Saints RB’s Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson “stole the show” for the Saints Friday night, rushing for a combined 106 yards on 13 carries to go with a TD run each, as the Saints hung on to defeat the St.Louis Rams by a score of 26-24. Saints RB Mark Ingram was the star of the night for the Saints, rushing for 83 yards on 8 carries to go along with his 22-yard TD run. The Saints defense had their moments, especially on the defensive line where back-up DE’s Glen Foster and Tyrunn Walker were particularly impressive for the Saints — who will end the first portion of Training Camp in West Virginia when they return home to New Orleans to host Tennessee next Friday night at the Superdome.
Saints rookie WR Brandin Cooks added a 25-yard TD on an electrifying run after the catch in the 3rd quarter, on a pass from Ryan Griffin — who appears to be on the way to securing the back-up QB role behind Drew Brees. Griffin was an impressive 16 of 23 for 179 yards with the TD toss to Cooks. Free-agent K Derek Dimke also gained a slight edge in the kicking battle with incumbent veteran kicker Shayne Graham, whose missed extra point in the 2nd quarter appears to have put him at a slight disadvantage for that spot on the final roster.
Saints head coach Sean Payton had stated earlier in the off-season that the Saints would look to return to more of a ‘”power” running game, and RB’s Ingram and Robinson both displayed outstanding elements in the first half that would seem to fit that style, against a vaunted Rams defensive line that seemed to be playing a bit back on their heels with the Saints’ unexpected commitment (to the Rams, anyway) to that run game. Maybe even more impressive however was DE Tyrunn Walker, the 2nd year UDFA signee from last year and New Iberia native out of the University of Tulsa. Walker was all over the Rams’ offensive backfield, “blowing up” plays and stuffing the Rams running game for losses on three different occasions.
The Rams made it interesting in the 4th quarter, closing the score to 26-24 on an Austin Franlin 15-yard TD reception; but missed a chance to take the lead late on a missed 46-yard FG attempt by “Legatron”, Greg Zeurlein. The Saints got the ball back, but promptly turned it over on a Logan Kilgore INT. The Rams got one last shot to win it — but Zeurlein missed again on a 59-yard attempt as the Saints started off the 2014 Pre-Season on the right foot, with a 1-0 mark.