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Rams Lose to Saints 28-23

The St. Louis Rams went punch for punch with the high-powered and undefeated New Orleans Saints for 3 quarters, even holding the Saints to a tie at the half.  But, the Saints were too much for the Rams both running and passing the ball and the Saints edged the Rams by the score of 28 to 23 .  The Rams showed fight at the end of the game and fell just short as Bulger’s last pass was incomplete in the back of the end zone as time expired.

It was a tale of two halves for all three phases of the game for the Rams.  The Saints led off the second half with a kickoff return for a touchdown and the Rams never recovered from that.  The defense and offense both didn’t look as strong in the second half, and the Saints began to pull away before the Rams last gasp effort.

The Rams ran the ball at will in the first half as Jackson had 100 yards rushing in the first half alone with 1 touchdown.  Jackson willed the Rams down the field again and again.  The Rams scored a TD on a pass from Marc Bulger to Donnie Avery when the Saints were in single coverage to prevent Steven Jackson from running the ball.  The first half was full of good signs for the much maligned Rams offense.

The rest of the recap is after the jump.

In the second half, the Steven Jackson didn’t find the holes so easily and the Rams didn’t have another game plan to go to as the offense sputtered.  Too often, the Rams play-calling has looked fresh and creative in the first half, only to revert to vanilla playcalling in the second half.  Finaly, the Rams only opened up their play-calling when they were down 11 points late in the 4th quarter and needed two scores.

The Rams defense was opportunistic, picking up two interceptions of Drew Brees and one fumble recovery on a ball that rolled out of the back of the end zone.  But, the defense started to come apart at the seams in the second half and the Saints both ran and passed where they wanted and when they wanted.

The Rams played better than we have seen from the Rams in their first 7 games against good opponents.  One distinct highlight was the play of new wide receiver Brandon Gibson who came over to the Rams from the Eagles in the trade for Will Witherspoon.  He had 7 receptions for 93 yards and showed both speed, strength and the ability to break tackles in the open field.  When he was one on one, he was able to break a tackle to get extra yards and get the first down when he needed to.

The Rams made the game interesting late with an acrobatic touchdown catch by Donnie Avery.  The Rams didn’t recover and onside kick, but were able to hold the Saints and force a punt.  The Rams drove down the field with no timeouts and Bulger’s last gasp pass fell incomplete in the back of the end zone as time expired.

The Rams could have easily folded up and given up as the Saints went up by 11 points in the middle of the fourth quarter as they did against the Indianapolis Colts earlier this season, but they did not.  That showed a lot of heart from the Rams coaches and players.  Ultimately, it was not enough.  There are no moral victories in the NFL, but this felt better than any of the Rams losses so far in 2009.

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2 Responses to “Rams Lose to Saints 28-23”

  1. Calvin Suddeath says:

    Still Bulger is lousy?

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