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GAME PREVIEW

BY JUSTIN MACIONE

2018 SAINTS- RAMS STATISTICAL COMPARISON

LEAGUE RANKINGS

SAINTS

Record

6-1 8-0

Scoring Avg. (NFL Rank)

33.4 (2)

33.0 (3)

Opp. Scoring Avg. (NFL Rank)

26.1 (23)

19.4 (6)

Total Off. (NFL Rank)

389.9 (8)

442.6 (2)

Rushing Off. (NFL Rank)

108.0 (17t)

150.9 (1)

Passing Off. (NFL Rank)

281.9 (9)

291.8 (7)

Total Def. (NFL Rank

374.1 (23)

331.4 (8)

Rushing Def. (NFL Rank)

74.1 (1)

100.9 (12)

Passing Def. (NFL Rank)

300.0 (28)

230.5 (10)

Kickoff Return Avg. (NFL Rank)

21.9 (19

21.5 (20)

Punt Return Avg. (NFL Rank)

5.3 (29)

13.1 (4)

Turnover Margin (NFL Rank)

even (17t)

+7 (3t)

Penalties

45

41

Penalty Yards

462

349

Opp. Penalties

39

45

Opp. Penalty Yards

380

398

OLD NFC WEST RIVALS CLASH FOR CONFERENCE EDGE SAINTS SEEK TO CONTINUE SURGE AT MERCEDES-BENZ SUPERDOME IN RAMS MATCHUP

T

oday’s matchup between the New Orleans Saints and the Los Angeles Rams will feature two old NFC West rivals competing for top seeding in the conference race. The game will feature the two hottest teams in the NFL, with the Saints at 6-1 atop the NFC South with a six-game winning streak and with the Rams leading the NFC West at 8-0. New Orleans comes into today’s contest with a balanced 30-20 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday Night Football that featured contributions in all three phases. The Rams held on Sunday for a 29-27 victory over Green Bay at the Los Angeles Coliseum. The turning point in Sunday night’s contest for New Orleans took place with the Vikings leading the Saints 13-10 and setting up for another score at the Saints 18-yard line. With assistance from CB P.J. Williams, LB Alex Anzalone punched the ball out of Vikings WR Adam Thielen’s hands, and it was picked up by CB Marshon Lattimore and returned 54 yards, setting up a one-yard rushing touchdown by RB

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Alvin Kamara to take a 17-13 halftime lead. New Orleans extended the lead at the start of the third quarter when Minnesota tried to convert on fourth-and-one from their 45, and Lattimore punched away a pass intended for Vikings WR Laquon Treadwell, setting up a field goal. On Minnesota’s next offensive possession, Williams picked off a pass by Vikings QB Kirk Cousins and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown. A productive run game, shared by Mark Ingram (63 yards) and Kamara (45), helped put the Vikings away after that. “It was a good win, obviously, against a good team that we have a lot of respect for,” said Head Coach Sean Payton. “Always when you come to an environment like this for a prime-time game, it’s a tough matchup. But this place is one of the harder places in our league to play. I thought early on that momentum quickly jumped in our favor, and they were able to capture it back by going up 13-7. Obviously, the turnover in the second quarter was a big turning point in the game. You can call it a ten-point swing, you can

O RL E A N S S A IN T S | G A M E D AY M A G A ZIN E 2 018

RAMS

call it a 14-point swing, based on where they were on the field. That was a big play for us — the fumble recovery — that led to points. So, I’m pleased with the win.” Sunday’s game will feature two of the highest scoring teams in the NFL. The Saints are averaging 33.4 points per game, second in the league, while the Rams are not far behind in third averaging 33.0 points per game even. New Orleans will be bringing a vastly improved scoring defense into the contest. After giving up 48 and 37 points in two of the first three contests of the Saints, New Orleans has surrendered an average of 20.0 points per game in the four contests since. This will go a long way in facing a dangerous offensive duo of QB Jared Goff and RB Todd Gurley. Several factors can go into the defensive improvement. LB Demario Davis, an offseason acquisition, has helped solidify the run defense, which is ranked first in the league in both opponent rushing per game and per carry, leading the team with 55 tackles through seven contests. After not recording only one takeaway in the first three contests, the Saints have posted two picks and four fumble recoveries in the last four. Once again, the offense is led by QB Drew Brees, who has completed 188-of-243 passes for 1,990 yards with 14 touchdowns, only one interception and a 118.2 passer rating. The return of Ingram in week four has provided a spark to the run game, with the tandem of Ingram and Kamara starting to reflect how they shined in 2017. WR Michael Thomas has led the passing game with 58 receptions for 669 yards and four touchdowns.

Profile for Renaissance Publishing

New Orleans Saints Gameday | New Orleans Saints Vs Los Angeles Rams | Sunday, November 4, 2018  

New Orleans Saints Gameday | New Orleans Saints Vs Los Angeles Rams | Sunday, November 4, 2018