The sizzle in the highly anticipated matchup between the Rams and the New Orleans Saints lasted less than one quarter Sunday at the Coliseum.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees was forced to leave the game because of a hand injury suffered during his team’s second series, and the Rams shut down the Saints in a 27 – 9 victory before 71,460.
Jared Goff passed and ran for a touchdown, Todd Gurley ran for another and Greg Zuerlein kicked two field goals as the Rams improved to 2-0 by defeating the Saints in a rematch between the teams that played in the NFC championship game last season.
Last season’s NFC title game, won by the Rams in overtime, will forever be known for the controversial non-call by officials on an obvious pass-interference infraction by Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman.
Advertisement Sunday’s game included another controversy involving officials, this one involving a fumble the Saints believed they returned for a touchdown.
Brees, the NFL’s all-time passing yardage leader, was injured when his right hand apparently hit the hand of Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald on a third-quarter pass.
Rams Rams and Chargers’ future home in Inglewood now has a name: SoFi Stadium Rams Rams and Chargers’ future home in Inglewood now has a name: SoFi Stadium LA Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park has reached a 20-year agreement that gives SoFi the naming rights for the Rams and Chargers’ future stadium. More Coverage Rams make quick work of Saints after Drew Brees exits with injury Teddy Bridgewater replaced Brees, but could not get the Saints into the end zone.
Goff completed 19 of 28 passes for 283 yards.
Advertisement Gurley rushed for 63 yards and a touchdown in 16 carries. Malcolm Brown rushed for 37 yards in six carries.
Receiver Cooper Kupp caught five passes for 120 yards, including one 66-yard play during which he broke five tackles. Receiver Brandin Cooks caught three passes for 74 yards, including one for 57 yards and another for a two-yard touchdown.
The Rams led, 6-3, at halftime but Wil Lutz tied the score with a 52-yard field goal with 9 minutes, 49 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Rams answered with a long drive highlighted by Goff passes to Cooks, Kupp and Robert Woods and tight end Gerald Everett, setting up Todd Gurley’s four-yard touchdown run that put that Rams ahead, 13-6.
The Rams defense came alive on the ensuing series, linebacker Clay Matthews and defensive lineman Michael Brockers sacking Bridgewater on consecutive plays to force a punt that JoJo Natson returned to the Saints’ 26.
Three runs by Brown and a Goff pass to Everett moved the ball to the two-yard line. Goff’s pass to Cooks on a slant route increased the lead to 20-6.
Lutz added another field goal early in the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to 20-9.
Chargers Missed field goals, penalties and turnovers prove costly in Chargers’ loss to Lions Chargers Missed field goals, penalties and turnovers prove costly in Chargers’ loss to Lions Ty Long botches two field-goal attempts, and Philip Rivers throws an end-zone interception in the final seconds of the Chargers’ 13-10 loss to Detroit. But Kupp’s 66-yard catch and run set up Goff’s one-yard sneak for a 27-9 lead.
Advertisement Bridgewater completed 17 of 30 passes for 165 yards. The Rams limited running back Alvin Kamara to 45 yards in 13 carries.
The Rams led 6-3 at halftime as neither team could take advantage of opportunities inside the 15-yard line.
The Rams had the early momentum after safety John Johnson, who intercepted a pass in the NFC championship game in overtime, came up with another acrobatic interception.
Goff connected with Cooks for a 57-yard pass that moved the ball to the Saints’ 11-yard line. But a Gurley run was followed by a penalty and two passes to Everett that came up short of a first down, forcing the Rams to settle for Zuerlein’s first field goal.
On the ensuing series, the Rams pressured Brees on a third-down pass that fell incomplete. But Brees was injured on the play and did not return.
They appeared primed for a chance to take the lead after end Trey Hendrickson knocked the ball from Goff on a pass with about six minutes left in the first half. End Cameron Jordan picked up the ball and ran more than 70 yards for what the Saints thought was a touchdown. Officials initially ruled it an incomplete pass, but the Saints challenged the call.
Upon review, it was declared a fumble, but the play was ruled dead at the Rams’ 13-yard line.
The Saints moved to the 48-yard line but the Rams stopped Kamara on fourth and one.
LINK ORIGINAL: Latimes