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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Matthew Stafford, Rams lose to Titans

INGLEWOOD — Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, dealing with a stiff back in practice, told coaches and writers he wasn’t feeling too bad last week.

He can be now.

Stafford was beaten by the Tennessee Titans on Sunday night. His ego, at least, must have been shattered. The Rams’ quarterback was repeatedly taken down by pass rushers and taken down a peg by interception.

After Stafford’s terrible first half, the Rams were in a hole too deep to get out, and the Titans beat them 28-16 in front of 71,785 fans at Sophie Stadium.

Now both the teams are 7-2.

The bigger the concern, the bigger the damage it might do to Stafford’s health. He landed heavily and was hit when he stumbled as he threw a fourth-unfinished pass to basically end the Rams’ night with 6:39 to play. He slowly got up.

It was a very painful end to the night when the Rams, who had been blocking the sacks this season, allowed five.

Just as they avoided penalties but committed 12, including rough-the-passer flags, which helped the Titans with three minutes on the clock to a clinching touchdown by Adrian Peterson.

Starting the game with four straight wins, the Rams were facing an opponent with a better than 500 record for the first time since a 37–20 loss to the NFC West-leading Cardinals.

Anticipation for the prime-time game was dulled when the Titans lost NFL running leader Derrick Henry to foot surgery last week and the Rams declared newly acquired linebacker Von Miller inactive because he suffered an ankle injury. had recovered from the injury.

Initially, the Rams’ defense was handling 36-year-old Peterson Henry’s replacement.

But Ram’s crime was different from the beginning. The line allowed Stafford to be sacked twice on the inaugural campaign. And then things got worse, interrupted only by a 34-yard field goal by Matt Gay that gave the Rams the only lead of the night.

After starting the first drive of the second quarter on his 4th, Stafford faced a third of 10 and a 6. About to be dismissed in the end zone, he tries to throw the ball away but throws it straight to David Long. The Rams have a cornerback named David Long, but it was Titans linebacker David Long.

Long returned the interception to 2. One play later, Ryan Tanhill passed lone Geoff Swim to the left of the end zone, and the Titans led 7–3.

The Rams love the way Stafford usually powers the ship after some or the other moment. not this time.

Stafford’s next pass, intended for receiver Robert Woods on the right sideline, was cut by safety Kevin Byrd and returned 24 yards in 11 seconds for the Titans’ second touchdown. It was 14-3.

The third was the worst of the Titans’ four sacks in the first half. Defensive tackle Jeffrey Simmons bull-rushed Rams left guard David Edwards off-balance and buried Stafford on third and 5 for a 10-yard loss.

Tennessee punts on his 36 and went on a 14-play drive, helped by a 15-yard facemask penalty on Rams cornerback Don’t Dayon, in a 1-yard bootleg for a touchdown by Tanhill. At 21-3, it was the Rams’ biggest first-half deficit of the season.

Stafford would have a moment of fist-pumping joy, but it was short-lived. Tyler Higby was taken off the board in what seemed like a touchdown pass when replays showed Higby exiting the back of the end zone before the catch. Matt Gay scored a small field goal, not much consolation.

Gay covered 54-yards in the first game of the fourth quarter, when Rams coach Sean McVay pulled the offense off the ground in the Titans’ 36th and 12th, and the Titans’ lead increased to 12.

Stafford is tied for sixth all-time with 33 fourth-quarter comebacks to his credit, partly a result of coming from behind so many times in 12 years as quarterback for the Detroit Lions, but largely the result of his calm under pressure. is a testament.

But in the fourth quarter, Stafford could not beat Stafford in the first half.

World Nation News Desk
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