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2014 Game-by-Game: Week 11

Posted Jul 9, 2014

The last game of a three-week midseason road swing is at St. Louis, where the Broncos are winless in three previous games.

  • WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 16; Noon CST.
  • WHERE: Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis.
  • TV: CBS.
  • SERIES RECORD: Rams lead, 7-5.
  • JOHN FOX'S RECORD: 3-1 (1-0 in the postseason).
  • PEYTON MANNING'S RECORD: 2-1.
  • SERIES STREAK: St. Louis has won three of the last four.
  • LAST TIME: Rams 36, Broncos 33; Nov. 28, 2010. A day after then-coach Josh McDaniels admitted that he did not report the illicit videotaping of a practice at Wembley Stadium a month earlier, the Broncos' chaotic weekend ended in a defeat that dropped them to 3-8. The Broncos' struggling defense collapsed, allowing the Rams to score three consecutive first-half touchdowns -- all on drives of at least 71 yards. Those scores helped the Rams build a 33-13 lead. In the fourth quarter, the Broncos awoke. The defense forced three consecutive three-and-outs, and Kyle Orton fired three touchdown passes. But the Broncos' last hope ended when a last-minute drive petered out with a sack and three incompletions.
  • LAST TIME IN ST. LOUIS: Rams 18, Broncos 10; Sept. 10, 2006. Denver's defense kept St. Louis out of the end zone, but a sputtering offense was choked by its own mistakes and gave away a chance at a season-opening win. Five turnovers -- three on Jake Plummer interceptions and two via fumbles -- set up three of Jeff Wilkins' six field goals. The final interception came with 2:40 remaining, when Will Witherspoon intercepted Plummer at the St. Louis 20-yard-line; the Rams drained the rest of the clock to get a win in Scott Linehan's first game as head coach.


NOTING THE GAME:

  • This will conclude the Broncos' quartet of games against the NFC West, the division that had the league's best collective record in 2013. The primary challenge appears to be containing the Rams' strong edge pass rushers of Robert Quinn and Chris Long, who combined for 27.5 sacks last year. Quinn had 19 of them last year, placing him second in the league, and their team total of 53 sacks was third-most in the league. If rookie defensive tackle Aaron Donald delivers on his potential, the pass rush could be even better.
  • But the Rams' hopes of finishing with their first winning season in 11 years rest on Sam Bradford's ability to stay healthy. In 2013, his quarterback rating (90.9), touchdown-to-interception ratio (plus-10), touchdown percentage (5.3), completion percentage (60.7) and yardage per game (241.0) were all the best of his career, but he was felled by a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Week 7 of last year. In seven starts last season, Bradford threw three touchdown passes three times -- as many such games as he had in the first three seasons of his career combined. Until 2012, his only three-touchdown game came at Denver on Nov. 28, 2010; the 113.3 quarterback rating he posted that afternoon remains the third-highest of his career.
  • Visits to St. Louis have been infrequent for the Broncos. This will be the Broncos' fourth regular-season game there in the 37 seasons in which Denver and a St. Louis-based team have shared a league. The Broncos are winless in their three trips to St. Louis: a 1973 tie against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium and losses to the Rams in 2000 and 2006.
  • The Broncos have lost four consecutive road games to the Rams, dating back to before they relocated from the Los Angeles area. The Broncos haven't beaten them away from Denver since Dec. 12, 1982, when the Broncos won, 27-24, at what was then known as Anaheim Stadium.
  • This will be the Broncos' only inside game in the regular season, matching the total in each of the previous two seasons with Manning at the helm. The Broncos are 1-1 in these games, winning at Dallas last year with the roof closed and losing in Atlanta's Georgia Dome in 2012. Overall, the Broncos are 4-6 in the last decade in regular-season games played indoors.