ST. LOUIS — Another game meant another milestone for Isaac Bruce.
The St. Louis receiver led the offense, the defense shut down Green Bay’s rushing game and the Rams defeated the Packers 34-24 on Sunday afternoon at the Edward Jones Dome.
With a seven-yard reception early in the fourth quarter, Bruce became the 18th player in NFL history to reach the 10,000-yard receiving mark.
Bruce, who led the Rams with 129 yards on nine catches, finished with 10,006 yards after his 33rd 100-yard game of his career.
Bruce said the milestone was important to him.
“It’s huge,” he said. “How many guys have 10,000 yards, (either) running backs or playing receiver? It’s a big thrill for me.”
Bruce, who became the franchise’s all-time leader in receiving yards three weeks ago in a win against Arizona, credited his faith and training for his longevity.
“It was just all about taking care of my body,” he said. “Besides having God in my life, that’s all I need.”
Quarterback Marc Bulger said the Rams’ game plan emphasized getting Bruce the ball.
“I said last week that not a lot of people were talking about him, and he’ll sneak up on you,” Bulger said. “I just figured that he’d have a game like he did today since we made a conscious effort to get him the ball. When Isaac gets going, there’s no better.”
Bulger threw three touchdown passes for the Rams, who improved to 4-2.
Green Bay’s Brett Favre went 23-for-36 for 268 yards, but was unable to overcome a stagnant rushing game. The Rams limited Ahman Green to 35 yards on 20 carries, and the Packers had fewer than 50 yards on the ground until a 76-yard touchdown run by Najeh Davenport late in the fourth quarter.
“Favre is going to the Hall of Fame as soon as he’s done,” Rams’ defensive lineman Tyoka Jackson said. “But Green is the key, and we focused on that.”
The Rams took advantage of two mistakes by Green Bay cornerback Al Harris for an early lead. While blocking for a punt return, Harris had a Sean Landeta punt bounce off his leg, allowing the Rams’ Tommy Polley to recover on the Green Bay 42. St. Louis scored three plays later when wide receiver Torry Holt blew by Harris for a 39-yard catch to put the Rams ahead 7-3 seven minutes into the game.
Holt added another score on a nine-yard slant to extend the St. Louis lead to 21-10 with 57 seconds to play in the first half.
The Packers drove 71 yards in six plays to open the second half, cutting the deficit to 21-17 on a one-yard reception by William Henderson. The Rams responded two possessions later. Bulger found Dane Looker, who tiptoed down the left sideline and sneaked the ball inside the pylon for a 20-yard score.
Bulger had plenty of time to let the play develop and credited the play of his offensive line.
“The way we’re running and throwing the ball right now, it all goes to the line,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who the receiver is (because) if you don’t have time to throw it, it’s not going to get done. With as much time as I have right now, it’s just fun out there because I don’t have to worry about getting hit.”
With Marshall Faulk already out of the lineup, a sprained ankle knocked Rams’ running back Lamar Gordon out of action on St. Louis’ second possession. That gave the Rams’ third-stringer a chance at a personal milestone.
Rookie Arlen Harris seized that opportunity, scoring his first NFL touchdown on a three-yard run late in the first quarter.
Harris, who went undrafted out of Hofstra and was a long shot to make the roster during training camp, led all rushers with 85 yards. Harris said reaching the end zone on only the 16th rushing attempt of his professional career surprised him.
“I would have thought it was crazy if someone had said that,” Harris said. “But this road has been great. I wouldn’t change it for the world right now.”
St. Louis defensive lineman Brian Young forced two fumbles in the first half and defensive end Leonard Little rumbled for 28 yards after the first interception of his career late in the fourth quarter.