The path to beating New Orleans

When defenses can pressure Drew Brees without blitzing, the Saints' offense struggles. AP Photo/Bill Feig

The New Orleans Saints have scored the most points in the NFL this year, but their offense failed to score until the fourth quarter Sunday against the St. Louis Rams. The Rams exploited a couple of mismatches and dismantled a key element of the Saints' attack, while also exposing a gaping weakness on the New Orleans defense.

The Saints will probably overcome this loss and win the NFC South, but the flaws shown against St. Louis may cost them a trip to Indianapolis in February.

The Rams continually pressured Drew Brees and didn't have to blitz much to do it. St. Louis finished with six sacks and nine other quarterback hits. Defensive ends Chris Long and Robert Quinn and tackle Fred Robbins combined for five sacks and seven hits.

Now New Orleans has to prove that this game was the exception and not the norm.