Rams Lose A Close One Again
October 20, 2016
The Los Angeles Rams' offense came to life in Detroit this past Sunday with quarterback Case Keenum having his best game of the season. Unfortunately for the Rams the defense faltered late as the Lions' Matt Prater kicked the winning field goal with 1:29 remaining in the game to win 31-28.
For the second consecutive game the Los Angeles defense failed to stop the eventual game-winning drive in the fourth quarter after having won the previous three games in the same manner. The Rams had leads of 14-7 in the second quarter and 28-21 at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
The Rams had one last chance but Keenum was intercepted by Detroit safety Rafael Bush on a pass intended for tight end Lance Kendricks.
The Rams are now back to 3-3 for the season and tied for second in the NFC West with the Arizona Cardinals and 1 1/2 games behind the division leading Seattle Seahawks.
"Case was feeling good today. He was throwing good, slowed down for him. Made some big time throws and guys caught the football as well. I was pleased with the way Case played, still we didn't win the football game," said Rams' Head Coach Jeff Fisher.
"Line played good... I got to look at the tape but we protected well. He got harassed a little bit... but for the most part he had time to step up in the pocket and throw the ball down the field."
It was the Rams' inability to stop Detroit on two fourth-down plays that gave the Lions leverage resulting in two first half touchdowns. The first occurred during the Lions' first drive of the game at midfield. The latter, the Lions scored from the two-yard line three minutes before halftime.
Adding insult to injury Los Angeles went for a fourth-and-goal at the Detroit one-yard line instead of attempting the short field goal that would have given them the halftime lead.
Todd Gurley was thrown for a one-yard loss as the Rams tried to punch the ball up the middle.
Keenum was an impressive 27/32 for 321 yards and three touchdowns thrown and one touchdown rushing. He also set a Rams record by completing 20 straight passes. Ram wide receiver Kenny Britt caught seven passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns, breaking multiple hits and gyrating his way into the end zone for his second score which tied the game at 21-21.
"We did some good things offensively. Unfortunately it was a couple of plays too short. I know it sounds like a broken record from last week but we had the ball in our hands with a chance to go win the game and we didn't. And that's frustrating," said Keenum.
""He's (Britt) a great target, and he plays hard and he wants the ball... The one play, I guess it may have been his second touchdown, a little short quick pass where he broke about six tackles. I really honestly couldn't believe he scored. That was very, very impressive."
Gurley lead L.A. in rushing with 58 yards gained on 14 carries and had four receptions for 39 yards. Brian Quick had five receptions for 61 yards; Kendricks: five receptions for 34 yards and one touchdown; Tavon Austin: three receptions for 24 yards.
The Rams are preparing to host the New York Giants this Sunday, October 23, at Twickenham Stadium, just outside London. The 3-3 Giants are coming into the game having beat the Baltimore Ravens 27-23 last Sunday led by New York quarterback Eli Manning and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
It will be the Rams' first international contest since 2012 when they hosted and got crushed by the New England Patriots at Wembley Stadium in London, 45-7. Los Angeles will be trying to avoid a repeat of that game in several ways. Coincidentally, the loss was also in Week seven that gave them a 3-4 record at that point of that season.
The tale of the tape between the Rams and Giants respectively through six games of the 2016 NFL season: Offensively - points per game: LA – 18.3 to NY - 19.3; total offense: 301.3 to 364.2; rush offense: 80.8 to 76.0; pass offense: 236.2 to 298.0; time of possession: 29:14 to 26:07.
Defensively – opponent points per game: LA – 22.8 to NY – 21.8; total defense: 361.8 to 376.7; rush defense: 115.7 to 96.8; pass defense: 246.2 to 266.8; sacks made/yards: 10/71 to 6/44; interceptions by/yards: 4/8 to 2/26.
The Los Angeles kicking game has been nothing less than stellar this season and should to be a key factor against New York. Greg Zuerlein is one of five kickers in the NFL to make all of his field goal attempts through six games this season by converting nine with a 54-yard field goal being his longest. He has also converted all 11 extra point attempts.
Johnny Hekker is making a case for being the league's top punter: 31 punts for 1,404 yards for a 45.3 average with an impressive net average of 43.3. He has yet to allow a touchback and leads the NFL in punts downed inside the opponent's 20-yard line with 16. His streak of 33 punts without a touchback is the longest current streak in the NFL.
The Rams hope to get back on the winning track without losing ground to the Seahawks in the NFC West after starting the season at 3-1. They currently have the best record in division matchups. The game at Twickenham Stadium this Sunday will be seen locally at 6:30 a.m. on the NFL Network.