After two deflating defeats to divisional rivals, the Rams bounced back in a big way yesterday, defeating the New Orleans Saints 27-16.
The game very well could be considered the most complete game the Rams have played all season. The defense swarmed the Saints all day, as all three units (defensive line, linebackers and secondary) excelled. Not to be outdone, the offense also did its part, as an equal dose of timely passing and punishing running helped the Rams jump out to a big enough lead to hold off the Saints.
In fact, for the first time I can remember, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch gave the Rams straight A’s across the board in all 11 categories that they routinely grade. Translation: Picking just two game ball winners is borderline unfair. But I did it anyway. Duty calls.
OFFENSE – Kellen Clemens
Zac Stacy (28 carries, 133 yards and one touchdown) is more than deserving of this honor, as is Rodger Saffold, who once again submitted an excellent performance at right guard. But I decided to give this to Kellen Clemens because he played nearly a perfect game. A lot of credit is due to the offensive line for keeping Clemens clean, but still, there were many plays in which Clemens evaded rushers and made plays that kept the chains moving. Clemens went 14-20 for 158 yards and two touchdowns. Furthermore, Clemens didn’t take a single sack and didn’t give away any turnovers. Clemens posted a 126.7 quarterback rating and a 95.7 QBR (on a scale of 0 to 100). That QBR rates as the 17th best quarterback performance in the NFL this season.
DEFENSE – Robert Quinn
Between my recap yesterday and Ted Bryant’s column this morning, I think we’ve said all that can be said about Robert Quinn at this point. He added two more sacks and one more forced fumble yesterday to further extend his NFC leads in both categories (15 and eight, respectively). More importantly, he set the tone early and throughout the game with constant pressure. Drew Brees and his left tackle Charles Brown might be having nightmares for a while.
Read about how it’s Robert Quinn’s world; we’re just lucky enough to be living in it.