Stafford, Rams hold off Falcons for 31-27 victory

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Jalen Ramsey was calm and picked up, even within the maelstrom of the fourth quarter that noticed the Atlanta Falcons placing collectively a late rally in opposition to the Los Angeles Rams.

Whereas many of the 71,802 inside SoFi Stadium had been dreading the worst Sunday, the All-Professional cornerback knew he was going to be a deciding issue within the ultimate minutes.

With the Falcons driving for a possible go-ahead landing, Ramsey picked off Marcus Mariota’s cross meant for Bryan Edwards ultimately zone, permitting the Rams to carry on for a 31-27 victory.

“I instructed my teammates it was gonna come again to me and it did,” Ramsey mentioned. “I simply continued to focus and do my job. That was going by means of my thoughts as a result of up to now we pressed to make these performs. And once you do this, it would not find yourself properly for you.”

The defending Tremendous Bowl champions led your complete sport. However they almost blew a 28-3 third-quarter lead that might have given the younger Falcons an unlikely comeback of their very own from that notorious rating — Atlanta’s lead within the 2017 Tremendous Bowl earlier than New England rallied to win — to rejoice.

Mariota had second-half landing passes to Drake London and Olamide Zaccheaus to deliver the Falcons inside 31-17. Particular groups and protection then got here by means of to provide the veteran quarterback a ultimate likelihood.

Troy Anderson blocked a punt that Lorenzo Carter returned 26 yards for a landing, and a 2-point conversion cross from Mariota to London introduced the Falcons inside 31-25 with 5:06 remaining. It was their first blocked punt TD since 1990.

Los Angeles turned it over on their ensuing drive when Darren Corridor compelled Kupp to fumble and recovered it on the Rams 37. Mariota obtained the Falcons to the Rams 24 earlier than throwing the fateful interception.

“That’s on me, I’ve obtained to do a greater job of speaking that throughout the board,” mentioned Mariota, who was 17 of 26 for 196 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. “I believe, sort of all through the sport I may have carried out a greater job operationally and simply speaking with the blokes so that everyone’s on the identical web page.”

Los Angeles took a security when returner Brandon Powell ran out of the top zone on punt formation after a three-and-out. After the free kick, Atlanta took over on the Falcons 40, however Mariota was sacked earlier than he may get a Hail Mary try off on the ultimate play to make sure Atlanta’s fourth straight 0-2 begin.

“There’s a whole lot of totally different, very uncharacteristic issues, however they occurred. And we nonetheless discovered a manner,” Rams coach Sean McVay mentioned. “We’re not going to run away from among the issues that we didn’t do properly at present. However we’re additionally going to permit ourselves to understand with the ability to come away with a win.”

Matthew Stafford threw for 272 yards and three touchdowns and Cooper Kupp had two TD catches for the Rams, who bounced again from a disappointing defeat in opposition to the Buffalo Payments of their season opener.

Stafford accomplished his first 12 passes en path to going 27 of 36. Kupp had 11 catches for 108 yards and touchdowns on consecutive drives within the second and third quarters.

Kupp made an over-the-shoulder catch on a fade sample on second-and-3 from Atlanta’s 3 late within the first half to provide the Rams a 21-3 lead. The Tremendous Bowl MVP’s first rating got here three performs after Rams rookie cornerback Cobie Durant picked off a cross bobbled by Cordarrelle Patterson and returned it 51 yards up the proper sideline to the Falcons 9.

The Rams then took the second half kickoff and prolonged their lead by one other landing when Kupp caught a fast cross and juked security Jaylinn Hawkins for a 10-yard TD.

The Falcons had been capable of transfer the ball within the first half, however had been carried out in by errors. The Rams scored their 21 factors after a missed area aim by Younghoe Koo, turnover on downs close to midfield and Mariota’s first interception.

“Clearly it wasn’t excellent and we have to break by means of, however one factor about our guys, it doesn’t matter what has occurred, we now have an opportunity till the final play to win it,” Falcons coach Arthur Smith mentioned. “Clearly we didn’t make sufficient performs, however the sport enjoying gave us sufficient and the blokes stored grinding out.”


Allen Robinson had 4 catches for 53 yards after being held to at least one reception within the opener. Robinson hauled in a 1-yard cross from Stafford on the Rams’ first drive. Tyler Higbee additionally had an enormous sport with seven catches for 71 yards.

Kupp did not have his first reception till the second quarter.

“These guys had been some primaries early on within the sport they usually did an incredible job, after which Cooper obtained his alternatives and made nice performs as he at all times does,” Stafford mentioned.


London, the No. 8 total choose who went to school at Southern California, had eight catches for 86 yards, together with his first landing in the course of the third quarter — a 4-yard catch from Mariota to deliver Atlanta inside 28-10.


Falcons: CB A.J. Terrell was evaluated for a head harm within the first half and was cleared to return.

Rams: RG Tremayne Anchrum suffered an ankle harm on the opening sequence and didn’t return. … CB Troy Hill (questionable) was additionally injured within the first half.


Falcons: Journey to face the Seattle Seahawks subsequent Sunday.

Rams: Journey to tackle the Arizona Cardinals subsequent Sunday.


Extra AP NFL: and

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