Final

Saints 21

(5-3, 2-3 away)

Rams 31

(1-6, 1-3 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, October 30, 2011

Edward Jones Dome, Saint Louis, MO 

1 2 3 4 T
NO 0 0 7 1421
STL 0 17 7 731

Top Performers

Passing: D. Brees (NO) - 269 YDS, 1 TD, 2 INT

Rushing: S. Jackson (STL) - 25 CAR, 159 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: L. Moore (NO) - 7 REC, 74 YDS, 1 TD

Rams upset Saints as Steven Jackson runs for 159, 2 TDs

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS -- Nothing in the St. Louis Rams' first six games indicated they were capable of even keeping this one close.

Maybe the crosstown Cardinals' pregame appearance with the World Series trophy inspired them to pull off a shocker of their own. A few choice words from their star player helped, too.

Steven Jackson awoke in the middle of the night on game day, deciding he'd tell teammates enough was enough and that no way the Rams were this awful. Then he led by example with two touchdowns in his first 100-yard game in three seasons, helping St. Louis earn its first win with a 31-21 upset of the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

"I think the Cardinals being here was great for the city," Jackson said. "Whoever showed up today, regardless if the place was empty, today was the day.

"We came out with a mindset we were going to fight."

Drew Brees barely kept alive his touchdown pass streak on a meaningless score in the final seconds a week after throwing five in a 62-7 rout of the winless Indianapolis Colts. Brees was intercepted twice, too, with Darian Stewart's pick and 27-yard return putting the game away with 2:51 to go.

"As you look at the cardinal sins of football, we committed quite a few of those today," Brees said, no pun intended. "Obviously, we gave them a lot of momentum."

The NFC South-leading Saints (5-3) average a league-best 35 points, but never got on track against a defense ranked near the bottom of the league. The Rams (1-6) had a season-high six sacks after entering the game with just 11, three by Chris Long.

"We always thought we had that in us," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "It was a wonderful weekend for St. Louis fans."

Saints pass catchers were bottled up by a secondary minus its top three players, and the rushing game totaled just 56 yards on 20 carries. Saints radio reported that offensive guard Carl Nicks and line coach Aaron Kromer had to be separated after squabbling near the end of the game.

The Rams trailed by double digits in each of their first six games, and before Sunday had the lead for only 6:28 all season. They led at halftime for the first time since they were up 3-0 against the 49ers in the 2009 season finale in a 28-6 loss.

The Saints were held scoreless in the first half for the first time since 2007, mustering just 94 yards total offense and going 1 for 6 on third down. Watching from the booth while recovering from a knee injury, coach Sean Payton detected a lack of effort.

"They certainly played with more energy than we did," Payton said. "I just thought we looked flat."

The Rams wore throwback jerseys in a nod to their 1999 Super Bowl championship team and the Cardinals' appearance helped fire up a crowd growing accustomed to disappointment from the Rams. The game was sold out, but there were hundreds of empty seats.

Manager Tony La Russa donned a Sam Bradford jersey and Game 7 winner Chris Carpenter went out for the coin toss wearing a Jackson jersey.

Rams players attended Game 3 of the World Series in Texas last week -- Albert Pujols' three-homer game -- the night before their 34-7 loss to the Cowboys in Dallas.

"I very, very much appreciate Tony and his players for coming over today," Spagnuolo said. "I wanted them to know how much that means to us."

All three Saints losses have come on the road. But they were favored by nearly two touchdowns against a franchise that has been staggeringly awful on both sides of the ball. Like the Colts a week earlier, the Rams were starting their backup quarterback.

A.J. Feeley made his second straight start in place of Bradford (high left ankle sprain), and threw his first touchdown pass of the season in a mistake-free outing.

Jackson had 159 yards on 25 carries, including a 32-yard jaunt on fourth-and-2 to set up his second touchdown that made it 24-0 in the third quarter.

Jonathan Vilma got the Saints on the board after recovering Feeley's fumble on a sack by Malcolm Jenkins, and Pierre Thomas scored with 10 minutes left to cut the gap to 10.

The first quarter was scoreless, a victory in itself for the Rams, given they've been outscored 59-13 in the opening period. Then, shockingly, they took control.

