Final

Saints 17

(2-5, 1-3 away)

Rams 28

(3-4, 2-1 home)

1:00 PM ET, October 23, 2005

 

1 2 3 4 T
NO 14 0 0 317
STL 0 7 0 2128

Top Performers

Passing: A. Brooks (NO) - 230 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: S. Jackson (STL) - 20 CAR, 97 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: A. Hakim (NO) - 6 REC, 100 YDS, 1 TD

Rams rally despite missing four starters

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- With so many key pieces missing, the St. Louis Rams went into survival mode. That was enough to beat the spiraling New Orleans Saints.

It was over when ...
Mike Furrey returned an interception 67 yards for a touchdown with 1:55 remaining, completing the Rams' 21-point fourth-quarter rally and putting the game out of reach for the Saints, who lost their third straight.
Game ball goes to ...
The Rams, for not giving up despite missing five key pieces -- Marc Bulger, Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, Leonard Little and Mike Martz -- and finding themselves in an early 14-0 hole.
ESPN's take ...
Eric Allen The news that this team might never play again in New Orleans was stunning, but not as stunning as this being the second consecutive week something bizarre has happened to cost the Saints a game. How much bad luck can one team have and have to overcome in a season? Personally, I thought Ernie Conwell was down but it doesn't matter now because it's looking like the Saints' chances for the playoffs are going downhill.
-- Eric Allen

Steven Jackson scored on a pair of short runs for the Rams and Kevin Curtis got the go-ahead touchdown on a 5-yard reverse with 5:58 to go in a come-from-behind 28-17 victory Sunday.

Behind 36-year-old backup quarterback Jamie Martin -- who was making only his fourth career start -- the Rams stopped a three-game losing streak and kept hope alive that they'll still be a factor if they ever get healthy. Mike Martz is in the hospital with an infection and St. Louis' quarterback and two starting wide receivers were in street clothes because of injuries.

"Just somehow to be able to get a win, that's huge with all those guys out," Martin said. "We need to just keep it going and hopefully get another one next week, and when they get back we'll be rolling."

The Rams (3-4) are at home against the Jaguars next week and then have a bye.

A pair of failed trick plays came back to haunt the Saints (2-5), who squandered a 14-point first-quarter lead and have lost three in a row. A quarterback sneak on a fake field goal on fourth-and-1 was stuffed for no gain near the end of the third quarter and Donte' Stallworth's fumble on a fourth-quarter reverse led to the go-ahead score. The Rams also blocked a field-goal attempt in the second quarter.

"We had chances to make plays and we just didn't step up and make enough plays," coach Jim Haslett said. "They made plays when they had to, that's basically what it boiled down to."

Martin, subbing for the injured Marc Bulger, was ineffective most of the day. But he hit Curtis for a 42-yard gain to the 6 to set up the winning score and then led the blocking on Curtis' clinching TD run after the wide receiver took a handoff from Jackson.

"I did just enough," Martin said. "I'm not a lineman, I just tried to shield him and let Kevin do what he wanted to do."

Martin, who threw two crucial interceptions in a loss at Indianapolis on Monday after Bulger was hurt, was 18-for-29 for 198 yards with no interceptions against the Saints. The 36-year-old won for the first time in four career starts.

Mike Furrey's 67-yard interception return with 1:55 to go wrapped it up for the Rams (3-4), who are 1-1 in the last two games, both without Martz. The coach was sidelined by a bacterial infection of a heart valve, and assistant head coach Joe Vitt has been running the show.

Bulger is out with a sprained shoulder and Torry Holt (knee) and Isaac Bruce (turf toe) also did not dress, robbing the Rams of considerable firepower.

Aaron Brooks threw touchdown passes on the Saints' first two drives. After that, the team without a home fizzled and its three-game winning streak in St. Louis came to an end.

Furrey's touchdown return came a play after a defensive holding call on third down gave the Saints a fresh set of downs at their own 42.

The Saints wanted to challenge the interception return but couldn't because they were out of timeouts; although the play ended with 1:55 left, it began with 2:10 to go and the NFL only takes over after the two-minute warning. Tight end Ernie Conwell claimed he had been down before losing the ball.

"I would bet -- well, I'm not a betting man -- but I feel 99.9 percent confident that I had possession of the ball and that I was down by contact," Conwell said. "I went over to the official and told him I had possession, that you guys have got to review that."

Referee Mike Carey said the crew saw a "bobbling pass reception with no control. While the ball was still loose, it was taken away by the Rams for a touchdown."

Brooks was 18-for-39 for 230 yards and threw touchdown passes of 11 yards to Stallworth and 17 yards to Az-Zahir Hakim for a quick 14-0 lead with five minutes left in the first quarter.

Jackson had a 43-yard gain on the Rams' first play, but that was their only first down until midway through the second quarter. Jackson's 6-yard touchdown run came one play after a 42-yard pass interference call on Steve Gleason.

Game notes


Rams defensive tackle Damione Lewis was ejected midway through the first quarter after punching Saints center LeCharles Bentley in the groin area. Bentley wants Lewis to be suspended, saying, "Maybe that's how he was raised. He's a Miami guy so what do you expect?" ... Rams defensive end Leonard Little missed the game following the shooting death of his brother. ... Hakim caught six passes for 100 yards, his first 100-yard game of the season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Team Stat Comparison

 
NO
STL
1st Downs2416
Passing 1st downs
149
Rushing 1st downs
66
1st downs from penalties
41
3rd down efficiency
6-165-14
4th down efficiency
0-21-1
Total Plays7557
Total Yards332298
Yards per play4.45.2
Total Drives1313
Passing213189
Comp-Att
18-3918-29
Yards per pass
5.06.3
Interceptions thrown
10
Sacks-Yards Lost
4-171-9
Rushing119109
Rushing Attempts
3227
Yards per rush
3.74.0
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-30-4
Penalties9-1028-65
Turnovers21
Fumbles lost
11
Interceptions thrown
10
Defensive / Special Teams TDs01
Possession33:5726:03

Passing Leaders

NOC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Brooks18/392305.9214-17
STLC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Martin18/291986.8001-9

Rushing Leaders

NOCARYDSAVGTDLG
Smith14564.0012
Stecker12332.809
STLCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jackson20974.9243
Faulk294.507

Receiving Leaders

NORECYDSAVGTDLG
Hakim610016.7134
Stallworth45313.3118
STLRECYDSAVGTDLG
Curtis36923.0042
Looker44310.8021

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERNOSTL
noTD11:43Donte' Stallworth, 11 yd pass from Aaron Brooks (John Carney kick is good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 72 yds, 3:12
70
noTD5:05Az-Zahir Hakim, 17 yd pass from Aaron Brooks (John Carney kick is good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 68 yds, 4:34
140
SECOND QUARTERNOSTL
stlTD4:31Steven Jackson, 6 yd run (Jeff Wilkins kick is good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 86 yds, 3:52
147
FOURTH QUARTERNOSTL
noFG13:36John Carney 14 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 9 plays, 53 yds, 11:52
177
stlTD9:40Steven Jackson, 1 yd run (Jeff Wilkins kick is good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 75 yds, 3:49
1714
stlTD6:06Kevin Curtis, 5 yd run (Jeff Wilkins kick is good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 42 yds, 2:34
1721
stlTD2:10Mike Furrey, 67 yd interception return (Jeff Wilkins kick is good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 67 yds, 0:46
1728