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Rams will have to handle Saints' pressure defense

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ST. LOUIS (AP)

Rams running back Steven Jackson blinked when he saw the New Orleans Saints scored 62 points last week.

The Saints (5-2) rolled to a 62-7 victory over the Indianapolis Colts, while the Rams (0-6) have 56 points all season.

''Well, what can you say?'' Jackson said Thursday. ''It sucks for the other team and great for them. Having one of those deals, you just hope not to be the other team.

''We have our hands full. Once again, we have another tough challenge but just because it's New Orleans this week and we have another team next week, doesn't mean the task after this is any lighter. Getting a win is getting a win. We'd like to do it sooner than later.''

After the Rams went 7-9 last year, the enthusiasm was high for St. Louis this season. But the Rams have lost every game this season. Only one game was close, a 17-10 loss to Washington. Otherwise, the Rams have been blown out.

''At the end of the day, we're all blessed to play football,'' Jackson said. ''Ideally, it's not what you want in the wins and losses. I'd rather not be doing anything else.''

Getting that first win against the Saints won't be easy. New Orleans is 27-17 on the road since 2006. The Saints won on their last visit in 2009 to St. Louis.

The Saints' defense ranks 14th in the NFL, 17th in points allowed and 15th in rushing defense.

''New Orleans brings pressure,'' Jackson said. ''That's what they do. In the running game, they have a very, very solid defensive line to make it a tough day for runners. We have to execute. That's the biggest thing we need to do.''

The Rams haven't executed much well this season.

''The thing about this league and I'm pretty sure about a lot of different professional leagues, you have to have a short memory,'' Jackson said. ''If things are going good or going bad, you have to really prepare for your next opponent. They're not going to take it lightly on you because you're short and have injuries. Every team is looking to win that one trophy.''

With New Orleans' potent offense, the Rams want to keep the Saints' defense on the field as much as possible. The running game will be a key to ball control for the Rams.

''We just got to find a way to start faster, start quicker and get some points on the board,'' said Josh McDaniels, the Rams' offensive coordinator. ''We've got to put ourselves in a situation where our team has the lead. That's really where our focus is going to be. We want to start both halves with positive possessions.''

In a 34-7 loss last week at Dallas, Jackson had two big carries - a 40-yard burst followed by a 6-yard scoring run for the Rams' first rushing touchdown since his first carry of the year. However, he gained only 24 yards on his other 16 attempts against the Cowboys.

Dallas used numerous ''run blitzes'' to contain the Rams' running game, Jackson said.

''You know, Dallas didn't show that on film,'' Jackson said. ''That was something they did just against our game plan. That's what they wanted to do against us. New Orleans, they blitz more so to put pressure on the quarterback. When you try to get the ball out of your hand due to a blitz, it can cause turnovers and that's what they thrive on.

''They want you uncomfortable in your rhythm as an offense and force the quarterback to make mistakes.''

McDaniels agreed.

''This defense is a good defense. It's an aggressive style,'' McDaniels said. ''They play each opponent a little differently. One thing you know is they're going to blitz you. We'll have to do a great job of handling pressure. You won't beat them and you won't score a lot of points on offense if you don't handle blitz. Our guys have been focused on that.''

Tagged: Rams, Saints, Steven Jackson

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