National Football League

          === Bradford helps Rams to victory over struggling Bucs ===
 Tampa,  FL (Sports  Network) - Sam Bradford  threw for 196 yards and a pair of
 touchdowns   on   Sunday  as  the   St.  Louis   Rams  topped  the  Tampa  Bay
 Buccaneers, 28-13, at Raymond James Stadium.
 Bradford   completed  13-of-27  passes  with  one  interception,  while  Lance
 Kendricks  had a huge  day through the air, catching four passes for 119 yards
 --  including an  80-yard touchdown  -- for  the Rams  (7-7-1), who  still can
 finish with a winning record with a victory next week against the Seahawks.
 One  week  after becoming  just the  27th player  in NFL  history to reach the
 10,000 rushing yard plateau, Steven Jackson ran for 81 yards and a score on 19
 carries  as the  Rams bounced back from  a 36-22 loss to the Minnesota Vikings
 and have won four of their last five. Austin Pettis added a touchdown catch in
 the triumph.
 "It's  huge for  us,"  Rams coach  Jeff  Fisher said  of  his team's  positive
 momentum  to close the season. "We could either take the approach that we have
 won four of five, or we just lost to Minnesota. We're playing hard, having fun
 and we got a great effort out of the defense today."
 Josh Freeman threw for an impressive 372 yards on 30-of-54 efficiency with one
 touchdown,  but was intercepted four times. Freeman also ran four times for 18
 yards, while Doug Martin collected 62 rushing yards on 18 carries.
 Mike  Williams  hauled in  seven passes  for 132 yards  and a touchdown, while
 Vincent  Jackson caught seven  balls for 108 yards for the Bucs (6-9) who have
 lost five in a row.
 Trailing  28-13  after three  quarters, the  Bucs appeared  poised to score on
 their  first drive of  the fourth quarter, moving down to the Rams' seven, but
 they  turned the ball over after Martin's grab gained four yards on a 4th-and-
 The  Bucs  offense continued  to struggle  through the  final period, as their
 next  two  drives resulted  in an  interception and a  turnover on downs after
 Freeman was sacked on 4th-and-5 at the Rams' 24.
 Tampa Bay got the ball for the final time with 1:52 to play at its own 24, but
 went  nowhere and turned the ball over on downs, which allowed the Rams to run
 out the final 1:03 for the victory.
 "It's  certainly disappointing," Bucs coach Greg Schiano said. "If you look at
 the  game,  it's a case where  St. Louis took advantage of their opportunities
 and we had a lot of missed opportunities."
 Tampa  Bay got  the ball  to  start the  game  and immediately  embarked on  a
 15-play  drive  that chewed  up more  than nine minutes  of game time. Freeman
 completed  5-of-6 passes,  converting a pair of third downs along the way, but
 the drive stalled at the St. Louis 11 and Connor Barth drilled a 29-yard field
 goal attempt to put the home side up 3-0.
 The  Rams  responded by bridging the  first and second quarters with a 13-play
 drive  down  to the  Tampa Bay  31, but  the trek  did not  end with points as
 Bradford  lofted one deep for Danny Amendola, but it was overthrown and picked
 off in the end zone by Danny Gorrer.
 Five  plays  into the  ensuing Bucs  drive, Freeman  was intercepted along the
 right  sideline by Janoris Jenkins, who raced 41 yards to the end zone for the
 score and a 7-3 Rams lead.
 Tampa  Bay's next touch lasted 11 plays and 49 yards to the Rams' 31. The trek
 stalled,  however, and  Barth nailed a 49-yard  field goal to make it 7-6 with
 5:56 to play before halftime.
 After  forcing a three-and-out,  the Bucs got the ball at their own 36, but on
 the  third  play of the  drive, Freeman  was intercepted by James Laurinaitis,
 giving possession back to the Rams at their own 35.
 From  there, the Rams  went 65 yards in nine plays before Jackson finished the
 march with a 5-yard TD plunge, putting the Rams up 14-6 at the half.
 St.  Louis quickly added to its lead on the first play of the second half when
 Bradford  found Kendricks  over the middle and  he rumbled 80 yards to the end
 zone for a 21-6 advantage.
 Three plays into the ensuing Tampa drive, Freeman was picked off again -- this
 time  by  Trumaine Johnson -- and  the Rams were  able to turn the short field
 into  points as  Bradford hit Pettis in the  back of the end zone for a 5-yard
 strike and a 28-6 margin.
 The  Bucs  finally found the end  zone with 8:50  to play in the third quarter
 when  Freeman found Williams, who broke a few tackles and hustled 61 yards for
 the touchdown.
                                   Game Notes
 The  Rams  lead the all-time  series, 10-8 ...  Tampa Bay finished 8-for-17 on
 third  down,  and 0-for-4 fourth  down, while the  Rams went 4-for-11 on third
 down  opportunities ...Tampa  Bay  outgained  St. Louis,  429-285  and ran  81
 offensive  plays to  just 54 for the  Rams ... The Rams beat the Buccaneers in
 Tampa  for the  first time since moving  to St. Louis ... The Los Angeles Rams
 came  up with a 31-27 win on Dec. 6, 1992, and Tampa Bay had won five straight
 at home over the Rams since then.
 12/23 20:06:34 ET