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hagan714 11-11-2009 08:12 AM

Saints' scouting report for the St. Louis Rams
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New Orleans Saints' scouting report for the St. Louis Rams

By Bob Fortus, The Times-Picayune

November 11, 2009, 2:33AM

Called "The Greatest Show on Turf" during their Super Bowl-winning 1999 season, the Rams in recent seasons pretty much have become a comedy show. Sancya / The Associated PressRunning back Steven Jackson -- who combines speed, power and receiving ability -- undoubtedly will be a big part of the Rams' game plan against the Saints. St. Louis (1-7), which didn't play last week, snapped a franchise-record 17-game losing streak with a 17-10 road victory against Detroit on Nov. 1. Against the Saints, the Rams will be trying to snap an eight-game home losing streak.

First-year coach Steve Spagnuolo came to the Rams from the Giants with credentials as a top defensive coach. He built the unit that was the backbone of New York's Super Bowl championship team two seasons ago.
In St. Louis, Spagnuolo has plenty of work to do. The Rams went 2-14 last season and 3-13 in 2007. This season, they've been outscored 221-77.
The team does have one of the league's best players, running back Steven Jackson, who combines speed, power and receiving ability. Using him to try to control the ball undoubtedly will be in the game plan against the Saints.
Unfortunately for the Rams, there's only one of him.

The Rams rank last in the NFL in scoring, 26th in total offense and 25th in passing offense. They're tied for 13th in rushing. . . . Jackson, who is on pace to his fifth consecutive season with at least 1,000 yards rushing, clearly is the key player. He has carried 165 times for 784 yards and is tied with Adrian Peterson for third in the NFL in rushing. Jackson, who caught 90 passes in 2006, has 24 receptions this season. His 970 yards from scrimmage are fourth-most in the league. He's third in the league in first downs, with 32 by rushing and 12 by receiving. . . . Quarterback Marc Bulger, who was drafted by the Saints in 2000, became a two-time Pro Bowl player for St. Louis but is under fire this season. He's 95-for-170 for 956 yards and three touchdowns, with a passer rating of 68.2. Kyle Boller also has played, with similar results -- a 66.1 rating. . . . Keenan Burton, who caught five passes against Detroit, leads the Rams in receptions with 25. Receiver Donnie Avery and tight end Randy McMichael have 22 catches apiece. . . . Starting guard Richie Incognito likely will miss the game because of a foot injury.

The Rams rank 28th in the league in total defense, 27th in rushing defense and 22nd in passing defense. . . . Defensive end Leonard Little, who is in his 12th season, leads the team in sacks with five, and defensive end James Hall has three sacks. . . . Rookie middle linebacker James Laurinaitis is having a solid season. He made seven tackles against Detroit and is tied with strong safety James Butler for the team lead in interceptions with two. . . . The Saints will recognize cornerback Quincy Butler, who was on New Orleans' practice squad last season. Against the Lions, Butler made four tackles and broke up two passes. . . . The Rams released safety Anthony Smith last week. . . . The Rams have had nine takeaways this season, second fewest in the league, and their turnover margin (minus-seven) ties them for 27th in the league in that category. . . . Second-year defensive end Chris Long is the son of former NFL great Howie Long.

The Saints, who gave up a touchdown to Buffalo on a fake field-goal attempt, will have to be wary against the Rams. St. Louis scored on a pass to tight end Daniel Fells on a fake field-goal attempt against the Lions. . . . Punter Donnie Jones, a former LSU player in his sixth season in the NFL, is averaging 46 yards per punt and ranks fourth in the league in net average (41.3). He has placed 15 of 43 punts inside the 20. . . . Place-kicker Josh Brown is 7-for-10 on field-goal attempts and 2-for-3 on kicks of at least 50 yards. He has made more than 63 percent of his attempts of 50 yards or more in his career. . . . Danny Amendola, the Rams' return man on punts and kickoffs, suffered a concussion against Detroit but is expected to play. He is averaging 8.5 yards per punt return, seventh best in the league, and 24 yards per kickoff return.

Nov., 11, 2007
The Rams were 0-8 coming into the game at the Superdome, and the Saints were on a four-game winning streak. But St. Louis won 37-29, dealing a severe blow to New Orleans' playoff hopes. Bulger was 27-of-33 for 302 yards and two touchdowns.

"It's been tough, the first eight games. But I think guys got refreshed during the bye week. And we're coming back and trying to get ready for this challenge." -- Rams defensive end Leonard Little in the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

9-5: Rams' record since 1995 when coming off a bye.
6-2: Rams' record at home since 1995 when coming off a bye

New Orleans Saints' scouting report for the St. Louis Rams | New Orleans Saints Central - -

Rugby Saint II 11-11-2009 01:10 PM

Re: Saints' scouting report for the St. Louis Rams
The Saints should be able to sit any injured players against the Rams. They have way to many holes to be considered a threat. We may see a lot of our backups this weekend. If not, then our team is going to rack up some serious points. Either way it should be a fun Sunday to watch the game...and hopefully not another nail biter.

neugey 11-11-2009 02:32 PM

Re: Saints' scouting report for the St. Louis Rams
My 10-year old daughter (a Vikings fan) gave me a scouting report this morning:

"The Saints are playing the Rams???!!! They're easy!!!"

MatthewT 11-11-2009 09:04 PM

Re: Saints' scouting report for the St. Louis Rams
Yeah, this one should be a very easy win for the Saints. After what we have witnessed in the past three weeks, I fully expect the Saints to blow out the Rams from the get go. Saints should have this game wrapped up by half time, and then a lot of Mark Brunell in the 2nd half. I know this statement seems pretty cocky, but seriously, the Rams do not have anything to throw at the Saints.

QBREES9 11-11-2009 11:23 PM

Re: Saints' scouting report for the St. Louis Rams
Lets not look pass this game. Any given sunday....

Frederick Smith 11-12-2009 09:33 AM

Re: Saints' scouting report for the St. Louis Rams
We have more depth this year which is a plus but no one team can another team for granted that's why they call them upsets. They are pros and it is going to be easy for Rams to get up for the Saints. I am sure they would love to play spoilers. But I am looking for the Saint's to stay focused and win this game. I agree with Rugby Saint and expect to see some backups in that will keep the game interesting.

homerj07 11-15-2009 12:19 AM

Re: Saints' scouting report for the St. Louis Rams
I hope the run defense has picked up or it could be a long day

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