The Saints plainly were unmasked showing a skeletal frame of who they thought they were after they pasted the Indianapolis Colts 62-7, last week.
Against the Rams, Drew Brees was sacked six times and the Rams (1-6) put the NFC South-leading Saints (5-3) into a tail spin, 31-21, on Sunday in the Edward Jones Dome in St.Louis.
Rams 240-pound running back Steven Jackson rushed for 159 yards and two touchdowns to carry Rams to their first victory of the season. He had averaged a 100-plus yards on the ground in their last four meetings.
The Saints offensive and defensive lines were terrible on their "On any given Sunday" day.
After trailing 24-0 with 2 minutes left in the third quarter, the Saints scored 14 unanswered points, but with 3:01 remaining, Brees was intercepted for a Pick-6 by Darren Stewart crippling any chance the Saints had for a comeback.
"It was a disappointing loss," said Saints coach Sean Payton. "I just told the team this in the locker room -- everyone in there, starting with me, has to be better.
"They played with more energy than we did. We looked flat."
Payton again watched the game from the press box.
"You look at the cardinal sins of football we committed quite a few of those today," said Brees, no pun intended. "We gave them a lot of momentum."
The Saints were held scoreless in the first half for the first time since 2007, gaining just 94 yards total offense and going 1 for 6 on third down.
Saints receivers didn't enjoy their usual success by a Rams secondary minus its top three players. The Saints rushing game totaled just 56 yards on 20 carries.
Saints radio reported that offensive guard Carl Nicks and line coach Aaron Kromer had to be separated after a squabble near the end of the game.
After losing Sunday, the rumor is the Saints will be talking to voodoo queen Marie Laveaux hoping to turn the bad spell off before they meet the Tampa Bay Vikings next weekend.
SAINTS NOTEBOOK: Saints guard Carl Nicks and offensive line coach Aaron Kromer exchanged words on the sideline in the closing stages of the game. "Basically, it was just a misunderstanding," said Nicks. "I did have a problem, but it's going to stay in-house."...The Saints had a punt blocked for the first time in eight years when Rams DE Robert Quinn smothered a punt by Robert Morstead with 1:36 left in the first half. That gave the Rams the ball on the Saints 15 and Steven Jackson scored on a three-yard smash and was a momentum changer...
SOME hither, others you: Sunday's loss to the Rams was the Saints; worst since Sean Payton became head coach in 2006, considering the 62-7 victory over the Colts they were coming off of...Both the offensive and defensive lines were a mess. Offensive tackle Charles Brown allowed two sacks before leaving with a knee injury... The Rams pass rush put pressure on Drew Bress all afternoon, taking away the long pass..."We've got a good team," said Brees. "We've got guys who are passionate about the game, emotional, want to win. There are fiery moments, but I'm not worried about anybody turning on anybody. That's not our team. We'll come back from this." You can't lose like this and be called an elite team...
Key: New Orleans, St. Louis Rams, House Of Shock, Halloween, Brees, Steven Jackson, Sean Payton
by Ed Staton and Bayoubuzz Staff
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