Sports

Rams eliminate luster but not game, blowing huge lead before holding on to defeat Falcons

The Rams waited 10 days to react, a seeming eternity for a defending Tremendous Bowl champion ashamed in its season opener.

Coach Sean McVay and his players ended up keen to show that symptoms of a Super Bowl hangover were vastly overstated. They looked forward to demonstrating they could punch back again.

And as it turned out Sunday, they also required to survive practically blowing a 21-stage, fourth-quarter lead against the Atlanta Falcons.

All-Professional security Jalen Ramsey all but ensured the gain with a late interception in the conclusion zone, and the Rams arrived out on prime of a wild finish for a 31-27 victory at SoFi Stadium.

“Holy hell,” McVay stated. “I need a pair drinks.”

McVay almost certainly was not the only one.

It was past February when an inebriated team of Rams players and coaches stood on a stage after a Tremendous Bowl parade and proclaimed their motivation to “run it back” and become the first workforce in virtually two decades to repeat as Super Bowl winner.

But an embarrassing 31-10 defeat to the Buffalo Expenses at SoFi Stadium place McVay and his gamers on the defensive.

“Until you get punched in the face,” McVay claimed past week. “You seriously uncover out about people. And that is what I enjoy is the chance to reply.”

On Sunday, the Rams originally came out and looked like a Tremendous Bowl contender. A diversified offense that provided receiver Ben Skowronek lined up in the backfield and receiver Allen Robinson acquiring targets moved the ball and scored points. The defense came up with significant performs and shut down the Falcons.

Then it all started off to unravel.

Falcons cornerback Casey Hayward intercepts a move in the finish zone supposed for Rams restricted conclude Tyler Higbee in the initial half.

(Allen J. Schaben / VFAB)

“That was unquestionably an exciting one particular at the finish,” said quarterback Matthew Stafford, who handed for three touchdowns, with two interceptions. “Probably not the craziest I’ve been a part of but, you know, it happens.

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“This is NFL soccer. It is hard to gain.”

And occasionally it won’t be rather.

“It’s an unattractive gain, but it’s a acquire,” basic safety Nick Scott claimed, incorporating, “It was on screen, who we are and who we can be.

“We just obtained to be equipped to maintain that on protection, offense and specific teams. Just obtained to do it the whole recreation.”

The Rams manufactured it look easy as a result of a few-additionally quarters.

Stafford tossed two touchdown passes to Cooper Kupp and one to Robinson, the high-profile offseason addition who experienced been all but invisible in the opener. Managing back again Darrell Henderson ran difficult for a touchdown.

Rookie cornerback Cobie Durant intercepted a move and returned it 51 yards to set up a touchdown. And the defense constrained the Falcons to a discipline intention as the Rams built a 28-3 direct.

But immediately after the Rams took 31-10 guide early in the fourth quarter, the faults commenced.

The Falcons returned a blocked punt for a touchdown to pull to within 31-25. Kupp’s fumble following a reception gave Falcons the ball at the Rams’ 37-garden line.

With beneath 90 seconds left, quarterback Marcus Mariota threw a go toward receiver Bryan Edwards in the conclude zone but Ramsey leaped, caught the ball and returned it 23 yards.

“He permit it float up there for his receiver,” said Ramsey, who rebounded from an admittedly subpar recreation from the Bills, “and when I get an chance like that, I experience like I can go up there and get it as well.”

The Rams' Jalen Ramsey intercepts a pass in the end zone behind Falcons' receiver Bryan Edwards in the fourth quarter.

Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey intercepts a move in the end zone guiding Falcons receiver Bryan Edwards late in the fourth quarter.

(Wally Skalij / VFAB)

The Rams ran three plays prior to receiver Brandon Powell took a snap and ran backward to just take a security and operate time off the clock. Justin Hollins sacked Mariota in advance of he could throw a desperation go from midfield to stop the video game.

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McVay stated the Rams have “many items to clear up.”

Irrespective of the victory, his staff will have to be more poised and resilient, he claimed.

“Very uncharacteristic, but it transpired and we however located a way,” McVay reported. “And except if they explain to me you get additional factors for being capable to earn by additional factors, I really don’t really treatment.

“We observed a way to get it performed.”

His gamers agreed.

“Obviously, which is not accurately how we would like to finish game,” Ramsey mentioned, “But for us to not enjoy our finest, particularly down the stretch, and nonetheless arrive out with a get, that’s something that we can be glad and be happy about.”

Just after splitting two games at household, the Rams now embark on consecutive trips to engage in the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers in NFC West games.

Their purpose is to return to the Super Bowl and do what no staff has finished considering that the 2004 New England Patriots repeated as champion.

Linebacker Bobby Wagner performed 10 seasons and received a Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks just before he signed with the Rams last March.

How the Rams won the sport Sunday does not make a difference, he said.

“At the conclude of the season, when all is claimed and done, you won’t recall that,” he said. “You will not try to remember the ugly or really.

“You’ll keep in mind a gain.”

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