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  • Panthers get a kick out of 32-21 victory

    Panthers get a kick out of 32-21 victory

    NFL.com wire reports

    NEW ORLEANS (Dec. 5, 2004) -- John Kasay wasn't interested in the record, he was focused on the outcome.

    Kasay kept the Carolina Panthers' late run for a playoff berth on track with six field goals in a 32-21 victory over the New Orleans Saints.

    "If you know me, you'd know I really don't play for records," Kasay said. "But we really needed the win. That's the important thing."

    It was the Panthers' fourth victory in a row and, in the weak NFC, their 5-7 record has them in the middle of the wild-card race.

    The Saints (4-8) have lost three straight and seven of the last nine games. Some of the few fans remaining by the end of the game chanted "Fire Haslett" as the clock wound down, referring to beleaguered coach Jim Haslett.

    The Panthers have shaken off the loss of 14 players to injuries. The defending NFC champions put the game out of reach early and stopped the Saints' second-half effort with two interceptions, including one on the Carolina 11-yard line.

    "We've become a new football team," Carolina coach John Fox said. "We have a lot of new faces in there that are starting to come together."

    Kasay's six field goals set a Panthers record; he kicked five in a game twice.

    Jake Delhomme, playing with a cast on his broken right thumb, completed 22 of 29 passes for 294 yards and a touchdown, making him the first Carolina quarterback to throw 20 touchdown passes in a season since Steve Beuerlein tossed 36 in 1999.

    "We're starting to find ourselves," Delhomme said. "We're doing some good things. We just have to keep it going."

    Nick Goings rushed for 122 yards on 36 carries, and Muhsin Muhammad had 10 receptions for 179 yards against the NFL's worst defense. The Saints are the only team to allow more than 400 yards per game (418.3) and Carolina gained 401. New Orleans has not held an opponent under 20 points in any game this season.

    The offense is no better. New Orleans has not scored in the first quarter since Sept. 19. Against Carolina, it did not make a first down until the two-minute warning in the first half.

    The Saints had 280 yards in total offense, but only 74 yards in the first half.

    "The first half was bad, ugly football," Haslett said. "The second half we came out and moved the ball and rallied a little. But that was bad football."

    Aaron Brooks completed 20 of 40 attempts for 251 yards and three touchdowns. Joe Horn had eight catches for 160 yards, giving him a 1,000-yard season for the fourth time in the last five years.

    Deuce McAllister rushed for only 22 yards on seven carries, his lowest yardage of the season, except for the San Francisco game where he was injured on the third play.

    The Saints fell behind in the first quarter for 11th straight game. Kasay capped the opening drive with a 30-yard field goal, then added a 50-yarder.

    Kindal Moorehead then recovered McAllister's fumble on the New Orleans 10 and Delhomme connected with Muhammad for a 10-yard TD.

    Goings rushed for a 6-yard touchdown to open the second quarter. The 75-yard drive was fueled by a 51-yard reception by Muhammad.

    Even when the Saints appeared to get a break, they spoiled it.

    Mike McKenzie picked off a pass and returned it for 34 yards, only to be flagged for holding prior to the interception. Two plays later, defensive end Charles Grant drew a personal foul. Five plays after that, Kasay kicked a 46-yard field goal to make it 23-0.

    "If you're going to blame somebody, blame everybody," Grant said. "Blame me, blame the coach, blame the defensive linemen, the defensive backs, the special teams. Blame everybody in the organization."

    The Saints finally found the end zone with 1:38 left in the first half when Brooks hit Horn with a 13-yard pass.

    But Kasay's 25-yard field goal made it 26-7 at halftime.

    The Saints scored on a 24-yard reception by Horn, then Kasay hit a pair of 21-yard field goals in the fourth quarter. Brooks hit Donte' Stallworth for a 25-yard touchdown with 39 seconds remaining.

    Notes
    -Carolina's defense has forced 15 turnovers and has 11 sacks in the past four weeks, including one sack and two interceptions Sunday.
    -Horn has caught at least one pass in 89 consecutive NFL games.
    -Steve Gleason of the Saints was ejected for punching Carolina DE Kemp Rasmussen.

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  • RamWraith
    Rams Seize First Win
    by RamWraith
    Sunday, November 11, 2007
    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    NEW ORLEANS – The wait is over. On the most unlikely of days, the Rams came away with a victory.

