ST. LOUIS (AP) — Just as they did against the Cowboys and 49ers, the St. Louis Rams opened a double-digit lead at home.
This time, they finished the job.
Shaun Hill was effective in his first start since regaining the quarterback job and the St. Louis Rams defense made life miserable for Peyton Manning in a 22-7 victory over the AFC West-leading Denver Broncos on Sunday.
Rookie Tre Mason had 29 carries for 113 yards, the most by an opponent by the Broncos’ top-ranked run defense.
Kenny Britt had four catches for 128 yards with a 63-yard score and Greg Zuerlein was a career-best 5 for 5 on field goals for the Rams (4-6).
Manning was 34 for 54 for 389 yards with two interceptions, but was held to a 42-yard touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders, ending a streak of 15 consecutive games with two touchdown passes.
The Broncos (7-3) failed twice on fourth down deep in St. Louis territory. Manning threw incomplete from the 37 in the first quarter and rookie Aaron Donald’s sack helped end a drive in the fourth quarter on fourth-and-4 from the 28.
Denver tight end Julius Thomas (ankle) was sidelined in the first quarter with two catches for 3 yards and ruled out in the third quarter, running back Montee Ball (groin) got limited work before aggravating an injury that kept him out the previous five games.
Sanders (concussion) was ruled out after a hit from Rodney McLeod on a deep sideline throw in the third.
Though last in the NFC West, the Rams added the Broncos to previous victories over the Seahawks and 49ers this season.
The Rams also had big leads at home against the Cowboys and 49ers that didn’t hold. One was a 21-point cushion that evaporated in a 34-31 loss to Dallas and a 14-0 advantage in a 31-17 loss to the 49ers.
Hill was 20 for 29 for 220 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions in his first start since injuring a thigh in the first half of the opener.
Hill got his job back after Austin Davis made too many mistakes.
Zuerlein hit three short field goals earlier in the game, then connected from 55 and 53 yards in the fourth quarter.
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