New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was knocked out of Sunday’s game against the Rams in the first quarter with an injury to his right hand, a setback the Saints couldn’t recover from as they lost to their NFC rivals 27-9 at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
Brees hurt his hand in the first quarter when he was hit by Rams star defensive tackle Aaron Donald after throwing a pass. Brees was replaced by veteran Teddy Bridgewater, who finished the game 17 of 30 for 165 yards.
Brees stayed on the sideline with his right thumb taped but never appeared like he was going to re-enter. The NFL’s all-time passing king hasn’t missed a start because of injury since the 2015 season, a close loss to the Carolina Panthers.
The Saints (1-1) also lost left guard Andrus Peat to an ankle injury and starting linebacker A. J. Klein. Once Peat left pass protection became a problem against the strong Rams rush. The Saints were called for several holding penalties and Bridgewater was hit with an intentional grounding penalty. The offense was held under 250 yards and then team was penalized 11 times for 87 yards.
The game turned in the second quarter when the Saints forced Rams quarterback Jared Goff to fumble, which defensive end Cameron Jordan recovered and returned the length of the field for an apparent touchdown. But because the officials called the pass incomplete even when the call was corrected the Saints were not allowed to advance the ball. It was yet another bad officiating call that went against the Saints in this rivalry. The officials missed an obvious pass interference call against the Rams in the NFC championship game last season, costing the Saints a spot in the Super Bowl.
The Rams (2-0) put the game away in the second half with back-to-back touchdown drives, the first ending on a 4-yard Todd Gurley run and the second on a 2-yard scoring pass from Goff to former Saints receiver Brandin Cooks. The final score was set up by a 66-yard pass from Goff to Cooper Kupp, who broke several tackles before being tackled at the 1-yard line. The Rams scored on the next play on a keeper by Goff. Kupp had five catches for 120 yards to lead the Rams.
The Saints scored all of their points on Wil Lutz field goals of 34, 52 and 42 yards.
The loss also overshadowed the pregame news that Coach Sean Payton has agreed to a contract extension that will keep him in New Orleans through the 2024 season.
The Saints headed to Seattle after the game to practice in Washington state all week ahead of next Sunday’s game against the Seahawks (2-0). Following the Seattle game the Saints will host the Dallas Cowboys (2-0) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
(Summary Provided by the New Orleans Saints)