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Football

Davenport sparks Steelers

ST. LOUIS — Najeh Davenport is a career backup running back with typical non-descript statistics. Except when he’s playing the St. Louis Rams.

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ top-rated defense was porous again in a 41-24 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Thursday night.

But Davenport’s three touchdowns and 123 yards rushing on 24 carries in relief of injured Willie Parker allowed them to break out of a late-season swoon and move one step closer to a playoff berth.

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Isaac Bruce caught a 12-yard touchdown pass and moved into third place on the career yards receiving list, moving ahead of James Lofton, for the Rams. Marc Bulger threw three touchdown passes but was intercepted twice, and Ike Taylor’s 51-yard return on an overthrown ball on 4th-and-10 with 3:46 to go put the game out of reach.

Besides the Bruce milestone, the only other highlight for the Rams (3-12) was retiring Marshall Faulk’s No. 28 jersey at halftime of the home finale. St. Louis finished 1-7 at home.

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