Bears vs. Rams: Takeaways from St. Louis' 42-21 Win over Chicago
Chicago had no answer for a St. Louis rushing attack that ran wild for 261 yards and three touchdowns.
Rookies Zac Stacy and Benny Cunningham combined for 196 yards on the ground, and Tavon Austin added a 65-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.
The Rams defense allowed the Bears to move the ball with ease, but the unit stood strong when it mattered most.
A fourth-down stand at the goal line took away a scoring opportunity from Chicago, and a Robert Quinn fumble recovery touchdown in the fourth quarter put the game out of hand.
The Rams will attempt to keep the momentum going as they travel to San Francisco a week from now to take on the 49ers.
For now, here are my takeaways from this uplifting victory over the Bears.
Tavon's Breakout Continues
Some trickery in the backfield allowed Austin to bust free for a 65-yard touchdown run on the first drive of the game. He also grabbed a 32-yard pass to set up a field goal in the third quarter.
Austin is starting to adapt to the speed of the game and is getting better each week. Soon enough, he'll be making these game-changing plays with consistency.
Zac Stacy Is Still Dominating
Rookie Zac Stacy exited the game at halftime with a possible concussion. Here's Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com with an update on the injury: "St. Louis Rams running back Zac Stacy was ruled out for the game against the Bears; he was being evaluated for a possible concussion."
Regardless of the injury, Stacy still had a monster game with 97 total yards and a touchdown in the first half. Had he stayed in for the second half, it could have been a career day for the young back.
Stacy continues to produce on a weekly basis. He's making sure the coaching staff and fans know that he's the future at running back.
With 624 rushing yards on the season, Stacy is just 50 yards away from breaking Steven Jackson's record for most rushing yards by a rookie in St. Louis Rams history (673), though he's still far from Eric Dickerson's franchise record for rookie rushing yards (1,808).
Kellen Clemens Still Putting Team in a Position to Win
This is the first time Kellen Clemens has tossed a touchdown pass three games in a row, and the first time he's avoided throwing a pick three games in a row.
Without a doubt, Clemens is playing the best football of his eight-year career.
Clemens completed just 45.5 percent of his passes against Chicago, so his numbers were far from gaudy, but he completed long passes to keep drives alive and extended plays with his mobility.
Clemens continues to defy the odds. He has consistently put his team in a position to win games. That's all you can ask of a backup quarterback.
Stedman Bailey Is Getting Involved
Stedman Bailey had a 12-yard grab against Tennessee and recorded a key 19-yard catch against the Bears—the second reception of his career.
Bailey has been a minor role player this season, but he continues to work hard and will eventually earn more playing time.
Bailey is a great route runner and possesses solid hands, so it's good to finally see the rookie getting some reps with the offense.
Robert Quinn Still Making Case for Defensive Player of the Year
Robert Quinn entered this game ranked second in the NFL in sacks with 12, and he continues to make a strong case for his Defensive Player of the Year candidacy.
Quinn recorded a sack in the game—his 13th of the year—and took a fumble recovery in for a touchdown.
Kevin Carter's franchise record of 17 sacks is easily in Quinn's sights, and the Pro Bowl is inevitable.
Brandon McGee Has a Long Way to Go
While most of St. Louis is celebrating the victory, it's hard to be cheerful if you're rookie cornerback Brandon McGee.
McGee had a pointless illegal contact penalty that wiped out a Janoris Jenkins interception. Chicago ended that drive with a touchdown.
In the final quarter, McGee had a pass interference penalty that gave Chicago the ball near the St. Louis 5-yard line. Several plays later, he had a third-down holding penalty that gave the Bears new life, eventually resulting in a Michael Bush touchdown.
Cortland Finnegan is now on injured reserve, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, so the team will be counting on McGee moving forward.
The rookie needs to wake up and improve his play over the next several weeks.
Stacy Not the Only Rookie Back Making Noise
Zac Stacy is the rookie back making most of the noise, but Benny "Bam Bam" Cunningham is making his presence known as well.
Stacy exited the game at halftime and the workload fell on the shoulders of Cunningham, who responded by pounding away for 109 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Cunningham is making it clear that the Rams have both talent and depth in the backfield moving forward.
The NFL Is Not a Sissy League
Well, it's not supposed to be. But you wouldn't know that if you saw the official's outrageous roughing the passer penalty against Michael Brockers.
The hit was so clean that the refs had to create a bogus rule on the spot to justify the call, something about driving into the quarterback's chest.
Watch the video above and decide for yourself.
The Defense Stood Tall Once Again
It was not a pretty day for the St. Louis defense. The unit allowed Josh McCown to torch the secondary for 352 yards, but the defense still got the job done.
For the most part, the defense stepped up when it mattered and gave the Chicago offense fits.
Even great defensive teams have some off days, so don't fret over the numbers. The unit did an outstanding job.