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(Sunday, October 30th)
Final Score: St. Louis 31, New Orleans 21
St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Steven Jackson rushed for 159 yards and two touchdowns and the St. Louis Rams won their first game of the season Sunday, a 31-21 shocker over Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.
Indeed, it's been a good week for sports in St. Louis.
Several Cardinals players showed up to the game with the World Series trophy in tow, holding it up for the fans to see, and the Rams (1-6) did their best not to kill the mood.
They blocked a punt and intercepted Brees to score two touchdowns in the last 70 seconds of the first half, taking a 17-0 lead into the locker room that was rarely in jeopardy the rest of the way.
"We always thought that that was in us," said Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo.
Brees threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to Lance Moore with six seconds left, extending his streak to 35 consecutive games with a TD pass.
But the Saints quarterback was mostly out of sorts one week after throwing more touchdown passes (5) than incompletions (4) in a 62-7 rout of the Colts that set a franchise record for points.
Brees was 30-for-44 passing for 269 yards and threw two interceptions for New Orleans (5-3), including one in the fourth quarter that was returned 27 yards for a touchdown by Darian Stewart.
"They out-played us today. It was clear," said Saints coach Sean Payton. "Starting with me, everybody has got to be better. Because you take a game like we had a week ago, and we've just become and up-and-down team."
Rams quarterback Sam Bradford sat again with a high left ankle sprain and A.J. Feeley started his second game in a row, completing 20-of-37 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown.
Playing his second game for the Rams, Brandon Lloyd caught his first touchdown pass of the season, an eight-yard throw from Feeley in the last minute of the first half.
Jackson helped set up his second touchdown of the game with a 32-yard run on St. Louis' first drive of the second half. He was untouched through the line on a three-yard score to make it 24-0.
The Saints, after their high-flying win over the Colts, didn't score against the Rams until linebacker Jonathan Vilma recovered a Feeley fumble in the end zone with 1:21 left in the third quarter, getting them within 24-7.
Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins hit Feeley near the goal line on a third-down play to force the turnover.
Lloyd dropped a third-down pass over the middle on the Rams' next possession, forcing them to punt, and Brees completed two long passes to Marques Colston on a 10-play drive than ended with Pierre Thomas' three-yard touchdown run, pulling the Saints within 10 points.
Jackson had two big runs on the next possession, but the Rams were stunted by two penalties and had to punt, leaving the running back shouting at teammates on the field and on the sideline.
He couldn't have been happy, then, when Bryan Kehl ignored a fair catch signal and hit Darren Sproles on the punt, drawing a 15-yard penalty that was the Rams' fourth infraction in seven plays.
But Stewart picked off Brees near the sideline several series later, taking it into the end zone for a 31-14 lead with just 2:51 remaining and helping the Rams snap a two-game losing streak to New Orleans.
"There's always going to be eight to 10 difference-making moments. I'll add them up when I watch the film, but my guess is we made 'em this time," said Spagnuolo. "If you don't make them, it's hard to win and we made 'em."
Earlier, John Kasay missed a 49-yard field goal wide left in the first quarter for New Orleans, while Josh Brown kicked a 38-yarder early in the second to give the Rams a 3-0 lead.
Rookie Robert Quinn came off the right side of the line to block Thomas Morstead's punt, giving St. Louis the ball at the New Orleans 15. Two plays later, Jackson scored on a three-yard run to make it 10-0.
Josh Gordy picked off Brees' first pass on the ensuing possession and the Rams went 38 yards in seven plays, taking a 17-0 lead on Feeley's eight-yard pass to Lloyd in the end zone.
"The sequence at the end of the first half hurt us," said Payton. "We though we would be able to get some momentum and get back in this game, but the blocked punt leads to a touchdown, the interception leads to a touchdown and now your margin for error just [evaporated].
"We got beat in all three phases."
Brees extended his NFL record to 28 games with at least 20 completions...The Rams, who had been the last remaining winless team in the NFC, lead all-time series against New Orleans 39-31...St. Louis gave up just 56 yards rushing a week after letting Cowboys rookie DeMarco Murray run for 253...Lloyd had six catches for 53 yards, while Moore led all receivers with eight grabs for 82 yards.
10/30 19:02:47 ET
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