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Stacy, Rams knock off Saints

St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Zac Stacy posted a game-high 133 yards and 
one  touchdown on 28 carries as St. Louis jumped out to an early 17-0 lead and 
held on to beat New Orleans, 27-16, in Week 15 action. 

Kellen Clemens was an effective 14-of-20 for 158 yards with TD strikes to Cory 
Harkey  and  Lance Kendricks for the Rams (6-8), who snapped a two-game slide 
and beat their Sunday foes for the fourth time in the last six meetings. 

"Everybody  contributed and  everybody last night felt like we had a chance to 
win  the  game," noted Rams head  coach Jeff  Fisher. "We  got a couple early 
turnovers which really helped us put them in a hole." 

Drew  Brees threw for 393 yards and one touchdown on 39-of-56 attempts but was 
intercepted  twice for  the  Saints  (10-4), who  have  dropped  two key  road 
contests in a three-game span and failed to lock up a playoff berth. 

Marques  Colston  topped an eight-man  receiving corps with  92 yards and a TD 
catch  on eight receptions, to counterbalance Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas 
being limited to a combined 45 yards on 15 attempts. 

"Today's  game  was unacceptable and it's  on me," said Saints head coach Sean 
Payton.  " We did all the things a team does to keep itself from winning. That 
was pretty ugly and it was an extremely disappointing loss." 

Capping  an 80  yard drive on the 14th  play, Brees went over the top from one 
yard  out but the conversion run failed, and New Orleans trailed 27-9 early in 
the fourth quarter. 

It  was a 27-16 game on the Saints' ensuing possession, as Brees found Colston 
for  a  touchdown on 4th-and-5  and the visitors  recovered the onside kick at 
their own 44. 

However,  the potential momentum-turning drive was wasted when Garrett Hartley 
dug his toe into the turf and shanked a 26-yard attempt wide left. 

St.  Louis  took over  on its own  20 and  ran off the  remaining time in four 
plays. 

"Anytime  you  win, it's  a good  feeling, regardless  of who you're playing," 
Stacy said. 

Brees  was picked  off on  the first  snap of  the Saints'  first drive,  with 
T.J.  McDonald doing the honors before being tackled at the New Orleans 31. On 
the next play, Clemens connected with Harkey for a touchdown. 

New Orleans reached the St. Louis 10 on the following possession, but Trumaine 
Johnson stepped in front of a Brees offering at the goal line and advanced the 
ball  seven  yards. Clemens ended  that 9-play series  with a 4-yard strike to 
Kendricks for a 14-0 edge. 

The Rams recovered  the  ensuing onside  kick  at the  Saints'  47, and  Greg 
Zuerlein's 31-yard make on the first play of the second quarter made it 17-0. 

On  the following  series, Hartley's 45-yard make put the Saints on the board, 
then  after both teams exchanged punts, Stacy rumbled 40 yards to paydirt on a 
2nd-and-4 to give the Rams a 24-3 advantage that stood at halftime. 

Brees  was sacked  and coughed up the  ball on New Orleans' first drive of the 
third  quarter, but  the Rams didn't capitalize. That wasn't the case on their 
next  possession,  when Zuerlein booted a  35-yarder and the hosts took a 27-3 
lead to the fourth. 

                                   Game Notes 

New Orleans plays at Carolina next Sunday ... The Saints outgained the Rams by 
a  432-302 margin and  gained 30 first downs to 17 for the hosts ... St. Louis 
converted 7-of-14 third downs and held the Saints to 5-of-15 efficiency. 

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