    St. Louis dominated the Saints for most of Sunday’s game at the Superdome on its way to a 37-29 win.

    Coming off a bye against a team with four consecutive wins, not many expected the Rams to find a win in the Big Easy, but that’s how the Rams made it look against the Saints.

    The offense was sharp, the defense was stout and the Rams started their second season the way they had hoped.

    The Rams are now 1-8 on the season and the Saints drop to 4-5 with the loss.

    First Quarter

    After winning the opening toss, the Saints wasted no time driving to take a lead, driving 73 yards on four plays in just over two minutes. The help of a questionable 37-yard pass interference call against cornerback Fakhir Brown set up a 7-yard touchdown run by running back Reggie Bush.

    Olindo Mare’s extra point made it 7-0 Saints with 12:45 to go in the first quarter.

    The Rams got off to a rough start, going three and out on their first drive, but safety Oshiomogho Atogwe gave them a spark by coming up with an interception on the second play of the ensuing possessions.

    The offense used that to put together its best drive on the road this season, marching down the field to set up a 1-yard touchdown plunge by running back Steven Jackson. Quarterback Marc Bulger was sharp on the drive, connecting on all five pass attempts for 49 yards. The extra point from kicker Jeff Wilkins tied it at 7 with 2:58 to go in the quarter.

    The Saints got right back into scoring position as Pierre Thomas returned the kickoff 64 yards to the St. Louis 33. The entire left side of the Rams’ coverage unit collapsed and Thomas’ cutback would have led to a touchdown were it not for the containment by Wilkins.

    With its back against the wall, the defense stepped up again. This time, an intentional grounding call on Drew Brees and a sack for a forced fumble by linebacker Will Witherspoon killed any chance at a score and the Saints had to punt.

    The Rams took over on their 20 with 1:24 to go in the quarter. Rob Petitti replaced Brandon Gorin at right tackle to open the drive. Petitti got repetitions with the first team at that spot.

    The Rams got a first down and have the ball at the New Orleans 30 to end the quarter.

    Second Quarter

    The Rams picked up where they left off in the first quarter, piecing together one of their finest drives of the season. St. Louis marched 80 yards on 14 plays in seven minutes, 47 seconds and capped the drive with a toss from Jackson to tight end Randy McMichael for a 2-yard touchdown.

    Wilkins’ extra point gave the Rams their first lead on the road this season at 14-7 with...
    -11-11-2007, 05:15 PM
  • THEFIELDGOAL
    The Field Goal: Saints Edge Rams in OT 28-25
    by THEFIELDGOAL
    After finishing a dismal 8-8 in 2003 and John Haslett's team in some form of disarray. The Saints are at a crossroads in 2004. With every other NFC South team having reached the playoffs or Super Bowl for that matter, these Saints are on a mission to prove they too can reach the playoffs and beyond. The word around Cajun country is this team lacks maturity and professionalism. 2004 is not easier for the Saints with Michael Vick and the Atlanta Falcons also rising and the Panthers looking to get back to the big dance.
    With a 1-1 record so far in 2004 the Saints arrived at The Edward's Jones Dome with a mission. The Rams with a similar record are still asking questions from their previous game versus the Atlanta Falcons and Michael Vick. With the Falcons rising, the Saints were here to prove a point with their former NFC West rivals.
    Six year veteran quarterback Aaron Brooks and Joe Horn led the Saints attack. With Deuce McAllister out with an ankle sprain, the Saints called upon a guy named Aaron Stecker to carry the load. Stecker's first start was huge, 19 carries for 106 yards and a 42yard touchdown to boot.
    Aaron Brooks looked impressive from the start. With a good defensive front by the Rams in the first quarter with Polley,Little and Coady leading the way, the Saints were forced to settle for a 52yard field goal by John Carney. The Rams and Marc Bulger looked determined to amend the previous weeks loss to the Falcons and came out shooting. By mixing the plays Bulger devised a six play sixty-six yard drive using Kevin Curtis, Isaac Bruce and ending with a 32 yard touchdown pass to Torry Holt . This is the style of play that the fans are accustomed to at the Dome. This put the Rams ahead 7-3.
    The second quarter was a rude awakening, the Saints and Aaron Brooks went to work on the Rams secondary. Brooks finished 24 of 41 for 316 yards and a touchdown. Early in the second, Brooks hit Horn for a 24 yard strike on a 3rd and 6 from the New Orleans 34 to setup the Stecker 42 yard touchdown. Saints went seven plays and 80 yards in a flash and tied the contest. Joe Horn and Donte Stallworth combined for 12 catches for 156 yards and a touchdown.
    Then the Charles Grant and John Carney show began to unfold. The Saints combined for 5 sacks on the day with Grant having totaled 3 of the 5. The Saints defense led by C.Grant,A. Ambrose, D. Rodgers,and Courtney Watson led the Saints rush that forced the 33 yards total loss in sacks and a forced fumble. Combined with John Carney's 5 for 6 field goal day, the Saints win in overtime 28-25. With the victory, the Saints end the Rams dome streak of 15 straight games.
    For the Rams and Marc Bulger another tough loss and lots of concerns. Bulger played solid football minus the fumble early. Bulger was 32 of 49 for 358 yards. He spread the ball in a passing offensive scheme with Isaac Bruce getting most of the catches. Bruce finished 8 for 134 and his third straight 100...
    -09-26-2004, 11:43 PM
  • RamWraith
    Inside SLant 11-13-07
    by RamWraith
    From USA Today

