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Saints grab a share of lead in NFC West

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 27, 2000


ST. LOUIS -- The Rams aren't sunk, but their ship is quickly taking on water.

New Orleans quarterback Aaron Brooks, making his first NFL start, ran for two touchdowns and threw for another Sunday as the Saints beat the Rams 31-24. The Rams have lost four of their past six, including their last three home games.

"I didn't even think we'd lose three games," Rams running back Marshall Faulk said.

The win put the Saints in a tie for first in the NFC West with the Rams.

The Rams lost to a team missing its two best offensive players, quarterback Jeff Blake and running back Ricky Williams, with season-ending injuries.

The Saints still gained 332 yards, 147 rushing.

"It will definitely get the doubters thinking correctly," said Brooks, who was 17-for-29 for 190 yards. "It gives me more confidence and the whole team more confidence."

The Rams were fooled on an onside kick during the opening kickoff, fumbled a punt and made a multitude of other mistakes that often led to bad field position for the offense.

"We've obviously got to look at our personnel," Rams coach Mike Martz said of the special teams.

Rams quarterback Trent Green was 20-for-41 for 289 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He spent the game under siege from the New Orleans defensive line. He was sacked six times and fumbled twice.

St. Louis wide receivers also had a half-dozen dropped passes.

Green threw a 19-yard touchdown to Ricky Proehl to tie the score at 24 with 11:06 left.

The Saints got the ball back and put together an 11-play, 85-yard touchdown drive aided by a 47-yard pass interference penalty on cornerback Todd Lyght, defending receiver Joe Horn.

Brooks vaulted in from 1 yard to put the Saints ahead 31-24.

The Rams got the ball back with 2:21 left after Doug Brien missed a 44-yard field goal, but Green was intercepted by Chris Oldham.

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