After his defense picked him up during the worst performance of his young career, Marc Bulger looks to bounce back and lead the St. Louis Rams to their sixth win in seven games as they head to Soldier Field to take on the Chicago Bears.
Bulger was 13-for-26 for 110 yards with two interceptions and no touchdowns in a 33-22 win over Baltimore on Sunday. He was sacked four times and led the Rams to just seven first downs—but coach Mike Martz left two-time MVP Kurt Warner on the sideline.
“Marc slugged it out pretty good,” Martz said. “It did cross my mind, but Marc needs to go through this. They all go through that, and Marc’s no different from anybody else.”
St. Louis entered the game with the NFL’s No. 1 offense, but picked up just 121 yards in the game—well below their 374.5 average coming in—and had zero in the second quarter.
The Rams turned the ball over an NFL season-high 11 times but the defense had seven sacks and three interceptions while limiting the Ravens to just 122 passing yards.
“I certainly am in charge of the offense and I wasn’t in rhythm tonight, but the defense was outstanding,” Bulger said. “There’s no excuse for how I played.”
St. Louis did allow NFL rushing leader Jamal Lewis to gain 111 yards but forced him to lose two fumbles.
Marshall Faulk was contained after missing five games with a broken left hand and injured right knee. He finished with just 48 yards on 20 carries but did make two short touchdown runs.
“We just couldn’t get anything going there,” Martz said of the running game. “I need to look and see what happened.”
The win was the 11th straight at home for the Rams, who play just one of their next four games at the Edward Jones Dome. St. Louis fell to 1-3 on the road with a 30-10 loss at San Francisco on Nov. 2, as Bulger passed for a season-high 378 yards. He is fourth in the NFL with 2,196 yards this season.
The Bears held Detroit without a touchdown but couldn’t manage much offensively in Sunday’s 12-10 loss to the Lions. Chicago missed its chance for its first three-game winning streak in two years.
“It’s frustrating,” linebacker Brian Urlacher said. “We didn’t make a play all day.”
Anthony Thomas ran for 61 yards on 21 carries after gaining 111 yards in a 20-7 win over San Diego on Nov. 2, while Chris Chandler was 16-of-28 for 149 yards and one touchdown. Chandler threw a crushing interception with 27 seconds left to kill Chicago’s chances.
“He’s had better games, but they put a lot of pressure on him,” Bears coach Dick Jauron said of Chandler.
Chicago’s defense held the opposition to 17 points or less for the fourth straight game, but the Bears’ offense managed just 199 yards and had its lowest point total since a 49-7 season-opening loss at San Francisco on Sept. 7.
Chicago now faces its second significant challenge at newly remodeled Soldier Field, after dropping a 38-23 decision to Green Bay in the home opener on Sept. 29. The Bears’ 3-1 home record is deceiving, as the victories have come against Oakland, Detroit and San Diego.