It was the tale of two halves on Sunday afternoon in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with the Los Angeles Rams (8-1) locking horns with the New Orleans Saints (7-1). The Saints came out of the gates strong in the first half, but the Rams rallied back after being down 35-17 at the break to even things up. However, the Saints delivered the crushing blow late in the ballgame to take down the last undefeated team in the NFL.
The Saints struck first with a methodical 10-play drive that ended with Alvin Kamara running it from 11 yards out. It didn’t take long though for the Rams to respond with a six-play drive that resulted in an eight-yard touchdown run by Todd Gurley to even things up.
The early tug-of-war continued when Brees connected with Kamara for a 16-yard touchdown pass to cap off an eight-play drive to take the lead right back. Two minutes later, the Rams knotted things up when Goff connected with former New Orleans Saint Brandin Cooks in the endzone to even things up at 14 late in the first quarter.
It started to look like the game was going to turn in favor of Los Angeles after Mark Ingram coughed up the football on the very next drive to give them great field position. However, the Saints defense was able to hold them to zero points after a fake field goal was ruled short of the goal line. Drew Brees then got New Orleans out in front with a 10-play drive that was capped off by Brees connecting with rookie Tre’Quan Smith in the endzone to make it 21-14.
The Rams marched down the field, but came up empty when Greg Zuerlein went wide right on a 51-yard field goal and that gave the Saints another opportunity to increase their lead and did just that when Brees connected with veteran Ben Watson for a 13-yard touchdown pass to make it 28-14.
Things went from bad to worse real quick for the Rams when Goff was picked off by Alex Anzalone, leading to Kamara getting his third touchdown on the afternoon before halftime, giving them a 21-point edge with 28 seconds left until halftime.
After a 56-yarder from Zuerlein to end the half, the The Rams made it an 11-point ballgame with an 11-play drive that was capped off by a short pass to Malcolm Brown that somehow managed to stay inbounds thanks to some phenomenal footwork. The Saints offense was stymied to start the second half by the Rams defense and that led to Zuerlein drilling another field goal, this time from 34 yards out to make it an eight-point ballgame.
Goff knotted things up at 35 early in the fourth quarter when he connected with a wide open Cooper Kupp for a 41-yard touchdown. However, the Saints quickly took back the lead with a 54-yarder by Wil Lutz. The game was put on ice after forcing a punt when Brees found Michael Thomas for a 72-yard bomb to seal the deal.
The Saints will hit the road to take on the Cincinnati Bengals (5-3) with kickoff set for 12 pm.