Monday, 31 October 2011 15:40

How St. Louis Rams Upended Flat New Orleans Saints?

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BreesThe New Orleans Saints went into St. Louis, flying high after clobbering their Super Bowl foe Indianapolis Colts.  They left, bashed by the Rams who took a page out of winning from the World Champions Cardinals.

How and why?  Rams corralled Drew Brees, who had a passer rating of 73.0, and was it not for a late touchdown drive, would have held him to less than 200 yards passing.

The Rams linebackers and safeties had their best day on coverage, limiting tight end Jimmy Graham to four catches for 39 yards and no touchdowns.

The Rams refused to allow Sproles to make any of his trademark big plays. He wasn't able to do much on returns either.

The Saints hit quarterback A. J. Feeley on some blitzes and created regular pressure on him, but he stood tall despite being dropped for four sacks.

 Brees finished the day completing 30-of-40 passes for 269 yards and two interruptions. With his scoring strike, Brees' TD pass game-streak extended to 35 games, the third longest streak in NFL history behind Johnny Unitas (47) and Brett Favre (36).

Pierre Thomas led the Saints in rushing with 23 yards on seven carries and a touchdown.

In his first action of the season, Chris Ivory rushed for 18 yards on six carries. He was activated to replace Mark Ingram, who was inactive (bruised heel).

Darren Sproles chipped in with 16 yards on six carries.

Lance Moore had  game's bests  eight catches for 82 yards along with a touchdown. Sproles had six catches for 60 yards.

Defensive end Will Smith led the Saints on defense with five tackles and two sacks (16 combined yards lost) and a pass defection.

Safety Malcolm Jenkins had five tackles and a strip-sack that led to a fumble recovery touchdown by linebacker Jonathan Vilma.

Before taking part in their victory parade which drew a million fans, most members of the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals took in a little football at the dome.

The Cardinals players were on the field during pregame and pitcher Chris Carpenter, wearing a Steven Jackson Rams jersey, came out for the pregame coin toss.

The Cardinals were introduced in the first quarter, and the World Series trophy was displayed. Manager Tony LaRussa wore a Super Bowl XXXIV throwback jersey as he waved to the crowd.

Just when it seemed prudent to pour dirt on the Rams and coach Steve Spagnuolo, the Rams were winless no more.

The Saints host Tampa Bay next (the Bucs are 28th in the league in yards allowed per game), followed by Atlanta and a bye week.

Keys: St. Louis Rams, New Orleans Saints, Drew brees, Sproles, Feeley, St. Louis Cardinals

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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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