Defensive end leads charge as Rams exact revenge on Ryan
“All I can do is make plays — no matter who is calling the plays. We came out with a plan. And for the most part, we executed it. This felt good.” ROBERT QUINN, Rams defensive end
ST. LOUIS — St. Louis defensive end Robert Quinn calmly bit his tongue several times during the week leading up to Sunday’s game against New Orleans.
Yes, Quinn was mildly hurt that Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan backed out of an oral agreement to become the Rams’ defensive boss back in January.
But instead of trashing Ryan in a war of words, Quinn decided to get his revenge on the field. The 6-foot-4, 264-pounder turned in a career-best performance to help the Rams bury New Orleans 27-16 in front of 58,442 at the Edward Jones Dome.
Quinn had five tackles, two sacks, one fumble recovery and basically set up camp in the New Orleans backfield most of the game.
The Saints, who came in averaging 26.4 points per game, were smothered by a highly motivated group that entered the game with a point to prove.
Quinn declined to talk about the Ryan situation after the game, but his grin told a story of satisfaction.
“That whole situation, I don’t really have much to say about it,” he said. “All I can do is make plays — no matter who is calling the plays.”
St. Louis defensive tackle Michael Brockers, a former LSU standout, blocked a 36-yard field goal attempt by Garrett Hartley with 2 seconds left in the half that enabled the Rams to maintain a 24-3 cushion.
Brockers said the Ryan situation was in the past.
“You don’t think about stuff like that,” he noted. “We were looking at (how to stop) their offense the whole time, at least defensively.”
The Rams sacked quarterback Drew Brees four times and forced three turnovers. They held the Saints to just 55 yards on their first nine plays from scrimmage on the way to a two-touchdown lead.
“The guys just played relentless today,” Quinn said. “Right from the start, we were ready.”
New Orleans managed just one field goal through the first three-plus quarters before finding the end zone on a 1-yard dive by Brees with 11:25 left in the game.
By then, the St. Louis defense had put its stamp on the game.
“It was magnificent,” defensive end Chris Long said of the Rams’ defensive effort. “Everything was working in unison. We forced turnovers. We said if we could run the ball and force turnovers, we’d have a pretty good chance.”
New Orleans needed 57 plays from scrimmage before finally finding the end zone.
Brees hit Marques Colston on a 5-yard scoring toss with 3:07 left to finish out the scoring.
St. Louis picked off Brees in each of the Saints first two possessions.
The interceptions led to a pair of touchdown passes by Kellen Clemens.
Rams safety T.J. McDonald got the defensive ball rolling by picking off Brees on the game’s first possession. He stepped in front of an underthrown pass for his first career pick. It led to a 31-yard touchdown pass from Clemens to Cory Harkey. Quinn belted Brees just as he released the ball.
“We were just hungry,” McDonald said. “We wanted to show that we can play.”
St. Louis cornerback Trumaine Johnson ended the Saints’ next possession with an interception at the 7-yard line. Brees, looking for Jimmy Graham, threw into triple coverage.
“We came out with a plan. And for the most part, we executed it,” Quinn said. “This felt good.”