    Inside Slant

    It all came together for the Rams in astonishing fashion Sunday in New Orleans. In a 37-29 win over the Saints, the Rams led 34-7 early in the fourth quarter after scoring a total of 19 points in four previous road games.

    Some other sobering trends were also reversed:

    —Entering the game, the Rams ranked 26th in the league in third-down efficiency at 36.7 percent and the percentage was 28.3 on the road. Against the Saints, the Rams converted eight of their first 11 third-down plays (72.7 percent) before missing on two third-quarter attempts, but still finished at 61.5 percent.

    —In the red zone, the Rams had been ranked last in the NFL in touchdown percentage, scoring just six times in 22 trips. On the road, they had failed on all nine red-zone penetrations. Against the Saints, the Rams scored four touchdowns in five trips, including a halfback pass by running back Steven Jackson to tight end Randy McMichael.

    —After having just 18 turnovers last season, the Rams had 24 this year, with 20 coming in the second half. They had no turnovers against the Saints and had two takeaways, which led to 10 points.

    The offensive line that started the game was the same one that finished the Oct. 28 game against Cleveland, with Nick Leckey at right guard. Alternating at right tackle were starter Brandon Gorin and recently signed Rob Petitti. Leckey became the 11th different player to start a game on the line this season, and it was the 16th different line starter in nine games.

    Despite four sacks, the line was solid in protection, which enabled quarterback Marc Bulger to have time to complete 27 of 33 passes for 302 yards.

    "I am really proud of that offensive front," coach Scott Linehan said. "I have never seen anything like it and I hope to never see anything like it again, but it just goes to show you that guys can put it together. I am not even sure those guys even know each other that well or by name. They might have to introduce themselves again."

    On defense, with defensive end Leonard Little out for the season, coordinator Jim Haslett came up with an attacking plan that blitzed as many as 16 times on 17 first-half plays and used middle linebacker Will Witherspoon as an end in passing situations.

    Said safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, "The Saints have an explosive offense tailored around Drew Brees, who's just been playing brilliant. We felt that if we could just get some pressure on him, collapse the pocket a little bit, we'd have a better chance to make some plays.

    "We attacked them, and it worked out for us."

    The turning point might have come in the first quarter. The Saints moved 73 yards in 2:15 with the help of a 37-yard pass-interference penalty on Fakhir Brown to take a 7-0 lead. After the Rams went three-and-out...
    -11-13-2007, 02:55 PM
  • RamWraith
    Bulger, Holt, Lead Rams to Surprising Upset of Saints
    by RamWraith
    Nov 11, 4:29 PM (ET)

    By BRETT MARTEL




    NEW ORLEANS (AP) -It had been a long time since the St. Louis Rams looked anything like the "greatest show on turf."

    But Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce found the old magic, teaming with Marc Bulger on Sunday to give perviously winless St. Louis (1-8) a surprising 37-29 victory over a New Orleans Saints squad that hadn't lost in a month.

    Bulger finished with 302 yards and short touchdown passes to Bruce and Drew Bennett. Running back Steven Jackson, recovering from a back injury, rushed for a short touchdown and even threw a 2-yard halfback pass to Randy McMichael for a score.

