EditorsNote: adds Saints’ record in second graf
Todd Gurley, Brandin Cooks and Jared Goff each scored second-half touchdowns as the Los Angeles Rams outlasted the visiting New Orleans Saints 27-9 on Sunday afternoon in a rematch of last season’s controversial NFC Championship Game.
It was the second consecutive time the Saints fell to the Rams, after Los Angeles advanced to the Super Bowl in January by taking advantage of a no-call on a late pass interference. The Saints (1-1) played most of Sunday’s game without quarterback Drew Brees, who injured his right thumb in the first quarter.
Sunday’s game was not without its own controversy. The Saints had an 87-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown nullified after the play originally was ruled an incomplete pass and blown dead. After challenging, the play was ruled a sack-fumble and the Saints were awarded the ball, but at the point where the fumble was recovered.
Offense proved hard to come by, with the Rams (2-0) finally reaching the end zone with 5:39 remaining in the third quarter when Gurley capped a 75-yard drive with his run to the left corner of the end zone to break a 6-6 tie. It was Gurley’s first TD of the season on a day when he rushed for 63 yards on 16 carries.
L.A.’s Jared Goff completed 19 of 28 passes for 283 yards and a touchdown. He completed nine of his last 10 attempts.
Saints backup Teddy Bridgewater took over for Brees in the first quarter, going 17 of 30 for 165 yards. The Rams had 380 yards of total offense to 244 for the Saints.
Brees was injured early in the first quarter when his right hand made hard contact with the right hand of Aaron Donald while following through on a pass attempt.
The only points on the scoreboard, until late in the third quarter, came on a pair of field goals for each team. After the Saints tied the score 6-6 just over five minutes into the second half on a 52-yard field goal from Wil Lutz, the Rams answered with Gurley’s TD.
Cooks added a 2-yard TD catch with one minute remaining in the third quarter for a 20-6 lead. Goff’s 1-yard TD for a run in the fourth quarter for a 27-9 lead came after a 66-yard catch-and-run by Cooper Kupp.
The Saints announced a five-year contract extension for head coach Sean Payton before the game.
—Field Level Media