SAINTS 28

RAMS 25 The New Orleans Saints have never been intimidated by the St. Louis Rams' home-field advantage.

Aaron Stecker, filling in for injured running back Deuce McAllister, had his first career 100-yard day, Aaron Brooks calmly directed the winning drive and John Carney kicked five field goals in a victory Sunday that ended the Rams' 15-game regular season winning streak at home. The Saints beat the Rams in St. Louis in 2000 and '01, when both teams were in the NFC West.

In this game, New Orleans (2-1) somehow forced overtime after the Rams (1-2) took the lead on Marc Bulger's 19-yard scramble with 28 seconds to go. Then they stuffed the Rams' once high-powered offense in overtime and drove deep into St. Louis territory to set up Carney's clinching 31-yarder with 7 minutes 59 seconds left in overtime.

The Rams won the toss in overtime, and they converted a somewhat ill-advised fourth-and-one play from their 41 to keep the drive alive. But they promptly lost momentum, punting on the next series of downs, and never got the ball back.

The Rams, who won the NFC West last year, are 1-2 for the second straight season and have yet to force a turnover. Last year, they lost two of the first three on the road before recovering to go 12-4.

Brooks was 24 for 41 for 316 yards and a touchdown. More important, he was 3 for 4 for 42 yards on the winning drive, and his 12-yard bootleg run to the St. Louis 13 set up Carney's field goal on the next play.

He also was cool and calm in the tying drive, accomplished with only 24 seconds to go. Jeff Wilkins' line-drive squib kick gave New Orleans possession at its 42, a big break, and four plays later Carney connected from 38 yards to tie the score.

Isaac Bruce caught eight passes for 134 yards, his third straight 100-yard day, for the Rams. Bulger was 32 for 49 for 358 yards but was sacked four times, three times by Charles Grant.

The Rams never got the running game going, with 78 yards on only 15 carries. Marshall Faulk had 44 yards on 12 carries.

John Carney's 31-yard field goal clears outstretched arms of Pisa Tinoisamoa and Leonard Little, then splits the uprights to win the game in overtime.