St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson carries the ball during the first quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman) By Seth Perlman
St. Louis Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis celebrates sacking Carolina Panthers quarterback Matt Moorewith during the third quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) By Jeff Roberson
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A year removed from an NFL-worst 1-15 record, the St. Louis Rams reached the season's midway point on Sunday in contention in the NFC West.
The Rams' defense forced four turnovers, and rookie Sam Bradford continued his solid play in a 20-10 win over the Panthers.
Bradford threw a 2-yard scoring pass to Danny Amendola in the second quarter and a 23-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Fells in the fourth quarter as the Rams improved to 4-4.
Bradford was 25 for 32 for 191 yards and no interceptions. Steven Jackson, playing with a broken ring finger on his left hand, rushed 23 times for 59 yards.
Matt Moore was 23 for 37 for 194 yards for Carolina (1-6). One of his three interceptions, and a fumble by Steve Smith, led to 10 St. Louis points in the fourth quarter.
The Panthers had just 201 yards of total offense. They missed Pro Bowl running back DeAngelo Williams, out with a foot injury hurt in last weekend's win over San Francisco. His replacement Jonathan Stewart carried 14 times for 30 yards. Overall, the Panthers rushed 17 times for 25 yards.
The Panthers had the ball at midfield with a chance to tie early in the fourth quarter. But Smith fumbled after catching a pass and Chris Long recovered, giving St. Louis the ball at the Carolina 43.
Five plays later, on third-and-18, Bradford rolled to his right and connected with Fells in stride, and he went into the end zone to make it 17-3.
James Hall hit Moore's arm on Carolina's next possession, causing the pass to be intercepted by James Butler, setting up a field goal to make it 20-3.
Carolina scored with 3:37 to play on Moore's 17-yard pass to Brandon LaFell.
After a sluggish first quarter -- both teams combined for four first downs and 44 yards -- St. Louis opened the scoring on Josh Brown's 33-yard field goal early in the second quarter. The kick ended a scoreless drought for St. Louis from the second quarter of last week's 18-17 loss at Tampa Bay.
The Rams made it 10-0 with 2:07 to go in the half on Bradford's short pass to Amendola. Carolina responded with a drive ending with Kasay's 44-yard field goal in the final minute of the half.
Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis had eight tackles, one sack and one interception for St. Louis. Long had a sack, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble.
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