The St. Louis Rams couldn’t make it two wins in a row, but they gave the New Orleans Saints a run for their money Sunday afternoon as they dropped a 28-23 decision to the Saints before an officially announced crowd of 59,858 – many of them disguised as empty seats – at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. In fact, the game went down to the last play, a fourth down incomplete end zone pass from Marc Bulger to Danny Amendola.

The game got off to a slow start with the teams trading interceptions in the 1st quarter – O.J Otogwe for the Rams and Usama Young for the Saints as St. Louis threatened. The 1st quarter ended in a scoreless tie but with New Orleans inside the St. Louis 10 yard line and threatening.

A couple of plays itn the 2nd quarter New Orleans struck as Reggie Bush rushed 3 yards to paydirt to cap a 13 play, 78 yard touchdown drive that began with the Young interception in the end zone. John Carney’s conversion made it New Orleans 7, St. Louis 0.

St. Louis Rams Donnie Avery catches a Marc Bulger pass  UPI/Bill Greenblatt

St. Louis Rams Donnie Avery catches a Marc Bulger pass UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The Rams wasted little time evening it up as Marc Bulger fired a 29 yard TD pass to Donnie Avery to end an 8 play, 75 yard scoring drive. Josh Brown’s PAT made it St. Louis 7, New Orleans 7.

New Orleans jumped back top as Brees fired a 15 yard TD pass to Reggie Bush to cap a 6 play, 72 yard drive. John Carney’s extra point made it Saints 14, Rams 7.

But the Rams weren’t about to roll over and play dead. Bulger engineered a game tying scoring drive with just over a minute to go in the half as Steven Jackson scored on a 2 yard run to put the finishing touches on a 13 play, 73 yard drive. Brown’s extra point tied the score at 14 and that was the score as the teams headed to their locker rooms at the half.

The Saints didn’t lose any time regaining the lead as Courtney Roby ran back the kick off 97 yards for a touchdown. Carney’s PAT made it New Orleans 21, St. Louis 14.

The Rams narrowed the Saints’ lead about halfway through the 3rd quarter as Brown sliced a 32 yard field goal through the uprights to make it New Orleans 21, St. Louis 17.

The Saints threatened to get back those points on their next set of downs, aided in large part by a Reggie Bush 55 yard run to put New Orleans in scoring position. But Marques Colston coughed up the ball as he leapt for the score and the pigskin rolled out of the end zone for a touchback, giving the Rams the ball on their 20. The 3rd quarter ended with the Saints leading 21-17.

Early in the 4th quarter the Saints padded their lead as Brees fired a 27 yard TD pass to Robert Meachem to complete a 7 play, 77 yard drive. Carney’s extra point made it New Orleans 28, St. Louis 17.

The Rams managed one more scoring drive as Donnie Avery snagged a TD pass from Bulger to end a 6 play, 80 yard drive. The 2-point conversion attempt failed and the Rams were within 5 points at 28-23.

The Rams’ final drive had the remaining fans on the edge of their seats, but the incomplete pass as time ran out sealed the team’s fate and the Saints improved their record to 9-0.

Steven Jackson led all rushers with 131 yards and a touchdown. Reggie Bush had a touchdown on 83 rushing yards for New Orleans. In the passing department Marc Bulger completed 26 of 40 attempts for 298 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Drew Brees completed 18 of 26 passes with a pair of touchdowns for the Saints.

The Rams, now 1-8 on the season, are back home next Sunday to host the Arizona Cardinals.