St. Louis Rams Fall To Saints, 31-13

The St. Louis Rams were undone by two early touchdowns and a pick six.

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Chris Ivory Injury Not Serious, Saints Running Back Controversy Continues

The good news for the New Orleans Saints is that running back Chris Ivory is not expected to miss Week 15 after suffering a hamstring injury in the first half of the Saints’ 31-13 win over the St. Louis Rams. The bad news is that this just means another week of wondering exactly how the ever-resourceful Saints plan on fitting Ivory, Pierre Thomas, and Reggie Bush into a crowded backfield.

Ivory left the Rams game with seven rushes for 47 yards. After he left Pierre Thomas, who had been used sparingly early in his first game back from injury, rushed the ball 12 times for 39 yards, while Reggie Bush took nine carries for 39.

But the biggest hint as to their usage patterns in the future was just how often Drew Brees targeted Thomas and Bush in the passing game. Bush, who’s always been a target, caught five balls for 22 yards, and Thomas caught four for 29, most of them before Ivory left the game. Ivory, who has 130 carries for 683 yards in his 11 games with the club, has just one reception on the season.


Chris Ivory Injured In Week 14 Rams-Saints Game

The New Orleans Saints’ running back situation might have just gotten more complicated still. Three weeks after Reggie Bush returned from injury, and the same week that Pierre Thomas returned to action, rookie and de facto starter Chris Ivory left the Rams-Saints game with a hamstring injury. Ivory had seven carries for 47 yards when he left.

Since he’s gone Thomas and Bush have split carries and proved pretty effective, but Ivory was the clear starter while he was on the field, and it’s uncertain just how severe his injury is; the Saints have led the Rams most of the way, but the Saints really have no reason to risk Thomas and Bush, either. The Rams are despondent enough to have moved on to Keith Toston; they’re not even willing to risk Kenneth Darby.

Chris Ivory had been averaging more than five yards per carry in his rookie season with the club. He was forced into the starting role after both Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas went down for more than two months with injuries sustained in the first three weeks of the season.


Sam Bradford's Rushing Touchdown Cuts Lead To 31-13

After getting the St. Louis Rams to the one-yard-line with a 32-yard completion to Laurent Robinson, Sam Bradford had to take the ball into the end zone himself, scoring on a 4th-and-one sneak for the Rams’ first touchdown of the night. The Rams trail 31-13 after the score.

They almost didn’t get a chance to go for it on fourth down—the New Orleans Saints thought they’d recovered a Steven Jackson fumble on third and goal, but the Rams challenged the call and it was reversed on the appeal.

Bradford’s rushing touchdown was the first of his NFL career. Today he’s 18-for-32 with 231 yards and two interceptions as a quarterback. Jackson, who was stuffed twice on the goal line in pursuit of his fifth touchdown of the season, has 15 carries for 96 yards and four receptions for 38 more, but no touchdowns to show for it. The Saints lead 31-13 on the strength of two early touchdowns and a pick-six that capped off the first half.


Sam Bradford, Drew Brees Intercepted In Wild Fourth Quarter

Sam Bradford and Drew Brees each threw their second interception of the game in the fourth quarter of Week 14’s St. Louis Rams Vs. New Orleans Saints showdown, which the Saints lead 31-6. Bradford was intercepted in the end zone after getting the Rams within a few yards of their first touchdown of the afternoon. But after three plays the Saints’ MVP quarterback threw an interception of his own, a deep pass to Lance Moore that Craig Dahl came down with for his second interception of the season.

Brees is 25-for-40 for 221 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions on the afternoon, a wild game for the quarterback who went into week 14 leading the NFL in competion percentage.

Bradford, meanwhile, has been less perfect than usual; he’s 17-for-28 with 199 yards and two interceptions. The offensive line has struggled to protect Bradford, who’s been sacked multiple times and had a fumble forced deep in the backfield in the first quarter.


Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints Strike Again, Lead St. Louis Rams 28-6

The New Orleans Saints haven’t yet let up against the St. Louis Rams, and with five minutes left in the third quarter they now lead them 28-6. Drew Brees connected with Lance Moore for the 31-yard score; Brees is now 23-for-34 with 203 yards passing and three touchdowns thus far.

The Rams have been betrayed by turnovers and held tight by the Saints’ passing defense so far. Sam Bradford is 10-for-19 with 132 yards, a fumble, and an interception; Steven Jackson, who has another fumble, has been stronger, with more than 100 total yards and 66 rushing yards on just 11 attempts. But it’s telling that the strongest game so far has come from punter Donnie Jones.

The Rams have struggled especially to spread the ball to their receivers. Among their receivers only Brandon Gibson has caught the ball for significant yardage; the second and third options have been Jackson and tight end Daniel Fells. The Saints have put pressure on Bradford all afternoon, and he’s struggled to deal with it.


St. Louis Rams Vs. New Orleans Saints Halftime: Rams Trail 21-6

After a second quarter that saw a brief moment of hope replaced by a disastrous interception returned 96 yards for a touchdown, the St. Louis Rams trail the New Orleans Saints 21-6 at halftime. Drew Brees leads the way—he’s 19-for-27 with two touchdowns and 143 passing yards at the half. Rams quarterback Sam Bradford is 7-for-13 with 91 yards and an interception.

The Saints got off to a quick start, spending most of the first quarter with the ball thanks to a smotheringly competent offense and an early Steven Jackson fumble. Brees connected to Marques Colston twice for touchdowns; the Saints’ rushing game, confused recently by the return of Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush, continued to be dominated by Chris Ivory, who ran the ball seven times for 47 yards, all in the first quarter. Bush had four rushes for 29 yards, while Thomas had three carries for six yards and three receptions for 20 more.

The Rams’ offense has been strangled by the two turnovers, but Steven Jackson looked good in the early going, running the ball eight times for 61 yards and picking up three receptions for 41. Brandon Gibson is the other primary offensive target, with one reception for 23 yards and an end-around for 13.


Week 14: Drew Brees Dominant In First Quarter Vs. Rams

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was outstanding in the first quarter against the St. Louis Rams on Week 14, taking his team to an early 14-0 lead by throwing two touchdown passes in the Saints’ 12 minutes of possession.

Brees was 13-for-16 for 97 yards with the two touchdowns, both to wide receiver Marques Colston. He’s coming off a game in which he went 24-for-29 for 313 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Saints’ opaque running back situation got a little clearer in the first quarter. Rookie Chris Ivory received almost all the carries, with Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas each targeted in the passing game. Ivory had seven carries for 47 yards in the first quarter; Bush picked up one, for three yards.

The Saints come into Week 14 a surprising eighth in the NFL in points scored, one year after leading football in offense. Brees has been ruthlessly efficient but a little more typically utilized than he used to be.


St. Louis Rams Vs. New Orleans Saints: Saints Score Early, Lead 14-0

The New Orleans Saints scored early thanks to some pinpoint passing from quarterback Drew Brees, taking an early 14-0 lead over the St. Louis Rams. Brees was 13-for-15 with 97 yards passing and two touchdowns in his first two drives, and Chris Ivory, taking the bulk of the early carries, had seven for 47 yards. After an unsportsmanlike play penalty nullified a two-yard pass for a touchdown Brees threw a 17-yarder to Marques Colston on the next play.

The St. Louis Rams’ first drive started off strong but ended in a turnover when Steven Jackson fumbled following a 20-yard rush and the Saints recovered near midfield. Brees and Ivory were all the Saints needed to get back into the red zone, with a short pass to Pierre Thomas the Saints’ former starter’s first play in months. Reggie Bush received one carry for three yards in the first quarter, which was dominated by the Saints’ offense, on the field for more than 12 minutes.

The Rams, who’ve been on offense for a little over a minute in the first quarter, find themselves in the unenviable position of playing catch-up with the New Orleans Saints. Sam Bradford is 1-for-2 with a 10 yard pass to tight end Daniel Fells; Steven Jackson has two carries for 24 yards and the devastating fumble.

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