They put up an offensive clinic throughout the game and ended it in dramatic fashion with long touchdown by Michael Thomas. They ran the ball well, blocked well, created the clutch plays they needed and even beat back a second-half comeback in the making to knock off the Rams from the ranks of the unbeaten.
Here’s how they did it.
Alvin Kamara knifed his way through the Rams defense
The Rams didn’t have an answer for Saints running back Alvin Kamara, especially in the first half. Kamara scored three touchdowns — two rushing, one receiving — as the Saints jumped out to a 35-17 first half lead.
Kamara’s athleticism, vision, and strength paired with the Saints’ elite offensive line gives him so many opportunities to score as a runner. He took full advantage of those opportunities early in the game.
Alvin Kamara gets New Orleans on the board first in this one!— FanDuel Sportsbook (@FDSportsbook) November 4, 2018
7-0 Saints in Q1
+750 for those who bet Kamara to score the game's first TD pic.twitter.com/PV8nM5jPwr
Kamara also ran an incredible route against Rams’ safety Lamarcus Joyner to get loose for a touchdown. His cut on the route allowed him to get open, and his explosion after the catch was enough for him to get into the end zone untouched.
Kamara joined Jim Brown as the only player 23 or younger to have three games with three or more touchdowns in a season.
The Saints offensive line kept the Rams’ defensive line at bay
New Orleans’ offensive line deserves a lot of credit too. They held a defensive line featuring Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh, Michael Brockers, and the newly acquired Dante Fowler to zero sacks and just four quarterback hits.
Holding strong against a defensive line featuring three Pro Bowl players is difficult. Limiting them to just two plays in the backfield seems damn near impossible, but the Saints offensive line was up to the task.
They kept Drew Brees clean as he picked apart the Rams secondary to the tune of 391 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. They blasted open holes for Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram as well — the Saints running back duo combined for 113 yards on 27 carries and two touchdowns.
New Orleans’ offensive line kept Drew Brees clean on the touchdown pass that put the game out of reach as well.
Michael Thomas put the game on ice
With the Saints up 38-35 with four minutes left in the fourth quarter, Michael Thomas broke the game wide open.
He was matched up in man coverage against Rams cornerback Marcus Peters and he absolutely TORCHED him for a 72-yard touchdown pass to essentially end the game.
To pour even more salt in the wound, Michael Thomas paid homage to Joe Horn by pulling a cellphone out of the goalpost where he scored the game winning touchdown.
Alvin Kamara, Drew Brees, the offensive line, and Michael Thomas with the dagger was enough to give the Rams their first loss of the season. New Orleans is one of the elite teams in the NFL and knocking the previously unbeaten Rams to 8-1 they showed why in a big way.