One could see the Rams had improved last season. Their defense was young and fast and offensively they just needed consistency and confidence from Jared Goff. They’d gotten that this season in marching to the NFC West lead. They were steamrolling teams when we came in. And we marched in with lingering injuries to both corners and Terron Armstead went out with an injury during the game.
Between the injury bug biting us and the Rams simply playing well, our win streak was stopped at eight games as we dropped this one to the Rams, 26-20. Two interesting things: 1. The game was not truly as close as the score would lead one to believe. The Saints were outplayed all game. If not for some excitement from Kamara, this game is a clunker to watch. 2. Even with all the injuries and poor play, we were still a TD and PAT from winning. Bright thought in an otherwise dismal West coast trip.
Our first game against Carolina was the beginning of the streak. Cam Newton was hurt and not nearly the player he’s capable of being. Greg Olsen was out hurt, and Kelvin Benjamin got injured during the game. The Saints parlayed that into a victory, though they were still trying to find their way. This game was different.
While Olsen was out again with an injury and Benjamin was since traded away, Newton was fully healthy. Carolina came in on their own winning streak of four games. This one was for outright first place in the division as well, as both teams came in at 8-3. The Saints took the lead early and never trailed. Behind the Saints’ tandem of running backs, Brees’ efficiency, and a solid defensive effort that included A.J. Klein getting a sack on his old teammate Newton, the Saints pulled out a 31-21 victory over the Panthers.