Final

Rams 15

(6-6-1, 2-3-1 away)

Bills 12

(5-8, 3-3 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, December 9, 2012

Ralph Wilson Stadium, Buffalo, NY 

1 2 3 4 T
STL 0 0 7 815
BUF 3 3 6 012

Top Performers

Passing: R. Fitzpatrick (BUF) - 247 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: S. Jackson (STL) - 19 CAR, 64 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: B. Gibson (STL) - 6 REC, 100 YDS, 1 TD

Sam Bradford's TD pass with 48 seconds left lifts Rams

ESPN.com news services
Sunday Blitz: Rams-Bills Recap
Prim Siripipat and Cris Carter break down the Rams' 15-12 win over the BillsTags: Sunday Blitz, NFL, recap, Prim Siripipat, Cris Carter, Rams, Bills
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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Unbeaten in their division, Sam Bradford and St. Louis Rams are starting to show they can win anywhere -- including cold and wet Buffalo -- to stay in the playoff race.

Bradford capped a 14-play, 84-yard drive with a 13-yard pass to Brandon Gibson with 48 seconds left in a 15-12 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

"I think it says a lot about the maturity of the team," Bradford said. "I think this team grew up a little bit more today."

For Bradford, the 2010 No. 1 draft pick enjoyed his second consecutive fourth-quarter comeback victory after rallying the Rams to a 16-13 overtime win over San Francisco last weekend.

And this time it happened outside the comforts of their climate-controlled dome, and on an afternoon that featured temperatures in the high 30s, and a drizzle that fell through much of the second half.

The Rams (6-6-1) stayed in the playoff hunt by winning three in a row for the first time since 2006. They improved to 2-6 outside the NFC West by winning for only the second time on the road this season.

"I think a lot of the guys this year have more confidence and they're more determined," tight end Lance Kendricks said. "They want it. They want it more than the other team."

Bradford finished 19 of 39 for 209 yards and an interception. Steven Jackson had 64 yards rushing and scored on a 1-yard plunge, while Gibson made six catches for 100 yards.

Bradford delivered in the clutch by converting a pair of third-down attempts, including a third-and-10 by threading a 15-yard pass to Gibson, and a fourth-and-1.

On the touchdown, Bradford rifled a pass over the middle that a leaping Gibson caught just a step ahead of rookie cornerback Ron Brooks.

"Sam's not a guy who gets flustered," coach Jeff Fisher said.

The Bills (5-8) did.

Their defense squandered a lead in the final 2 minutes at home for the second time this season after unraveling in familiar fashion in a 35-34 loss to Tennessee on Oct. 21.

Safety George Wilson twice had chances to intercept Bradford on the final drive, only to drop the ball each time.

"You have to be a finisher in this league," Wilson said. "Those are the plays you replay over and over in your head, wishing that the ball would've bounced your way."

If it's any consolation, there was plenty of blame to be laid on an offense that lacked finish.

Buffalo came away with two field goals on three drives inside the Rams 25. That included Fred Jackson losing a fumble at the Rams 14.

"Bottom line, we could not make plays to win the ballgame," coach Chan Gailey said. "It is a bitter pill to swallow."

The injury count continues to mount. Already down starting center Eric Wood (left knee) and right guard Chris Hairston (right ankle), Jackson had to be helped off the field after appearing to hurt his right leg with about 5 minutes left.

Jackson's leg was sandwiched by two Rams as they made a tackle on a 2-yard run near midfield. With a towel over his head, Jackson was then carted off from the sideline, with fans chanting "Freddie! Freddie!"

Jackson is out a minimum of two to three weeks according to Gailey, which means his season probably is over.

The Bills' final drive ended with 12 seconds left when Ryan Fitzpatrick fluttered a pass up the right sideline and linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar intercepted.

Fitzpatrick went 25 of 33 for 247 yards passing, including a 2-yard touchdown to Lee Smith.

"We've got to develop a killer instinct," Fitzpatrick said. "And we've got to win these games if we want to be one of the teams that's sitting there at the end of the year ready for the playoffs."

Rather than gaining ground on Cincinnati and Pittsburgh (they both lost Sunday, and fell to 7-6) in the AFC playoff race, the Bills are all but mathematically out of the hunt. That's a familiar position for a team that's not been to the postseason since 1999, the NFL's longest active drought.

Things are looking brighter for the Rams, a team that's not been to the playoffs since 2004 and has not won eight games since 2006.

Much of the credit for their resurgence comes as a result of a sturdy and aggressive defense. St. Louis limited the Bills to 281 yards and forced two turnovers. Rookie tackle Michael Brockers had 1 1/2 of St. Louis' five sacks.

"We're a motivated team," Brockers said. "The plane-ride home is going to be very enjoyable. We had a lot that weren't this year, but this one is going to be a good one."

Game notes


Rams S Craig Dahl did not return after sustaining a concussion. LT Rodger Saffold couldn't finish because of a nagging back injury. ... The Bills allowed 78 yards rushing, extending their streak to four games of holding opponents under 90. That's the team's best stretch since a four-game streak in 1999. ... The Bills failed on an extra point when holder Shawn Powell had the ball slip through his hands. ... Bradford also completed a 2-point conversion with a pass to Chris Givens.

Information from The Associated Press and ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter was used in this report.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
STL
BUF
1st Downs1717
Passing 1st downs
1113
Rushing 1st downs
53
1st downs from Penalties
11
3rd down efficiency
7-173-12
4th down efficiency
1-10-0
Total Plays6758
Total Yards285281
Yards per play4.34.8
Total Drives1311
Passing207220
Comp - Att
19-3925-33
Yards per pass
5.36.7
Interceptions thrown
11
Sacks - Yards Lost
1-25-27
Rushing7861
Rushing Attempts
2720
Yards per rush
2.93.1
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-21-3
Penalties2-172-15
Turnovers12
Fumbles lost
01
Interceptions thrown
11
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession29:2430:36

Passing Leaders

STLC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Bradford19/392095.4111-2
BUFC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Fitzpat...25/332477.5115-27

Rushing Leaders

STLCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jackson19643.4112
Bradford4133.3011
BUFCARYDSAVGTDLG
Spiller7375.3013
Jackson9141.6014

Receiving Leaders

STLRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Gibson610016.71249
Kendricks33612.00228
BUFRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Johnson67111.80348
Chandler57114.20235

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERSTLBUF
bufFG02:14Rian Lindell 35 Yd 03
SECOND QUARTERSTLBUF
bufFG00:07Rian Lindell 40 Yd 06
THIRD QUARTERSTLBUF
stlTD08:37Steven Jackson 1 Yd Run (Greg Zuerlein Kick) 76
bufTD03:26Lee Smith 2 Yd Pass From Ryan Fitzpatrick (Two-Point Pass Conversion Failed) 712
FOURTH QUARTERSTLBUF
stlTD00:48Brandon Gibson 13 Yd Pass From Sam Bradford (Sam Bradford Pass To Chris Givens For Two-Point Conversion) 1512