even when the situation looks kind of bleak," Garrard said. "To have that composure, that poise ... that was huge for us. That was a good test for us to be able to move forward."
* Holt became the third-fastest in NFL history to reach 13,000 yards receiving. Only Jerry Rice and Marvin Harrison were faster to the milestone.
* The Rams had a slew of injuries. wide receiver Donnie Avery (hip), cornerback Justin King (groin), defensive end James Hall (groin), cornerback Ron Bartell (possible concussion) and linebacker Will Witherspoon (hip/back) all were dinged up in the game.