ST. LOUIS (AP) — Sam Bradford threw touchdown passes on his first two drives, and the St. Louis Rams made improvements on the other side of the ball in a 31-17 preseason victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the annual Governor’s Cup game on Saturday night.
Lance Kendricks and Danny Amendola scored on catches of 23 and 8 yards, and Steven Jackson ran for 49 yards on seven carries in a 151-yard first quarter that handed the backups a two-touchdown cushion.
The Rams (1-1) totaled 215 yards in a 38-3 loss last week at Indianapolis.
Bradford was 6 for 9 for 102 yards for St. Louis (No. 28 AP Pro32). Matt Cassel played the first half for Kansas City (1-1) and was 13 for 18 for 142 yards.
Rookie Greg Zuerlein’s 52-yard field goal capped a 17-point first half for the Rams, who trailed the NFL with a 12.1-yard scoring average last season while going 2-14. They scored 13 or fewer points in 12 games.
Peyton Hillis scored on a 1-yard run in the second quarter, and Jeremy Horne caught a 38-yard touchdown pass from Brady Quinn in the waning minutes for the Chiefs (No. 18).
Kansas City committed four turnovers, including three lost fumbles, and played from behind the entire game. Last week the Chiefs beat Arizona 27-17 at home and got two touchdowns in two possessions by the first string. Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe didn’t make the trip a day after signing a franchise tender.
Although the Chiefs have beaten the Rams five straight times since 1997 in the regular season, the Rams lead the preseason series 9-5 since moving to St. Louis in 1995. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon attended the game.
The attendance was announced at 53,272, although the 66,000-seat capacity stadium appeared to be about half-filled at kickoff.
Cassel produced an 80-yard drive capped by Hillis’ 1-yard run early in the second quarter on his third series. Jamaal Charles had 17 yards on three carries, and Kevin Boss had four receptions for 62 yards.
The Chiefs’ first possession lasted just two plays with Craig Dahl recovering wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin’s fumble at the Kansas City 31. Amendola tumbled into the end zone with the ball despite interference on Javier Arenas to put the Rams up 14-0 with just over 10 minutes to go in the first.
The Rams made an immediate splash a week after coach Jeff Fisher’s debut was a flop against the Colts. Bradford hit Amendola for a 35-yard gain off play action on the opening snap, and St. Louis needed only four plays and 1:58 to move 80 yards to take the lead on Kendricks’ catch over the middle.
Rookies Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson scored on short runs in the third and fourth quarters for St. Louis. The Rams had a short field after Matthew Conrath intercepted Ricky Stanzi on a ball tipped by Jerome Murphy at the Chiefs 18 on the second play of the third quarter. That set up a 1-yard run by Pead, a second-round pick slated to be Jackson’s backup.
Bows signs franchise tender
Perhaps Dwayne Bowe was just waiting for the Chiefs to break training camp to finally sign his franchise tender.
The team said in a statement Friday that Bowe had signed after missing the entire offseason program and training camp in St. Joseph, Mo. Bowe is due about $9.5 million this season after the two sides failed to reach a long-term deal by the July 16 deadline.
The more pressing question is whether Bowe can learn new coordinator Brian Daboll’s offense in time to play against Seattle on Aug. 24.
NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
At St. Louis, Mo.
Edward Jones Dome
St. Louis 31, Kansas City 17
Team 1 2 3 4 F
Kansas City 0 10 0 7 — 17
St. Louis 14 3 7 7 — 31
StL — Kendricks 23 pass from Bradford (Zuerlein kick), 13:09.
StL — Amendola 8 pass from Bradford (Zuerlein kick), 10:07.
KC — Hillis 1 run (Succop kick), 10:34.
StL — FG Zuerlein 52, 1:15.
KC — FG Succop 44, :07.
StL— Pead 1 run (Zuerlein kick), 11:32.
StL — Richardson 4 run (Zuerlein kick), 12:55.
KC — Horne 38 pass from Quinn (Succop kick), 3:51.
First downs 16 20
Total Net Yards 271 348
Rushes-yards 21-79 31-122
Passing 192 226
Punt Returns 2-9 3-5
Kickoff Returns 4-75 2-41
Interceptions Ret. 0-0 1-1
Comp-Att-Int 21-28-1 21-29-0
Sacked-Yards Lost 5-44 2-15
Punts 4-52.3 3-42.3
Fumbles-Lost 4-3 0-0
Penalties-Yards 3-33 4-30
Time of Possession 27:33 32:27
RUSHING — Kansas City, Draughn 7-21, Charles 3-17, Hillis 5-11, Cassel 1-11, Stanzi 1-10, Eachus 3-9, Quinn 1-0. St. Louis, Jackson 7-49, D.Richardson 8-35, Clemens 1-22, Middleton 3-13, Reynolds 4-7, Davis 1-2, Brandstater 1-(minus 1), Pead 6-(minus 5).
PASSING — Kansas City, Cassel 13-18-0-142, Quinn 5-6-0-70, Stanzi 3-4-1-24. St. Louis, Bradford 6-9-0-102, Davis 5-7-0-70, Clemens 8-10-0-50, Brandstater 2-3-0-19.
RECEIVING — Kansas City, Boss 4-62, Draughn 3-25, McCluster 3-23, Horne 2-43, Charles 2-18, O’Connell 1-19, Markshausen 1-15, Newsome 1-11, Baldwin 1-7, Eachus 1-7, Bellamy 1-5, Moeaki 1-1. St. Louis, Amendola 3-58, McNeill 3-41, Quick 3-20, Kendricks 2-34, Givens 2-27, Peterson 2-19, Pead 2-(minus 3), Pettis 1-22, St.Smith 1-10, D.Richardson 1-7, Salas 1-6.
MISSED FIELD GOALS — St. Louis, Lindholm 50 (WR).