|Rams DE Chris Long and DT Michael Brockers teamed up for one of five sacks vs. the Bills. (US Presswire)|
In a chilling Buffalo rain, the Rams rallied for a dramatic 15-12 victory that gave them their first three-game winning streak since 2006.
The defense forced two turnovers, notched five sacks and held Buffalo’s potent running game to 61 yards.
While the Bills (5-8) dropped out of playoff contention, the Rams (6-6-1) are in a crowded field trying to catch Chicago (8-5) for the final NFC playoff spot. After starting 0-3 on the road, the Rams are 2-0-1 in their last three road games.
The offense came out sluggish, mustering just three yards in the first quarter, and the Rams were held scoreless in the first half. QB Sam Bradford forced the ball to TE Lance Kendricks, leading to a deflected interception. But with time running out, Bradford led an 84-yard TD drive. WR Austin Pettis kept the drive alive with a brilliant fourth-down catch, and WR Brandon Gibson made two critical catches, including the game-winning 13-yard score. Seven of Bradford’s 15 TD passes this season have come in the fourth quarter. Previous game's grade: C
Buffalo ripped Jacksonville for 232 rushing yards a week ago, but generated just 61 yards on 20 carries Sunday. DT Michael Brockers forced a fumble by Bills RB Fred Jackson and finished with 1.5 sacks. The Rams hit Buffalo QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 11 times. With the Bills trying to get into position for a tying field goal, DE Robert Quinn and S Quintin Mikell combined for a sack. Then LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar sealed it with an easy interception. Mikell and CB Cortland Finnegan each made eight tackles. Previous game's grade: A-
Special teams: C
The Rams allowed an average of 26.3 yards on kickoff returns, 11 yards on punt returns. Pettis had a 23-yard punt return. Johnny Hekker avoided disaster by getting off a punt after mishandling the snap. He averaged 37.8 yards on eight punts, twice pinning the Bills inside the 20. The Rams did not attempt a field goal. Previous game's grade: A
The Rams are starting to excel in close games. They’re staying poised and have cut down on penalties. On Sunday, they committed just two for 17 yards. Coach Jeff Fisher and his staff have this team where no one thought they’d be: at .500 and in playoff conversation. Previous game's grade: A
Get more Rams updates and analysis from Larry Hartstein on Twitter @CBSRams.