TSX: Rams Report Card

After back-to-back road wins against Denver and Arizona, the St. Louis Rams couldn't pull off a third on the road Sunday in New Orleans, losing 31-13. Find out how the Rams did in their "Report Card."

PASSING OFFENSE: D -- It was a difficult afternoon for QB Sam Bradford. He was intercepted twice in the red zone, and sacked three times. One of the sacks came as his arm was back ready to pass, and the result was a 22-yard loss on the fumble. Bradford was under pressure other times. He passed for 231 yards and compiled just a 53.0 passer rating.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B -- RB Steven Jackson ran well but got only 16 carries because the Rams fell behind so quickly. Jackson rushed for 96 yards and a 6.0-yard average, but he did fumble once, his first in 562 touches. Backup Keith Toston contributed 22 yards on five attempts, and WR Brandon Gibson gained 13 yards on an end-around. For the day, the Rams totaled 136 yards and 5.7 yards per rush.

PASS DEFENSE: C-plus -- Except for the first quarter, the pass defense wasn't bad, but the Rams couldn't stop some key third-down plays, and Saints QB Drew Brees had three touchdown passes. The Rams did have two interceptions, and Brees' passer rating was only 81.4. His 25 completions averaged just 8.8 yards, but the two first-quarter touchdowns staked the Saints to a 14-0 lead, and the Rams weren't able to recover.

RUSH DEFENSE: C -- RB Chris Ivory had some big runs before leaving the game with a hamstring injury. He had 47 yards on just seven carries. RB Pierre Thomas, playing for the first time after missing nine games, had 39 yards on 12 carries. Reggie Bush added another 39 yards.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B -- The coverage was good, and the Rams forced a fumble on a kickoff return. The return game was mediocre, with Danny Amendola averaging 22.3 yards on six kickoff returns and 10 yards on one punt return. His longest kickoff return was 28 yards.

COACHING: B -- There were questions why the Rams didn't blitz much, but the Saints mostly avoided obvious passing situations. There were instances where blitzes were called, but they were checked out of because of the protections. In the big picture, coach Steve Spagnuolo has his players believing they are good enough to compete with top-level teams like the Saints. The Rams just didn't make enough plays to keep it close, and the big plays were made by New Orleans.

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