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                      === Stacy, Rams knock off Saints ===
 
 St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Zac Stacy posted a game-high 133 yards and
 one  touchdown on 28 carries as St. Louis jumped out to an early 17-0 lead and
 held on to beat New Orleans, 27-16, in Week 15 action.
 
 Kellen Clemens was an effective 14-of-20 for 158 yards with TD strikes to Cory
 Harkey  and  Lance Kendricks for the  Rams (6-8), who snapped a two-game slide
 and beat their Sunday foes for the fourth time in the last six meetings.
 
 "Everybody  contributed and  everybody last night felt like we had a chance to
 win  the  game," noted  Rams head  coach Jeff  Fisher. "We  got a couple early
 turnovers which really helped us put them in a hole."
 
 Drew  Brees threw for 393 yards and one touchdown on 39-of-56 attempts but was
 intercepted  twice for  the  Saints  (10-4), who  have  dropped  two key  road
 contests in a three-game span and failed to lock up a playoff berth.
 
 Marques  Colston  topped an eight-man  receiving corps with  92 yards and a TD
 catch  on eight receptions, to counterbalance Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas
 being limited to a combined 45 yards on 15 attempts.
 
 "Today's  game  was unacceptable and it's  on me," said Saints head coach Sean
 Payton.  " We did all the things a team does to keep itself from winning. That
 was pretty ugly and it was an extremely disappointing loss."
 
 Capping  an 80  yard drive on the 14th  play, Brees went over the top from one
 yard  out but the conversion run failed, and New Orleans trailed 27-9 early in
 the fourth quarter.
 
 It  was a 27-16 game on the Saints' ensuing possession, as Brees found Colston
 for  a  touchdown on 4th-and-5  and the visitors  recovered the onside kick at
 their own 44.
 
 However,  the potential momentum-turning drive was wasted when Garrett Hartley
 dug his toe into the turf and shanked a 26-yard attempt wide left.
 
 St.  Louis  took over  on its own  20 and  ran off the  remaining time in four
 plays.
 
 "Anytime  you  win, it's  a good  feeling, regardless  of who you're playing,"
 Stacy said.
 
 Brees  was picked  off on  the first  snap of  the Saints'  first drive,  with
 T.J.  McDonald doing the honors before being tackled at the New Orleans 31. On
 the next play, Clemens connected with Harkey for a touchdown.
 
 New Orleans reached the St. Louis 10 on the following possession, but Trumaine
 Johnson stepped in front of a Brees offering at the goal line and advanced the
 ball  seven  yards. Clemens ended  that 9-play series  with a 4-yard strike to
 Kendricks for a 14-0 edge.
 
 The  Rams recovered  the  ensuing onside  kick  at the  Saints'  47, and  Greg
 Zuerlein's 31-yard make on the first play of the second quarter made it 17-0.
 
 On  the following  series, Hartley's 45-yard make put the Saints on the board,
 then  after both teams exchanged punts, Stacy rumbled 40 yards to paydirt on a
 2nd-and-4 to give the Rams a 24-3 advantage that stood at halftime.
 
 Brees  was sacked  and coughed up the  ball on New Orleans' first drive of the
 third  quarter, but  the Rams didn't capitalize. That wasn't the case on their
 next  possession,  when Zuerlein booted a  35-yarder and the hosts took a 27-3
 lead to the fourth.
 
                                   Game Notes
 
 New Orleans plays at Carolina next Sunday ... The Saints outgained the Rams by
 a  432-302 margin and  gained 30 first downs to 17 for the hosts ... St. Louis
 converted 7-of-14 third downs and held the Saints to 5-of-15 efficiency.
 
 
 
 12/15 21:49:33 ET