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Rams look for elusive road victory

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The surprising St. Louis Rams have made great strides so far and are in contention halfway through the regular season.

To stay in the playoff race, however, the Rams (4-4) need to find a way to end their struggles on the road.

The Rams have won four of six to join the Seattle Seahawks atop the NFC West, but all four of those victories have been at home.

St. Louis hasn't won a road game since Nov. 1, 2009, at Detroit, a 17-10 victory that was its only win of the 2009 season. St. Louis won just one road game in the 2008 season, 19-17 at Washington, in a 2-14 season.

This season, St. Louis has been competitive away from home in all but one game _ a 44-6 blowout at Detroit.

They'll have to be better if they want to stay in contention for the NFC West title.

The Rams have four of their next five away from St. Louis, beginning Sunday in San Francisco.

Coach Steve Spagnuolo said Friday that he's not looking beyond this weekend's game against the division rival 49ers (2-6).

"Well, I'm not real into the four out of five," Spagnuolo said. "I'm into the one, which we've got this week. We're going to play San Francisco whether we play it here, there, or at a neutral site. We're going to try to play it the same way and try to win a football game."

Rookie quarterback Sam Bradford said that is the correct approach to hitting the road.

"I think we need to just be ourselves. I don't think we have to try to do anything different, I don't think we have to try to force anything," said Bradford, who has thrown for 1,674 yards and 11 touchdowns. "I think we just have to come out and be ourselves, and we've got to do it for a whole game.

"I think that's been the problem. We came out against Tampa and played great the first half and then just shut down in the second half. If you want to win a football game in this league, you can't do that."

Running back Steven Jackson said it's difficult to figure out what has caused the road problems.

"Well, we've struggled. I don't think it's one thing," Jackson said. "We've struggled because we've struggled, I guess. But we're going to change that. We're going to turn it around. We have eight games left in the season."

Spagnuolo said he's only focused on this weekend's game.

"We treat them all the same," Spagnuolo said. "Again, we talk in terms of taking them one at a time. I think maybe when you get in the playoffs it becomes a little bit different when it becomes a one-and-done type of deal.

"Right now, again, we'll take it one at a time, get as many wins as you can, add them up and hopefully you're in the dance."

Notes: Safety James Butler will be out Sunday with an ankle injury. Craig Dahl will take his place in the lineup. Offensive tackle Rodger Saffold saw limited practice time with an injured shoulder, but Spagnuolo said he will play against the 49ers.

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