Drew Brees sidelined early on as New Orleans suffer defeat to Los Angeles Rams
Last Updated: 16/09/19 10:14am
LA Rams maintained their perfect start to the season with a 27-9 win over New Orleans who saw star quarterback Drew Brees sidelined with a thumb injury.
The Saints, for whom head coach Sean Payton agreed a new five-year deal earlier in the day, played most of Sunday's game without quarterback Drew Brees, who injured his right thumb in the first quarter.
Todd Gurley, Brandin Cooks and Jared Goff each scored second-half touchdowns as the Rams overcame a slow start to run out winners in a rematch of last season's controversial NFC Championship and there was another pivotal controversial call.
Los Angeles advanced to the Super Bowl in January by taking advantage of a no-call on a late pass interference and on Sunday the Saints had an 87-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown nullified after the play originally was ruled an incomplete pass.
After challenging, the play was ruled a sack-fumble and the Saints were awarded the ball, but at the point where the fumble was recovered.
Offense proved hard to come by, with the Rams finally reaching the end zone with 5:39 remaining in the third quarter when Gurley capped a 75-yard drive with his run to the left corner of the end zone to break a 6-6 tie. It was Gurley's first TD of the season on a day when he rushed for 63 yards on 16 carries.
Rams quarterback Jared Goff was 19 of 28 passing for 283 yards and a touchdown. He completed nine of his last 10 passes while Saints backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who took over from Brees in the first quarter, went 17 of 30 for 165 yards.
Brees was injured early in the first quarter when his right hand made hard contact with the right hand of Aaron Donald while following through on a pass attempt.
The only points on the scoreboard, until late in the third quarter, came on a pair of field goals for each team. After the Saints tied the score 6-6 just over five minutes into the second half on a 52-yard field goal from Will Lutz, the Rams answered with Gurley's TD before they raced to the finish line.
Cooks added a 2-yard TD catch with one minute remaining in the third quarter for a 20-6 lead and Goff's 1-yard TD for a run in the fourth quarter for a 27-9 lead came after a 67-yard catch-and-run by Cooper Kupp was ruled just short despite initially being called a touchdown.
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The Rams will seek a third successive win when they travel to Cleveland (0-1) on Sunday night (1.20am) and Week Four will see them host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the LA Coliseum (9.05pm).
New Orleans, with or without Brees, travel to Seattle (2-0) next Sunday (9.25pm) as they look to return to winning ways and then in Week Four host the Dallas Cowboys in a blockbuster-looking Sunday Night Football (1.20am).
Week Two concludes on Monday night with Cleveland's visit to New York Jets, coverage on Sky Sports Action and Main Event from 1am