ST. LOUIS — Nothing in the St. Louis Rams’ first six games indicated they were capable of even keeping this one close.
Maybe the crosstown Cardinals’ pregame appearance with the World Series trophy inspired them to pull off a shocker of their own. A few choice words from their star player helped, too.
Steven Jackson awoke in the middle of the night, deciding he’d tell teammates enough was enough and that no way the Rams were this awful. Then he led by example with two touchdowns in his first 100-yard game in three seasons, helping St. Louis earn its first win with a 31-21 upset of the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
“I think the Cardinals being here was great for the city,” Jackson said. “Whoever showed up today, regardless if the place was empty, today was the day. We came out with a mind-set we were going to fight.”
Drew Brees barely kept alive his touchdown pass streak on a meaningless score in the final seconds a week after throwing five in a 62-7 rout of the winless Indianapolis Colts. Brees was intercepted twice, too, with Darian Stewart’s pick and 27-yard return putting the game away with 2:51 to go.
“As you look at the cardinal sins of football, we committed quite a few of those today,” Brees said. “Obviously, we gave them a lot of momentum.”
The NFC South-leading Saints (5-3) average a league-best 35 points, but never got on track against a defense ranked near the bottom of the league. The Rams (1-6) had a season-high six sacks after entering the game with just 11, three by Chris Long.