The Rams are no longer the only undefeated team in the NFL.
Drew Brees followed up the only Rams punt of the day by hitting Michael Thomas in stride for a 72-yard touchdown with just under four minutes left to play that put the Saints up 45-35. The touchdown was the first for the Saints in the second half and it came after the Rams had come back from 21 points down to tie the score at 35 early in the fourth quarter of a pretty exciting game at the Superdome.
Brees threw four touchdowns overall on Sunday and Thomas was impossible for the Rams to stop all afternoon. He caught 12 passes for 211 yards and punctuated his touchdown by taking a page from former Saints wide receiver Joe Horn’s book. Thomas pulled out a cell phone that was hidden in the goalpost wrapper, just as Horn did in 2013, and drew a penalty for using a prop in celebration. If Thomas called Horn from the field, he also might have been told to expect a fine.
That gave the Rams better field position on their ensuing drive, but Jared Goff threw three straight incompletions and the Saints got the ball back at midfield. Faced with a decision on fourth-and-one on the L.A. 41-yard-line just after the two minute warning, Saints coach Sean Payton opted to run the ball with Alvin Kamara. Kamara, who scored three touchdowns Sunday, converted and the Saints won the game.
Those incompletions were uncharacteristic for Goff. He was 28-of-40 for 391 yards and three touchdowns, but also threw an interception in the first half that helped set up one of the five Saints touchdowns before halftime.
While defense didn’t lead the way for either team, Rams running back Todd Gurley was held to 68 rushing yards and 79 total yards in his least productive day of work this season. He did score a touchdown for the 12th straight game and the Rams offense produced enough to win on many days.
It wasn’t enough against a Saints team that’s now won eight straight after losing the opening game of the season, however. That leaves the Saints with a tiebreaker edge on the Rams as the second half of the 2018 season begins to unfold. They’ll be in Cincinnati next week while the Rams will try to get back on track at home against the Seahawks.