They capitalized on a pair of turnovers to go up 17-0 at the break. Jackson scored on a 3-yard run two plays after rookie Robert Quinn's blocked punt, the first in three NFL seasons against Thomas Morstead. Josh Gordy's interception at the Saints 38 gave St. Louis another short field that led to Brandon Lloyd's 8-yard catch.

Game notes


Jackson has 28 career 100-yard games, passing Marshall Faulk for second in franchise history and 10 behind Eric Dickerson. He passed Faulk for third in yards from scrimmage and passed Dickerson for fourth with 59 TDs. ... Attendance of 57,179 was about 7,000 shy of capacity. Tickets were available for $5 on StubHub and the Rams sold tickets for $23, the number worn by Cardinals World Series MVP David Freese.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
NO
STL
1st Downs1921
Passing 1st downs
1610
Rushing 1st downs
39
1st downs from penalties
02
3rd down efficiency
8-175-16
4th down efficiency
1-12-2
Total Plays7072
Total Yards283323
Yards per play4.04.5
Total Drives1313
Passing227140
Comp-Att
30-4420-37
Yards per pass
4.53.4
Interceptions thrown
20
Sacks-Yards Lost
6-424-35
Rushing56183
Rushing Attempts
2031
Yards per rush
2.85.9
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-23-3
Penalties5-329-64
Turnovers21
Fumbles lost
01
Interceptions thrown
20
Defensive / Special Teams TDs11
Possession28:3731:23

Passing Leaders

NOC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Brees30/442696.1126-42
STLC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Feeley20/371754.7104-35

Rushing Leaders

NOCARYDSAVGTDLG
Thomas7233.319
Ivory6183.006
STLCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jackson251596.4232
Gibson11111.0011

Receiving Leaders

NORECYDSAVGTDLG
Moore77410.6117
Sproles66010.0021
STLRECYDSAVGTDLG
Lloyd6538.8116
Salas5479.4017

Scoring Summary

SECOND QUARTERNOSTL
stlFG8:32Josh Brown 38 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 14 plays, 68 yds, 5:41
03
stlTD1:13Steven Jackson 3 Yard Run (Josh Brown Kick is Good)
Drive info: 2 plays, 15 yds, 0:26
010
stlTD0:20Brandon Lloyd 8 Yard Pass From A.J. Feeley (Josh Brown Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 38 yds, 0:41
017
THIRD QUARTERNOSTL
stlTD6:03Steven Jackson 3 Yard Run (Josh Brown Kick is Good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 73 yds, 5:44
024
noTD1:31Jonathan Vilma Fumble Recovery (John Kasay Kick is Good)
Drive info: 3 plays, -6 yds, 1:37
724
FOURTH QUARTERNOSTL
noTD10:03Pierre Thomas 3 Yard Run (John Kasay Kick is Good)
Drive info: 10 plays, 68 yds, 4:45
1424
stlTD3:01Darian Stewart 27 Yard Interception Return (Josh Brown Kick is Good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 27 yds, 0:00
1431
noTD0:10Lance Moore 8 Yard Pass From Drew Brees (John Kasay Kick is Good)
Drive info: 15 plays, 80 yds, 2:45
2131

Research Notes

From Elias: Drew Brees has 2,746 passing yards through the Saints 1st 8 games this season. That's the most passing yards in a team's 1st 8 games of the season in NFL history, eclipsing 2,649 by Philip Rivers last season.
  [+]
NEXT LEVEL: Drew Brees struggled to throw the ball deep against the Rams, completing 1-of-7 passes of 15 yards or more downfield. Coming into Week 8 he led the league in completion percentage on such passes (62.7 pct).
  [+]

Saints The Saints joined an exclusive, but unfortunate club Sunday when they lost a week after scoring 62 points.

  [+]

JacksonSteven Jackson racked up 56 of his 159 rushing yards after the initial contact Sunday. Each game this season Jackson has gained more yards after contact than his previous game.

  [+]
The Rams scored 17 points in the 1st half, the most points they scored in the 1st half this season. The Rams entered the week with 26 total points in the 1st half, the fewest in the NFL.

ESPN Stats & Information