Another long touchdown by Tavon Austin. Pinpoint passing by Josh McCown and Kellen Clemens. And a heated brawl that involved Bears right guard Kyle Long, with brother Chris Long, the Rams’ defensive end, trying to pull Kyle out of the fracas.

And that was just the first half. It was a wild and woolly one Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome, with the Rams prevailing 42-21 in an extremely intense contest. Struggling for respectability, the Rams improved to 5-6. Chicago, fighting for the division title in the NFC North, fell to 6-5.

Austin got things going just three plays into the game when he took the ball on what looked like an end-round to the left, reversed field, and rambled 65 yards for a TD behind blocks by Chris Givens and Austin Pettis.

It was Austin’s fourth consecutive touchdown of 57 yards or more, and the Rams longest run from scrimmage since 2001. After just 90 seconds, the Rams had a 7-0 lead.

It became 14-0 less than a minute later. On Chicago’s first play from scrimmage, Matt Forte was steaming around right end on a running play when Rams corner Trumaine Johnson forced a fumble. Linebacker James Laurinaitis recovered and the Rams took over on the Chicago 7. It was only the second fumble in 225 touches for Forte this season.

Aided by a pass interference call on third down against Bears safety Chris Conte, the Rams got a first down at the 1. On the next play, Zac Stacy bulled his way into the end zone off left guard, giving him five TDs in his seven starts for the Rams.