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Rams vs Saints: A Game Of Intangibles

This weekend the now 1-8 Rams were defeated by the now 9-0 Saints. Two teams collided. They passed, they rushed, they blitzed and they fought. When the dirt and the sweat cleared, the Saints achieved the victory beating the Rams 28-23. My question is what is the difference between these two teams? One team is on its way to the post season and the other seeks to climb out of the bottom of the ‘NFL’ barrel.

Ok, well, the Saints out rushed the Rams by about 60 yards. Steven Jackson put up a valiant effort with 131 yards and a TD. SJ rushed about 50 more yards than Reggie Bush, but he did not out rush the entire Saints team. The Saints attacked from every angle. 30 yards came from Mike Bell, 41 yards from Robert Meachem, 37 yards from Pierre Thomas, and 83 yards from Reggie Bush. Outside of S Jackson, the entire Rams teams could only muster up an additional 10 yards.

The Rams out passed the Saints by approximately 60 yards. Both team showed a fairly disbursed passing attack. The Rams newly acquired Brandon Gibson catching a game high 93 yards, while Devery Henderson led the Saints with 72 yards. QB pass completion % was pretty even. Brees threw for 69%, while Bulger threw for about 65%. The Saints fumbled once, the Rams were sacked 2-1, and overall the Saints had 3 turnovers to the Rams 1. Usually, this stat alone would have a tremendous affect on a game. Unfortunately for the Rams, not this game.

This game came down to intangibles. The Rams were forced to settle for field goals when a TD was needed to gain a winning advantage. The Saints are 9-0 because this season they have learned how to close a game. It is encouraging that the Rams played so well. If we can continue this level of play, then maybe next year our lessons will not be only Xs and Os, but on the intangibles; on learning how to win.

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