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Back to normal

Rams dance their way past Vikings 40-29

Click here for more on this story
Posted: Sunday December 10, 2000 7:43 PM
Updated: Monday December 11, 2000 5:42 PM

  Kurt Warner Kurt Warner returned to MVP form against the Vikings, completing 84.4 percent of his passes for 346 yards. AP

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Bringing the "Bob 'N Weave" out of mothballs brought out the best in the St. Louis Rams.

The swagger was back for the defending Super Bowl champions, who ended a three-game losing streak in sometimes brazen fashion in a 40-29 victory against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Marshall Faulk scored a team-record four touchdowns rushing and the Rams, who also had lost three in a row at home, celebrated their first two touchdowns with the banned dance.

They also signaled their own first downs and spun the ball after big plays.

"It's real fun seeing the guys do the 'Bob 'N Weave,'" quarterback Kurt Warner said. "That's what we're all about, showing emotion. We knew we had to break it out."

Vikings head coach Dennis Green is co-chairman of the NFL's competition committee, and he was behind the league crackdown on celebration dances this season. In the days before the game, several Rams said they wouldn't mind paying a fine.

Click the image to launch the clip

CNNSI.com's Josie Karp reports from St. Louis on the Rams' decisive victory against the Vikings. Start

Related Video: Flawless Faulk
SI's Don Banks
  • Insider: Sunday was turn-back-the-clock day at the Trans World Dome, and all of St. Louis was in agreement that it was about time the old Rams showed up.
  • What We Learned: St. Louis' 40-29 conquest of Minnesota on Sunday wasn't quite as meaningful as last January's playoff win, but it served to infuse the Rams with confidence and cut the vaunted Vikings down to size. 
  •  
     

    "It has nothing to do with Dennis Green," said wide receiver Torry Holt, who invented the dance last year as a rookie and marked its return with nine catches for 172 yards. "It didn't matter who we were playing, we were going to do it."

    Green said he had no reaction to the Rams' celebrations.

    The Rams (9-5) opened the game with an 80-yard scoring drive capped by Faulk's 1-yard run, and seven Rams did the Bob 'N Weave.

    On the second TD, another 1-yard run by Faulk, six players participated. The third time, wide receiver Isaac Bruce called a halt to the celebrating after another bunch of players convened in the end zone.

    Faulk's touchdowns gave him a league-leading and career-high 19, and they were his first visits to the end zone in three games. After a couple of quiet weeks following his return from arthroscopic knee surgery, he had 135 yards rushing on 25 carries, topping 1,000 yards for the fourth consecutive season, and 43 yards on six receptions.

    "The energy was good, my leg felt good, I felt good," Faulk said.

    Warner, who threw four interceptions in a 16-3 loss at Carolina last week in a disastrous return from a broken little finger, was 27-for-32 for 346 yards. Warner was well-protected all day and completed his first 11 passes.

     
    Moss struggles against rejuvenated Rams defense
    ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Randy Moss had a quiet Sunday afternoon, courtesy of the St. Louis Rams' secondary.

    In the Rams' 40-29 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, the normally explosive wide receiver was eerily silent with four catches for 63 yards and a late touchdown. He entered the game first in the NFL with 12 touchdown catches and third with 1,196 receiving yards.

    "Coach Bud Carson put in some new schemes and he told us to be more physical with him," cornerback Todd Lyght said. "We were, and it worked."

    Moss' touchdown came with the game out of reach. Moss caught a 32-yard pass from Daunte Culpepper with 2:27 to go and also caught the 2-point conversion pass.

    He did not talk to reporters after the game, his second straight quiet effort. He had three catches for 26 yards Nov. 30 against the Lions.

    Lyght, Dre' Bly and Dexter McCleon rotated on Moss. His longest reception was the 32-yard touchdown reception.

    "If Moss gets off to a hot start, he can have a backbreaking day," Lyght said. "Today, we did not let him get going."

    When Moss did get open he was his own nemesis, dropping two passes in the first half.

    The last time the teams played, in last year's playoffs, Moss caught nine passes for 188 yards and two scores. This time the much-maligned Rams secondary gave multiple looks to Moss.

    "We were able to execute and we were able to confuse them with some of the defensive schemes we threw at them," Lyght said.

    The Rams' pass rush was another factor in Culpepper not being able to connect with Moss. St. Louis had four sacks and pressured Culpepper throughout the game, forcing him to dump the ball off to his running backs and tight ends.

    Lyght added: "The guys up front played great and really got after Culpepper." 
     

    The Rams also played error-free ball a week after committing seven turnovers, and in the previous three weeks, they had 14. John Baker didn't punt until there was 4:17 remaining.

    "We just could not stay with them," Green said. "If you don't have the ability to get turnovers and if you don't sack the quarterback, it's going to be very hard to beat a team on this surface."

    The NFL's No. 1 offense scored 40 points for the first time since Game 6. They reached 40 five times in their first six games, but totaled just 47 points during the three-game losing streak.

    The victory was critical to the playoff hopes of the Rams, who had lost five of seven after a 6-0 start. They remained tied for the NFC West lead with the Saints.

    The Vikings (11-3), who have the NFC's best record, missed a chance to clinch the NFC Central and had a four-game winning streak halted. After trailing 17-0, they closed to 20-14 on an 8-yard run by Daunte Culpepper in the third quarter, but the Rams answered with Faulk's third score on a 5-yard run for a 26-14 lead.

    Faulk set up his fourth touchdown when the Vikings' Robert Griffith interfered with him in the end zone on a pass play, and he scored on a 1-yard run the next play for a 33-14 lead.

    The Vikings scored again on a 2-yard pass from Culpepper to Cris Carter, but the Rams answered back. Backup running back Justin Watson finished off an 80-yard march with a 6-yard run for a 40-21 lead with 8:10 to go.

    Culpepper was 21-of-33 for 221 yards, passing for three touchdowns and running for a fourth. Randy Moss had a quiet day until catching a 32-yard touchdown pass and then a conversion pass with 2:27 to go. Robert Smith, who entered the game first in the NFL in rushing, had 67 yards on 15 carries.

    Notes: Holt has six 100-yard days this season. ... Several players shared the previous Rams record of three touchdowns rushing, with Lawrence Phillips the last to do it Aug. 31, 1997. ... The Rams scored a touchdown on their opening drive for the first time since Dec. 12, 1999, against the Saints. ... Jeff Wilkins, who had two field goals, has made 18 in a row dating to last season. He's the only kicker in the NFL who has not missed a field goal or extra point this year. ... Despite the loss, the Vikings have only six losses in their last 39 games on artificial turf, and the last two also are on turf.


     
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