ST. LOUIS (WDSU) -- For the second time in three years, a favored Saints team entered St. Louis and came up short as the Rams smashed the Saints early and held on late for a 27-16 victory.
Running back Zac Stacy gashed New Orleans for 132 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries, while quarterback Kellen Clemens completed 14-of-20 passes for 158 yards, two touchdowns and no picks. Neither began the season in the starting lineup.
Both of Clemens’ passing scores came in the first quarter, marking the first time in his career that he threw two touchdown passes in any individual quarter.
Where St. Louis’ signal caller had two scores in the first frame, New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees threw a pair of picks in the opening stanza - leading to 14 St. Louis points.
The Rams added a field goal to go up 17-0 early in the second quarter and appeared to have the game on cruise control until a furious but futile late New Orleans rally.
Brees now has nine touchdowns and 13 interceptions in his career versus the Rams. He finished 39-of-56 for 393 yards and one touchdown pass. His touchdown connection with Marques Colston with just more than three minutes to go saved him from his first game of the year without a touchdown pass.
New Orleans rushed the ball for only 61 yards on 20 carries, a paltry 3.1 yards per attempt.
Even special teams produced a black spot for New Orleans Sunday as Garrett Hartley had two field goals blocked up the middle, including one that would have cut the deficit to one score late in the fourth.
New Orleans (10-4) is now 3-4 away from the friendly confines of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints will turn their attention to the Carolina Panthers (10-4) next Sunday in Charlotte in a contest that will likely decide the NFC South championship.
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