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Dec 15, 2012 7:45pm
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ST. D.J. Moore Jersey . LOUIS —St. Louis Rams
coach Jeff Fisher ended up giving his starters plenty of playing time. Baltimore
Ravens coach John Harbaugh got what he wanted—a really long look at his
backups. Sam Bradford threw three touchdown passes in 11/2 quarters, giving the
Rams an early lead in a 31-17 win on Thursday night. Fisher, overseeing a
franchise that has totalled 15 wins in the past five seasons, called for the
second stringers after a 9-yard catch by Mike Hoomanawanui made it 21-0 with
6:59 to go in the half. “I took them out because we got some production, made
some plays,” Fisher said. “Its a good way to finish up.” Bradford threw five
touchdown passes in the preseason, all of them at home for the Rams (2-2). “Its
very satisfying,” Bradford said. “The way we finished definitely shows that were
comfortable out there. I think were moving into the regular season in a very
nice way.” Harbaugh, gearing up for a Super Bowl run after losing in the AFC
title game last season, started just a handful of his regulars as he does every
year in the preseason finale. The Ravens committed four turnovers and
Tyrod Taylor started at quarterback for Joe Flacco, and they also rested running
back Ray Rice and linebacker Ray Lewis. Most of the regulars didnt even dress.
“Every team does what they have to do in this game,” Harbaugh said. “We didnt
play a lot of our guys at all. It was a great opportunity from that perspective,
to see how some of our backups match up.” Curtis Painter, the third-string QB
for Baltimore (2-2), threw three interceptions and added touchdown passes to
Billy Bajema and Deonte Thompson. Harbaugh said he hasnt decided whether to go
with two or three quarterbacks, leaving Painter and Taylor, a sixth-round pick
last year, on the roster bubble. “All thats been done has been done to this
point, so Im not going to worry too much about it,” said Painter, who started
last year for Indianapolis after Peyton Manning was injured. “Its out of my
hands, so Ill just keep rolling until they tell me not to.” Rookie
Janoris Jenkins was a rare Rams starter who played into the third quarter, and
made it 28-0 with a 76-yard interception return for a touchdown off a pass by
Painter that deflected off Bobby Raineys hands. “Most definitely, I want to take
it to the house,” Jenkins said. “I always think that.” The Rams intercepted
Painter on the previous play, too, but Craig Dahl fumbled it back. Robert Quinn
had a sack, forced fumble and fumble recovery while stripping Taylor to set up
Danny Amendolas 7-yard score late in the first quarter. He also deflected a punt
in the second quarter. The Rams played well in both home games despite sparse
attendance. The Edward Jones Dome, which holds 66,000, was probably about
one-third full for the opening kickoff and all but empty at the end. Fishers
plan to play his starters backfired once when first-round pick Michael Brockers
injured his right ankle after getting tangled up with Jah Reid near the end of
the first quarter and did not return. Brockers was helped off the field by two
trainers, but was able to put weight on the leg, then was carted off the field.
X-rays were negative and an MRI was scheduled for Friday for Brockers, who was
in a walking boot but didnt think it was a serious injury. Bradford was 11 for
16 for 175 yards and spread the ball to eight receivers, with Austin Pettis
starting the scoring with a 14-yard catch capped by a dive inside the pylon.
Bradford recovered his own fumble off a centre snap for a 5-yard loss the play
before throwing the touchdown pass to Hoomanawanui. Rookie kickers for both
teams showed plenty of leg. The Ravens Justin Tucker, who beat out
Billy Cundiff, made a 49-yard field goal in the second half after barely missing
from 57 yards near the end of the half. That was the lone miss in eight
preseason attempts, including a pair from 50 yards or longer for the undrafted
Tucker. The Rams Greg Zuerlein hit his fourth field goal from 50 yards-plus in
the preseason with a 59-yarder that scraped the crossbar early in the fourth
quarter. He was just short on a 62-yard attempt in the third quarter that was
caught by the Ravens Asa Jackson just under the crossbar. Notes: Ravens backup
OLB Courtney Upshaw (shoulder) will undergo an MRI Friday. “Yeah, were
concerned,” Harbaugh said. OL Justin Boren (right foot sprain) also will have an
MRI, and TEs Bruce Figgins (right knee sprain) and Matt Balasavage (high left
ankle sprain) were injured. ... The Rams are 3-0 against the Ravens in the
preseason. Mike Ditka Jersey . Seattle starter
Jason Vargas stood on the mound with both hands on his head in disbelief. Henry Melton Jersey . The flags stitched onto
the shirts and caps, and the colours on the leaderboards — American red,
European blue — were enough to produce raw emotion, enormous pressure and
compelling theatre. http://www.officialchicagobearsgear.com/matt-forte-jersey
. From the rafters, he sat helpless as he watched his New Jersey Devils lose a
tough road opener in this Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Flyers
in overtime. Julius Peppers Jersey . —Washington
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan says injured receiver Pierre Garcon is a “long
shot” to play against the New York Giants on Sunday. Gale Sayers Jersey . But Kelly was still
expected to be on the field for Game 1 of the NL championship series on Sunday
as long as he gets cleared by team doctors. He was taken to a hospital for tests
and later released, with athletic trainer Dave Groeschner saying in a text,
“doing better, going home.VALENCIA, Spain—Fernando Alonso of Ferrari won an
incident-filled European Grand Prix on Sunday to become the first driver to win
two races this season, while Michael Schumacher earned a first podium finish
since his comeback by coming third. Alonso jousted his way up from 11th on the
starting grid to claim an emotional victory for the Spaniard in front of his
home fans after pole sitter Sebastian Vettels Red Bull stalled on the track
midway through the race. Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus finished second, while
Schumacher sneaked onto the podium after Lewis Hamilton and Pastor Maldonado
collided on the penultimate lap as they fought for third place. “This race is
probably the best victory I have ever felt,” said Alonso, who cried on the
podium as the Spanish national anthem was played. “In terms of emotions, nothing
compares to this.” Vettels Red Bull teammate Mark Webber also had a strong
showing, working his way up all the way from 19th to finish fourth. Alonsos 29th
career victory lifted him into first place in the points standings, 10 points
ahead of Webber, who passed Hamilton and Vettel. Force Indias Nico Hulkenberg
came in fifth and Schumachers Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg finished sixth.
