Coming in, nobody gave the Rams a chance to come out on top at home against the New Orleans Saints. However, with Jeff Fisher being 4-0 all-time against the Saints, and the fact that these are the kind of games the Rams win, they surprised everybody, defeating the Saints 27-16.
The Rams could not have started the game more perfectly. After a great Johnny Hekker punt that pinned the Saints inside the 10, Brees threw his first of two first quarter interceptions, this one to rookie safety T.J. McDonald.
The Rams turned that into points on a 31 yard catch and run touchdown pass to tight end Corey Harkey. On the next Saints drive, Brees lead the Saints all the way down to the red zone only to be picked off by Trumaine Johnson.
The Rams turned that turnover into points as well on a touchdown pass to tight end Lance Kendricks. Jeff Fisher then pulled a Sean Payton, pulling off a surprise onside kick that was recovered by special teams standout, Stedman Bailey. Kicker Greg Zuerlein gave the Rams a 17-0 lead.
At this point the Rams were doing everything they needed to do. They were forcing turnovers and keeping Drew Brees off the field. At this point the Rams had 11:10 in time of possession compared to the Saints’ 3:53.
The Saints went down and kicked a field goal to cut the lead down to 17-3, then after the teams exchanged punts Zac Stacy scored his sixth touchdown in seven weeks on a 40 yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 24-3.
The Saints tried to kick a field goal before the half, but Michael Brockers got a hand on it to block it. This looked a lot like when these two teams played back in 2011. The Rams dominated early and ended up upsetting the red hot Saints.
Schottenheimer had said that they were going to make it a point to improve in the run game as the team hadn’t ran the ball well the past two weeks. Zac Stacy had 108 yards in the first half which is the most by any Rams rookie in team history, and the he finished with 133 yards on 28 carries.
Clemens also was 14/20 for 158 which is about exactly where you would like to see his attempts. Pettis lead the team in receiving with four catches for 41 yards.
The Saints finally scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 24-9, as the Saints missed on the two-point conversion. The Saints scored once again on their next drive to make it 27-16. They threatened the Rams once again after recovering an onside kick of their own, but Kendall Langford tipped Hartley kick to make the kick go wide left.
With the win, the Rams move to 6-8 and will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who lost to the San Francisco 49ers 33-14. The Rams have proved this season that they can play toe to toe with the best in the Edward Jones Dome, even when not at full strength. It will be interesting to see what this team is like next season.
Tags: St. Louis Rams