Improving Rams still have woeful road record

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ST. LOUIS (AP) - For the first time since 2004, the St. Louis Rams have won three in a row at home. Success has been harder to come by on the road.

The Rams haven’t won a road game since last Nov. 1 at Detroit, a 17-10 victory that turned out to be their only win of the season. St. Louis won just one road game in 2008, 19-17 at Washington.

The Rams (3-3) play at Tampa Bay (3-2) on Sunday, looking for a much better outcome than the 44-6 loss to the Lions in their last road game.

“The road, at home, it doesn’t matter where we play,” linebacker James Laurinaitis said Friday. “You just have to approach each week as being important and you want to get that ‘W.’ To us, for the most part, it’s all the same. We just want to get a win.”

A road victory would mean a lot to the young Rams.

“It’s a big step, trying to get that road win,” defensive end Chris Long said. “It’s been real great to play at home and we’ve had some great support from our fans, but we have to play eight games on the road. So it’s going to be a big hurdle to get over. When you wrap your brain around it, it’s still the game of football no matter where you play it.”

Coach Steve Spagnuolo knows all too well the Rams‘ woeful road record in recent years and he has not highlighted that fact to his squad this week.

“I’m not going to make a big deal of it,” Spagnuolo said. “In my opinion, it still comes down to playing between the white lines. It doesn’t matter where you are, how many people are there. You’ve got to play football on the field. Even if there’s a pirate ship in the end zone.

“In order to do the things you want to do, the goals you set at the beginning of the season, you have to win on the road and that’s what we’re going to try to do this week.”

However, Spagnuolo acknowledged there is no stronger urgency to win this week on the road before the Rams come home to play again and then have a bye week.

“They’re all urgent to me. I’ve said that forever,” he said. “I just don’t think it should matter where we play. We line up, we play together. When we get out on the field we’ve got to do the same thing, so they’re expected to do that. And the players, they understand that.”

Running back Steven Jackson, who could break Eric Dickerson’s franchise record for rushing yards against the Bucs, said the key to road games is reacting well to adversity.

“When you have a team that’s young and you make a mistake and adversity hits, when you’re at home you’re better able to regroup. When you’re on the road, the crowd gets after you,” Jackson said. “You kind of tense up because you’re in a foreign territory.”

Rookie quarterback Sam Bradford put it simply: “We’ve just got to find a way to be the team we are at home on the road.”

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