Final

Vikings 17

(7-5, 3-3 away)

Rams 48

(9-3, 6-0 home)

1:00 PM ET, November 30, 2003

 

1 2 3 4 T
MIN 7 10 0 017
STL 10 10 14 1448

RB scores three TDs

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Marshall Faulk still knows how to get into the end zone, zooming past Hall of Famers Walter Payton and Jim Brown on the career touchdown list.

Allen's Analysis
Eric Allen
Question on the Vikings: How does Tice shake the Vikings out of their funk for the stretch run?
There's nothing the coach can do to shake the Vikings up. Right now, it all comes down to the players. They need someone to step up in a leadership capacity on both sides of the ball and forcefully let it be known that they need to play better. The Vikings' offense played poorly today in a game that everyone knew would be a shootout. That's unacceptable, and the end result was an embarrassing loss to the Rams.

Question on the Rams: So is a healthy Faulk still one of the two or three best backs in the league?
Today he was, but next week and the week after, it's impossible to tell. But today Faulk did an outstanding job against the Vikings. He kept pressure off QB Marc Bulger and took advantage of a porous Viking run defense. Today was the Marshall Faulk show.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.

Faulk ran for three scores to help the St. Louis Rams beat the Minnesota Vikings 48-17 in a battle of division leaders Sunday.

He had his third straight 100-yard game after going 10 games without one. It was even better that he passed a couple of childhood heroes, giving him 127 career touchdowns. Faulk now has one more TD than Brown and two more than Payton and is fifth on the all-time list.

"That's pretty good," Faulk said. "Those are huge names, guys that I idolized, of course."

Faulk missed five games earlier this year with a broken left hand and surgically repaired right knee and returned to the lineup three games ago averaging a puny 2.8 yards a carry. The last three games he has 311 yards, a 5.1-yard average and four touchdowns.

"I don't know what all the way back is, but we are playing good right now and running the ball effectively," Faulk said. "It's just all working now."

Faulk had 108 yards on 17 carries and scored on runs of 18, 5 and 7 yards. He also concocted a 41-yard end-around pass from Isaac Bruce to Dane Looker that set up one of Faulk's touchdowns.

"I can't wait to get home to hear them say, 'Marshall, Marshall, Marshall' on TV," coach Mike Martz said.

The Rams (9-3) solidified their NFC West lead -- they're tied with the Eagles for the best record in the NFC -- and won their 12th straight game at home. The North Division-leading Vikings (7-5) are sinking fast after a 6-0 start. "Well, that wasn't very good," coach Mike Tice said. "That wasn't very good at all. We're just very disappointed. I don't know what else to say."

The Rams had a pair of one-play touchdown drives created by turnovers. Faulk broke free off left tackle for the game's first score, and Marc Bulger scored on a 12-yard scramble after Tyoka Jackson intercepted a Daunte Culpepper pass that was tipped by Tommy Polley, making it 34-17 in the third.

The defense scored a third quick touchdown when Aeneas Williams scooped up a fumble by Culpepper and returned it 90 yards in the fourth quarter. Williams' 12th career touchdown was set up by the third of four sacks by Leonard Little, returning to the lineup after missing a month with a torn pectoral muscle.

"The guy does it every single week," Jackson said. "He missed four weeks, and if he wasn't rusty he'd have gotten six sacks."

Bulger also was impressive with his arm, limiting mistakes after throwing 10 interceptions in the previous four games. He shook off a second-quarter pickoff by Brian Williams that led to a Vikings touchdown and was 15-for-20 for 222 yards and one touchdown, again emphasizing Torry Holt.

The NFL's leading receiver battled Randy Moss to a standstill, catching eight passes for 102 yards -- his eighth 100-yard game of the year. Moss caught a 15-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and had 10 catches for 160 yards.

The Rams' special teams also contributed. Jamie Duncan blocked the Rams' first punt since 1996, a string of 119 games, to set up Faulk's first touchdown. Eddie Johnson bobbled the ball and took extra stutter-steps before letting the ball go.

Besides his touchdown pass to Moss, Culpepper kept the Rams' defense guessing in the first half with three carries for 65 yards, including a 42-yarder and an 18-yard carry to the 5 to set up Moe Williams' 1-yard fourth-down plunge that tied it at 17 with 51 seconds left before the half.

That was it for the Vikings. Starting at the Rams 19 with 47 seconds left, Bulger hit Faulk for 30 yards and Holt for 18 to set up Jeff Wilkins' 51-yard field goal on the last play of the half.

Culpepper was 33-for-47 for 330 yards and one touchdown, but was sacked eight times. Offensive tackle Mike Rosenthal got beat by Little for half of them.

"I didn't know what he was doing, I didn't see the film," Tice said. "I'm trying to watch 22 freaking guys out there.

"I just know they manhandled us up front with the blitz."

Game notes


Holt has 25 career 100-yard receiving games, tying Jerry Rice for the most in the first five seasons. He leads the NFL with 92 catches for 1,387 yards and Moss is second with 82 catches for 1,239 yards. ... Wilkins, who entered the game with an NFL-leading 111 points, is 28-for-30 on the season on field goals and 2-for-2 from 50 and beyond. ... The Rams' point total is their highest since a 48-14 victory Nov. 11, 2001, at home against the Panthers.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERMINSTL
stlTD13:32Marshall Faulk, 18 yd run
Drive info: 1 plays, 82 yds, 0:00
06
THIRD QUARTERMINSTL
stlTD3:05Marc Bulger, 12 yd run
Drive info: 1 plays, 12 yds, 0:00
1733
FOURTH QUARTERMINSTL
stlTD12:25Touchdown
Drive info: 1 plays, 95 yds, 0:00
1740
FIRST QUARTERMINSTL
stl13:32
Drive info: 1 plays, 82 yds, 0:00
07
THIRD QUARTERMINSTL
stl2:39
Drive info: 1 plays, 12 yds, 0:00
1734
FOURTH QUARTERMINSTL
stl12:25
Drive info: 1 plays, 95 yds, 0:00
1741
SECOND QUARTERMINSTL
stlFG0:11Jeff Wilkins 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 4 plays, 47 yds, 0:36
1720
FOURTH QUARTERMINSTL
stlTD8:46Marshall Faulk, 7 yd run
Drive info: 5 plays, 50 yds, 1:41
1747
THIRD QUARTERMINSTL
stlTD4:54Marshall Faulk, 5 yd run
Drive info: 5 plays, 76 yds, 1:49
1726
FOURTH QUARTERMINSTL
stl6:48
Drive info: 5 plays, 50 yds, 1:41
1748
THIRD QUARTERMINSTL
stl4:50
Drive info: 5 plays, 76 yds, 1:49
1727
FIRST QUARTERMINSTL
minTD1:45Touchdown
Drive info: 8 plays, 71 yds, 3:50
610
SECOND QUARTERMINSTL
minTD1:00Moe Williams, 1 yd run
Drive info: 7 plays, 41 yds, 2:30
1617
FIRST QUARTERMINSTL
min0:56
Drive info: 8 plays, 71 yds, 3:50
710
SECOND QUARTERMINSTL
min0:51
Drive info: 7 plays, 41 yds, 2:30
1717
stlTD12:07Touchdown
Drive info: 8 plays, 83 yds, 13:45
716
stl11:50
Drive info: 8 plays, 83 yds, 13:45
717
FIRST QUARTERMINSTL
stlFG5:53Jeff Wilkins 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 12 plays, 53 yds, 3:57
010
SECOND QUARTERMINSTL
minFG6:30Aaron Elling 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 12 plays, 74 yds, 3:54
1017