It had been a while since the Saints had exploded offensively the way they did on Sunday afternoon against the Los Angeles Rams in the Mercedes Benz Superdome. In fact, the last time New Orleans scored over 45 points at home was on November 1st 2015, when the Saints defeated the New York Giants 52-49.
This game was deeply personal for Sean Payton, as the LA Rams' defensive coordinator is Gregg Williams, Payton's former assistant who played a big role in having the Saints' head coach suspended all of the 2012 season as part of the so-called Bounty Gate scandal.
However, things didn't exactly start the way the Saints and their fans had envisioned, as Jared Goff and the Rams marched right down the field to take a 7-0 lead. The Saints would respond and tie the game at 7, but then it would be a seesaw affair with New Orleans eventually taking a 28-21 lead into halftime.
The second half is where the Saints put their feet on the accelerator and never looked back: New Orleans outscored Los Angeles 14-0 in the third and by the time the fourth quarter started, at 42-21, the game was in hand. One last finishing touch put the final score at 49-21 and Payton was dancing on the sidelines, while Gregg Williams was looking for a place to hide and forget that he ever made the trip to New Orleans.
The Saints now sit in third place in the NFC South at 5-6, as both the Falcons (7-4) and the Bucs (6-5) won today. The good news is that Carolina (4-7) lost at Oakland and the Panthers are, for all intents and purposes, out of the running for either the division of the a wild card playoffs spot. Given that the Saints still play Tampa Bay twice and the Falcons once, the Saints actually somewhat control their divisional destiny, but winning out might be the only way to get to the postseason this year. Can they do it? If they play like they did on Sunday, they certainly can.
|NEW ORLEANS SAINTS|
|LOS ANGELES RAMS|