    It was a demoralizing loss for New Orleans (4-5), which could have climbed into a first-place tie in the NFC South with a win. Instead, they gave up 34 straight points from midway through the first quarter until early in the fourth, falling behind 34-7 to a team that not only had yet to win this season, but hadn't even led on the road.

    The most crushing blows came on third-and-long situations, when Holt routinely found a seem in the defense and Bulger found Holt.


    The pair kept St. Louis' second touchdown drive of the game alive by hooking up for 21 yards on third-and-17. Early in the second half, Bulger found Holt for 40 yards on a third-and-15 play, leading to Jeff Wilkins' second of three field goals.

    The Rams converted eight of their first 11 third downs through the first three-plus quarters.

    Saints coach Sean Payton feared it was only a matter of time before the Rams' talented offense began to live up to its potential, especially after returning to relative health during an off week. Coaches placed rat traps around the Saints' training headquarters during the past week, a ploy to prevent their players from overlooking what they saw as a "trap game" against a winless but hungry and talented team.

    Early on, it seemed to have worked. New Orleans took the opening kickoff and drove easily down field, scoring on Reggie Bush's second-effort run from 7 yards out.

    What seemed like a promising start in fact marked the beginning of the end of the Saints four-game winning streak, which had gotten them back in playoff contention after an 0-4 start.

    Looking long for David Patten in single coverage, Brees threw his 10th interception of the season - this one to Oshiomogho Atogwe, on the Saints' next drive. That led to the Rams' first score on Jackson's 1-yard dive over the pile.

    New Orleans had more problems with the St. Louis defense, now led by assistant coach Jim Haslett, who was the Saints' head coach from 2000-2005.

    Haslett used to lash out at fans for booing when things got bad in the Louisiana Superdome during his tenure with New Orleans. But this time, his successful defensive calls were inducing...
    -11-11-2007, 05:17 PM
  • eldfan
    Rams Team Report
    by eldfan
    USA TODAY



    Several members of the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals took a little detour on the way to their victory parade.
    Prior to the start of the Rams' game against the New Orleans Saints, they gathered on the sideline of the Edward Jones Dome with the World Series trophy and listened to the cheers of the crowd as the scoreboard camera moved from player to player.

    Manager Tony La Russa was wearing a Sam Bradford throwback jersey. Chris Carpenter, in what turned out to be the most symbolic aspect of the day, had on a Steven Jackson jersey and participated in the coin toss.

    Little did Carpenter and his teammates know what would happen between the sidelines during the game. Little did they know how Jackson had taken it upon himself before the game to address his teammates, not much different than when Carpenter called that fateful team meeting in late August after the Cardinals had fallen 10 1/2 games out of the wild-card lead.

    Then, a passionate Jackson was on display during the game, most notably in the fourth quarter, when the Rams started lapsing into the self-destructive tendencies that had sabotaged the first six games of the season.

    When it was over, the Rams had an inexplicable 31-21 victory, and Jackson had backed up his words by totaling 191 yards from scrimmage, including 159 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

    As coach Steve Spagnuolo said, "If you're going to do that as a leader, you've got to lead. He probably put a little pressure on himself."

    Asked what Jackson said, Spagnuolo answered, "I don't think it's right for me to share. If Steven wants to, that's OK, but it was good stuff."

    Jackson said, "To be honest with you, I woke up at about 3:30 in the morning. I couldn't sleep, just something resonated in me. I was just asking myself and praying, to be honest with you, about what can I say to inspire this team to play 60 minutes of good football.

    "I think we've all seen us play 30 minutes, 40 minutes of football. We have yet this season to put together a full game, a full four quarters of good football, so pretty much all I said was, 'If you have ever been in a fight where you ever get hit by a punch, you've only got two decisions. You can either run from the person, or you can dig deep inside and find the will in you to keep swinging and keep fighting. When that happens, you're challenged.'

    "So I challenged them, not as football players. I challenged them as men. I said, 'You know what? We've been hit, we've taken a lot of shots, we will be hit in this game going against a potent offense, and when that hit comes, I challenge you to respond in a way that you have to dig deep inside to find something in you that you didn't know you had.' I think today, in that fourth quarter, we saw that. And the guys rose to the challenge,...
    -11-01-2011, 10:29 AM
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