The New Orleans Saints Are In The Title Hunt Despite Sunday's Loss To The Rams

The St. Louis defense did the job for 3 quarters against the New Orleans Saints offense Sunday using a defensive scheme that kept New Orleans quarterback Aaron Brooks at bay posting a 26-21 win in the Superdome.

If there was one good sign for Saturday's rematch.. it was the play of the Saints offense in the fourth quarter... bagging 2 touchdowns. Coach Jim Haslett's Saints have come too far to watch dreams of a first ever playoff victory go up in flames.

Saints Center Jerry Fortenot says, "We have earned a spot in the playoffs and that was our goal in the beginning of the season. We knew we would have to get help in order to be the second seed and it doesn't matter where we are. The primary focus is that we're in the playoffs and we've got a shot."

That shot depends on the play of the New Orleans defense, one that was unable to get a solid grip on Rams running back Marshall Faulk. He was a one man wrecking crew on Sunday.

Saints defensive back Sammy Knight says despite Sunday's setback, New Orleans should have the advantage on Saturday, "I think we are because we're at home and we have a few more days to look at the film and prepare against them. They came out and made some big plays on offense on crucial downs to keep the ball moving so we have to come out and really dominate."

The odds makers think otherwise... tabbing St. Louis a 6-point favorite. As far as the home field advantage, that may not be the case. The Saints have posted only 3 wins and 5 losses in the Superdome this season, while racking up an impressive 7 and 1 road record.

The Saints hit the practice field Tuesday, just doing the little things in preparation for the Rams.

Meanwhile, St. Louis coach Mike Martz gave his players their second straight day off. Martz thinks he can still surprise the Saints. He anticipates that the game plan for Saturday's NFC Wildcard playoff game will be about two-third new from the one the defending Super Bowl champions used in their 26-21 win on Sunday.

By A.J. Giardina