The Ottumwa Courier

AP Sports

October 7, 2013

Rams end slump, beat winless Jaguars 34-20

Eds: Rams 34, Jaguars 20. New approach. Corrects to 5-22 for Gabbert in 22nd paragraph. With AP Photos.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Rams had 10 days to mull over a dispiriting blowout loss to the San Francisco 49ers, the third straight time they were so far behind there was no coming back.

Sure, it was winless Jacksonville on the other side of the ball.

At this point, it didn't matter.

"It just takes a snowflake to start an avalanche," said safety Matt Giordano.

His 82-yard interception return for a touchdown was one of several big plays from the defense in a 34-20 victory over the Jaguars on Sunday that ended a three-game losing streak.

"We needed to get a spark and I'm thankful that I'm the one to spark it off," he said.

Sam Bradford threw three touchdown passes, two of them to Austin Pettis, with no interceptions. Bradford was sacked just once after the 49ers and Cowboys combined for 11 the previous two games.

The running game finally clicked with rookie Zac Stacy rushing for 78 yards on 14 carries in his first start.

"It never gets old getting into the end zone," Pettis said. "We played a pretty complete game, and we got a win."

The matchup met NFL qualifications for a sellout, but attendance of 54,266 was about 12,000 shy of capacity.

Pettis' 31-yard TD catch with 5:45 to go put the Rams (2-3) up by two scores. St. Louis, which had trailed by double digits in every game, established control with a 17-point second quarter after Jacksonville (0-5) had a pair of early leads.

Jaguars rookie left tackle Luke Joeckel was carted off with a broken right ankle in the first quarter and is out for the season. Quarterback Blaine Gabbert injured his left hamstring in the third quarter and didn't return.

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