After outdueling one future Hall of Fame quarterback, Jared Goff aimed to do it two games in a row.
Goff helped the Rams overcome a 21-point deficit Sunday, but he could not outlast Drew Brees or the New Orleans Saints in the Rams’ 45-35 defeat at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Goff, fresh from a Week 8 victory over the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers, completed 28 of 40 passes for 391 yards and three touchdowns, with an interception, against the Saints.
But Brees was 25 of 36 for 346 yards and four touchdowns, including a 72-yard strike to receiver Michael Thomas that sealed the victory.
“We did show the ability to fight back,” Goff said, adding, “We really made it a tight game at one point, and we were right there in it. Just came up a few plays short.”
Late in the second quarter, Saints linebacker Alex Anzalone intercepted a Goff pass, setting up a touchdown that put the Rams behind 35-14, their biggest deficit of the season.
It was Goff’s sixth interception of the season; he threw seven all of last year.
“He made a good play, and I didn’t throw a great ball,” Goff said.
Said Anzalone: “It was a normal cross route. It’s a play that a lot of teams hit, but I was able to read the quarterback’s eyes, break on the ball and make a play.”
Rams running back Todd Gurley entered the game averaging a league-leading 100 rushing yards per game. The Saints, who boast the league’s top run defense, limited him to 68 in 13 carries, and only 11 yards on six receptions.
“They have a high-powered offense — we are trying to stop Todd Gurley,” Saints end Cameron Jordan said. “I don’t know what he ended up with but it seems like we did a pretty good job in the run defense part.”
Receiver Cooper Kupp had an eventful day as he returned from a two-game absence because of a knee injury.
Kupp was an honorary captain for the coin toss, which featured his grandfather Jake Kupp, a former offensive lineman for the Saints.
Cooper then caught five passes for 89 yards, including a 41-yard touchdown that tied the score, 35-35, in the fourth quarter.
“He did a great job,” Goff said. “Just getting him back. I am so comfortable with him and everything he does.”
Receiver Brandin Cooks, who began his career with the Saints, caught six passes for 114 yards. A 48-yard reception in the first quarter set up his four-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter.
Robert Woods caught five passes for 71 yards.
Edge rusher Dante Fowler, acquired in a trade-deadline deal with Jacksonville, made a tackle for a loss and defended a pass in his Rams debut.
“Felt like I fit in perfectly,” said Fowler, the third player chosen in the 2015 draft. “Coming off the bench, sometimes it takes some time for you to get rolling.
“Against [Saints tackle Terron Armstead] I felt like I got him in some really good one-on-ones.”
Coach Sean McVay and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips had said Fowler would not be used exclusively on third downs. Fowler entered the game on the third play after Saints running back Alvin Kamara ran 12 yards for a first down.