The Los Angeles Rams defeated the Atlanta Falcons 31-27 on Sunday after Matthew Stafford passed for 272 yards and three touchdowns, Jalen Ramsey intercepted a potential game-winning touchdown pass in the end zone, and the Los Angeles Rams fought off the Falcons’ second-half comeback try.
To defeat the Falcons 31-27, Stafford and the Rams prevail.
For the defending Super Bowl champions, who recovered from a discouraging loss to the Buffalo Bills in their season opener, Cooper Kupp scored two touchdown catches.
Atlanta, which has a 0-2 record for the third consecutive season, fell behind 28-3 before attempting a comeback.
With 5:06 left, the Falcons were within 31-25 after Troy Anderson blocked a punt that Lorenzo Carter returned 26 yards for a score. Marcus Mariota then connected with Drake London for the 2-point conversion to get the Falcons within 31-25.
As soon as Darren Hall forced Kupp to fumble and recovered it at the Rams 37, Los Angeles turned the ball over on their subsequent possession. In an attempt to connect with Bryan Edwards on third-and-13 from the Rams’ 24, Mariota was intercepted by Ramsey.
After a three-and-out, returner Brandon Powell left the end zone while in punt position, giving Los Angeles a safety. Atlanta had one last opportunity to get to the Falcons 40 after the free kick, but Mariota was intercepted before he could attempt a Hail Mary on the last play.
Stafford went 27 of 36 for completions after completing his first 12 throws. In the second and third quarters, Kupp scored touchdowns on consecutive possessions while hauling in 11 passes for 108 yards.
With 18 seconds left in the first half, Kupp caught a 3-yard touchdown pass to give the Rams a 21-3 lead. Three plays after Rams rookie cornerback Cobie Durant intercepted a ball fumbled by Cordarrelle Patterson, the Super Bowl MVP scored his first touchdown. Durant returned the interception 51 yards up the right sideline to the Falcons’ nine.
When Kupp made an over-the-shoulder catch on a fade pattern on third-and-4 from Atlanta’s 10, the Rams took the opening kickoff of the second half and increased their lead by another touchdown.
Mariota completed 17 of 26 passes for 196 yards, two touchdowns, and two picks.
Eight catches for 86 yards were made by London, the eighth overall pick who attended Southern California University, including his first score in the third quarter.
Although the Falcons were able to move the ball in the first half, errors ultimately proved fatal. They received the opening kickoff and advanced 49 yards before Younghoe Koo’s 44-yard field goal attempt was wide left. Stafford’s 1-yard touchdown pass to Allen Robinson for Los Angeles would turn it into a score.
Patterson was stopped by Bobby Wagner and Greg Gaines during Atlanta’s subsequent drive, which resulted in a turnover on downs. With eight plays left in the half, the Rams took advantage of the short field to score when Darrell Henderson raced eight yards around the right guard to make it 14-0.
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