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article imageNFL: Rams get first win of the season behind the legs of Jackson

By Austin Tyler     Oct 31, 2011 in Sports
After the way the New Orleans Saints dismantled the Indianapolis Colts, you almost expected them to do the same to the winless St. Louis Rams. Steven Jackson was the key as he had 159 yards and 2 touchdowns in a 31-21 victory.
The winless St. Louis Rams (1-6) hosted the New Orleans Saints (5-3) on the day the World Series Champs St. Louis Cardinals are scheduled for their parade. They were at the game with the trophy before the game started and it looked like that gave the Rams some inspiration. The Saints on the other hand looked like they wasted all their points on the game last week when they scored 62 points on the Colts.
St. Louis got the ball to start the game, but they could do nothing with it as they were forced to punt after moving the ball 26-yards on the drive. New Orleans then got the ball after the punt, and they also had trouble moving the ball as they went just 28-yards on their drive before punting the ball back to the Rams.
The first quarter was a defensive battle which is what nobody expected from the Rams seeing they gave up 253 yards rushing last week to DeMarco Murray of the Dallas Cowboys. The teams traded punts until the 14:13 mark of the second quarter when St. Louis got the ball back.
Steven Jackson (25 carries, 159 yards, 2 TD’s) had a 10-yard run to get them moving after A.J. Feeley (20/37, 175, 1 TD) was sacked for a 9-yard loss. Feeley then connected with Brandon Gibson (2 receptions, 27 yards) and Brandon Lloyd (6 receptions, 53 yards, 1 TD) for back-to-back big gains. Jackson then had a 15-yard run to keep the drive moving. It got to be fourth down, and they went for it with a pass to Gibson for 17-yards. The drive stalled after that and they had to settle for a Josh Brown 38-yard field-goal that made it a 3-0 game.
The Saints got the ball back, but could not get their offense going as they only moved the ball 23-yards on seven plays. They were forced to punt the ball back to the Rams who also struggled and punted the ball right back. Darren Sproles had a big return on the punt and gave the Saints decent field position.
New Orleans moved the ball with a pass from Drew Brees (30/44, 269 yards, 1 TD, 2 Int’s) to Lance Moore (8 receptions, 82 yards, 1 TD) for 14-yards. The drive did not move after as Brees was sacked for a 9-yard loss by Chris Long. The Saints set up for a punt, but it was blocked out of bounds giving the Rams good field position. With the ball on the Saints 15-yardline, Feeley hit Greg Salas (5 receptions, 47 yards) with a pass who fumbled. Lucky for him Jackson was there to recover it and keep the ball in the Rams possession. The next play Jackson had a 3-yard touchdown run that made it a 10-0 lead.
Brees and the Saints got the ball on the ensuing drive and on the first play of the drive he threw an interception. Josh Gordy picked off the pass which gave the Rams the ball with .58 seconds left on the Saints 38-yardline. Feeley moved the ball down the field with his arm as he hit Gibson with a 14-yard pass. Feeley hit Lloyd for an 8-yard pass before Feeley scrambled for a 6-yard run. The drive was finished with another 8-yard pass to Lloyd for a touchdown to make it a 17-0 lead going into halftime.
New Orleans got the ball to open the second half, but could do nothing with the ball. They got a first down, but later had to punt after going three and out. The Rams got the ball after the punt, and used Jackson to start the drive. Feeley used his arm, but the bulk of the yards came on a Jackson 32-yard run. Jackson then finished the drive with another run that was from 3-yards out to make it a 24-0 lead.
After another New Orleans punt the Rams got the ball back, but could not keep it long. On the third play of the drive Feeley dropped back to pass the ball, but was sacked by Malcom Jenkins. Jenkins forced him to fumble and Jonathan Vilma recovered it to score the Saints first touchdown of the game. The score made it a 24-7 game with 2:58 left in the third quarter.
The Saints go the ball to start the fourth quarter after a Rams punt. Pierre Thomas (7 receptions, 23 yards, 1 TD) started the drive with a 9-yard run. The Saints stuck with the ground attack the whole game with Chris Ivory (6 carries, 18 yards) and Sproles (6 carries, 16 yards) also getting a lot of carries.
Brees later connected with Marques Colston (3 receptions, 50 yards) for a 25-yard pass to keep the drive going. They later hooked up again for an 11-yard run before Thomas ran the ball in from 3-yards out for a touchdown to make it a 24-14 game.
Jackson did most of the damage on the Rams next drive as they tried to run out the clock. Jackson had a 20-yard gain and a 15-yard gain after a penalty. During the drive you can see Jackson get mad as he began to rip into his teammates for getting a penalty which made it a 1st and 25. The Rams drive stalled and was forced to punt the ball away.
With 3:01 left in the game the Saint got the ball back after a punt. Brees dropped back to pass on the first play of the drive and it was intercepted. Darian Stewart intercepted the pass and took it back 27-yards for a touchdown to make it a 31-14 Rams lead.
New Orleans got the ball back on the ensuing drive and moved the ball 74-yards. Brees hit Jimmy Graham (4 receptions, 39 yards) along with many other receivers to move down the field. His big gains came on passes to Sproles and Lance Moore. The drive was finished with Brees connecting with Moore for a 8-yard pass to make it a 31-21 game, and that ended the game.
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