Paul Di Resta of Force India, McLarens Jenson Button, Sergio Perez of Sauber and
Bruno Senna in his Williams completed the top 10. Alonso clinched an unlikely
victory by passing a number of drivers on Valencias 5.4-kilometre (3.3-mile)
street circuit notoriously tough for overtaking. Pole sitters had won three of
the four previous races, and in 2009 the tight circuit that weaves through the
Americas Cup harbour didnt allow one single change in the order of cars from
start to finish. The 30-year-old Alonso said his emotions were magnified by the
economic crisis that his country—and many of his fans—are going through.
“This is the best feeling of victory by far because of the whole situation in
Spain,” he said. “There are families who have made long trips to come here, they
have slept in the car or caravan. ... Yesterday we didnt deliver what they were
expecting, so today I think we paid back a little bit of the support they gave
us with all the problems they are facing.” To sweeten the victory, Alonso saw
both Hamilton and Vettel—his main rivals for the championship—fail to
collect a single point. After a poor qualifying session that left him out of the
top 10, Alonso had said he had no chance at victory and had set a goal of simply
getting as many points as possible. But a combination of audacious driving and
an eventful 57-lap race full of car trouble and crashes produced the most
scintillating round of the already enthralling F1 season that had seen seven
diffferent winners in the first seven races. Brian Urlacher Womens Jersey. . “Sport is
about that, up and downs. Yesterday, we had a sad moment but you can never give
up,” Alonso said. “In sport in general, but especially in Formula One, anything
can happen.” Alonso had an excellent start on a set of fast soft tires, jumping
three spots to eighth place by the second turn. He then made short order of
Webber, Senna and Schumacher to go fourth behind Hamilton. “We had an amazing
race, an amazing start. I remember six or seven overtakings we had,” Alonso
said. “Today we had all the good factors and luck with us.” Even so, victory for
Alonso looked more than unlikely as Vettel, who had won here from pole the past
two years, opened up a 20-second lead. But following the appearance of the
safety car, his Red Bull, which had been running impeccably all weekend,
suddenly stalled on lap 34 and left him stranded hopelessly while the pack
rushed by with Alonso at the head. “Obviously it is a shame. We are not sure
what happened. It is frustrating, we were en route to win the race,” Vettel
said. “We had a mechanical problem. The failure is still not clear, the car
switched off.” Romain Grosjean had manoeuvred to within two seconds of Alonso by
lap 41 when his Lotus also sputtered to a stop, spoiling a shot at his first
win. With the French pilot out of the running, Hamilton found himself in second.
But the 2008 champion couldnt cut into Alonsos advantage, and as his pace
faltered Raikkonen went by and Maldonado tried to follow. The two drivers
collided, sending Hamiltons McLaren into the wall. Race stewards later ruled
Maldonado to have been at fault and penalized him 20 seconds on his final time,
knocking him out of the points. “Big congratulations to Fernando. He did a great
job today to come from all the way back in 11th,” Hamilton said. “We lost some
points today. Fortunately, however, a couple of other drivers fighting at the
front also missed out, so its not the end of the world. It just makes things a
little bit tougher.” With the path clear, Schumacher slipped ahead to grab his
first podium appearance since he returned to F1 in 2010 following a three-year
hiatus for the seven-time champion. “I didnt think about a podium, not even at
the end of the race,” said Schumacher. “At the end I asked the guys where we
finished and the boys told me thats third. I cant believe that, I didnt expect
it.” Saubers Kamui Kobayashi and Jean-Eric Vergne of Toro Rosso also failed to
finish, while Marussia driver Timo Glock didnt participate in the race because
of a stomach illness that also kept him out of qualifying on Saturday. ’ ’ ’ 

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