Drew Brees tossed a pair of touchdown passes to Marques Colston and another to Lance Moore as the New Orleans Saints secured their sixth consecutive victory with a 31-13 triumph over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.
Malcolm Jenkins returned the first of his two interceptions for a 96-yard touchdown just before halftime to help New Orleans (10-3) remain hot on the heels of NFC South-leading Atlanta. The Falcons (11-2) cruised to a convincing 31-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers earlier in the day.
Brees completed 25 of 40 passes for 221 yards. The Saints' all-time leading passer found Colston for scores of 5 and 17 yards in the first quarter and Moore on a 31-yard strike in the third.
Undrafted rookie Chris Ivory rushed seven times for 47 yards before leaving the game in the second quarter with a hamstring injury. Pierre Thomas, who was active for the first time in nine games with a sprained ankle, carried the ball 12 times for 39 yards.
Top overall pick Sam Bradford rushed for a 1-yard score, but completed just 18 of 32 passes for 231 yards as St. Louis (6-7) saw its modest two-game winning streak come to an end.
The Rams remained tied with Seattle (6-7) atop the NFC West after the Seahawks dropped a 40-21 decision to division rival San Francisco.
Steven Jackson carried the ball 16 times for 96 yards on Sunday to secure his sixth consecutive 1,000-yard rushing campaign.