Saints Depleted Defense Holds In Close 28 – 23 Victory Over The St. Louis Rams
Another week of football and another close game for the Saints, too many more of these and Saints fans everywhere will need to visit Hair Club for Men (and Women) because they will have pulled most of it out.
New Orleans narrowly managed to come away with the victory over the St. Louis Rams to maintain their perfect 9-0 record, but it was a very close game indeed.
So close in fact it went down to the last ticks on the clock and a hail mary pass to the end zone from Rams quarterback Marc Bulger to receiver Danny Amendola that was harmlessly batted away out of the corner of the end zone.
The Rams took advantage of a depleted Saints secondary and weakened run defense posting season highs in yards (434) and points (23).
Coming into the game the Rams were the worst team in the NFL in scoring averaging only 10 points a contest and a lowly 290 yards a game.
That’s including the Saints giving up their third straight one hundred yard rusher to Steven Jackson who averaged 4.9 yards a carry on 135 yards with one touchdown.
In recent weeks the Saints defense has been exposed without star defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis in the lineup allowing runners to have big games (DeAngelo Williams rushed for 149 yards and Michael Turner for 151 yards) a trend that may cause problems down the stretch.
Hopefully Ellis will be healed enough to practive and return to the lineup as soon as next week for the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The rams were aided by the fact that Jabari Greer, the Saints emerging shut down corner, was out as was starting safety Darren Sharper and it definately showed.
Unfortunately it looks like the Saints have lost Tracy Porter to an apparent knee injury which is rumored to be an ACL. If this is actually the case then Porter’s season is over but it is only speculation it is actually an ACL and it could not be as serious as reported.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns but for the fourth straight game turned the ball over twice on two interceptions, his eighth and ninth of the season.
Granted most of Brees’ interceptions come from deflected passes that seem to find their way into opposing players hands but dating back to the Miami game he has fumbled five times (three lost) and been intercepted seven times, extremely uncharacteristic of the two time Pro Bowler.
The run game stepped up in place of the passing game, accounting for 203 combined yards across six saints players.
In a change of pace the lead runner wasn’t Pierre Thomas or Mike Bell but Reggie Bush who accounted for 83 rushing yards on six attempts including a career long 55 yard gash in the third quarter.
He also scored twice (one rushing, one receiving) while averaging sixteen yards a punt return.
The game ball should go to kickoff return ace Courtney Roby for his 146 kick return yards including a 97 yard return for a touchdown to start that third quarter. His touchdown was ultimately the difference in this very close game and without the return it may have turned out very differently.
If you would like to view a complete breakdown of the Saints @ Rams game follw this link to view the game center on NFL.com or this link to view the gamebook.
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