Who would have thought last summer that the Week 14 game between these two would have playoff implications for both teams? The 6--6 Rams have held eight of 12 foes to 18 points or fewer this year, but New Orleans (9--3) is likely to have its full backfield in place for the first time since Week 2, with Pierre Thomas (ankle) returning after nine weeks to join Reggie Bush, who came back from a broken leg three weeks ago. Quarterback Drew Brees is going to need them as well as blazing wideout Robert Meachem. Speed helped the Falcons and the Broncos hang a collective 67 points on St. Louis in November, so look for Meachem to stretch the Rams' secondary deep and for Bush to stretch the linebackers wide.
Saints 27, Rams 17
PETER READ MILLER (BUSH)