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Breaking Down The Rams

BREAKING DOWN THE RAMS

* The skinny: They have alternated losses and wins their past seven games. If that pattern holds, they are due for a victory over the Raiders on Sunday. Six of their seven losses came against teams with winning records this season. Shaun Hill and Austin Davis have taken turns filling in for injured starter Sam Bradford. Hill is the man behind center again this Sunday. Hill cost the Rams a shot at an upset of the Chargers last Sunday by having a pass intercepted in the end zone in the final minute of the game, when the Rams needed only a field goal to tie the score. The Rams also are without a proven lead running back, a No. 1 wide receiver and left offensive tackle Jake Long. Standout defensive end Chris Long is slated to return Sunday after having missed the past 10 games with an ankle injury.

* Players to fear/Offense
RB Tre Mason. He leads the Rams in rushing with 445 yards despite not getting many carries early on. He isn’t much of a receiving threat, though.
TE Jared Cook. He leads the Rams with 37 receptions for 473 yards and one touchdown. Cook is the receiver most often targeted by Rams quarterbacks, though he has caught only slightly more than half the balls thrown his way.
WR Kenny Britt. An injury to Brian Quick made Britt the No. 1 receiver by default. Britt has 27 receptions and averages a 17.7 yards per catch.

* Players to fear/Defense
DE Robert Quinn. He has six of the Rams 22 sacks and finally is getting to the quarterback on a consistent basis, though not as often as he did last season.
CB Janoris Jenkins. He has returned interceptions for touchdowns twice this season. Even so, he tends to give up more completions and yardage than the Rams prefer because he gambles so often.
LB James Laurinaitis. His 73 tackles are two behind Alec Ogletree for the team lead. He has a penchant for being around the ball and making meaningful plays.

* Key numbers
27 – The most receptions by a Rams wide receiver this season. By comparison, Anquan Boldin leads the 49ers with 65 catches.
8 – Number of defensive touchdowns by Rams opponents in 11 games.
11 – Number of consecutive seasons since Rams last finished with a winning record. They need to win their final five games to break that streak.
49 – Games played by quarterback Sam Bradford since he was the No. 1 pick in 2011 and handed a contract that guaranteed him $50 million. He hasn’t played at all this season because of a knee injury and he has appeared in only seven games the past two seasons.

* Injury report: LB Will Herring (foot), CB Marcus Roberson (ankle), Britt (back), CB E.J. Gaines (knee), Laurinaitis (ankle), Quinn (not injury related), C Scott Wells (not injury related), DE Eugene Sims (not injury related), TE Cory Harkey (thigh), Cook (back), DT Alex Carrington (thigh) and CB Lamarcus Joyner (groin).

* Vegas says: Rams by 7

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Raiders 24, Chiefs 20

Here’s the early version of beat writer Jerry McDonald’s game story. Check the Raiders home page for an updated version, complete with quotes from coach Tony Sparano and other players.

Derek Carr threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to James Jones with 1:42 to play to give the Raiders a 24-20 win Thursday night over the Kansas City Chiefs at O.co Coliseum, their first win in 368 days. Continue Reading

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