The Los Angeles Rams efficiently moved the ball down the field on the opening drive before a sack stalled them and led to a field goal. That set the tone for the Rams on Monday night. They struggled to move the ball consistently and failed to finish off the few drives when they did.
It all added up to a 24-9 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in one of the worst offensive performances in six years under coach Sean McVay.
“The story of the night from an offensive perceptive was self-inflicted wounds,” McVay said. “Just above the neck errors where we’re not doing the things that we are capable of and I expect us to be better than that.”
The Rams (2-2) were held to 257 yards (235m) and three field goals, marking the fifth time they failed to score a touchdown in any game under McVay in the regular season or playoffs.
It marked their seventh straight regular-season loss to the Niners (2-2), although they did win the most important matchup in last season’s National Football Conference championship game on the way to a Super Bowl title.
It was a far different result this time. Matthew Stafford was sacked seven times, committed two turnovers, including a back-breaking pick-six and the Rams were held to 3.52 yards per play in the third-worst output of the McVay era.
“It’s execution on our part,” Stafford said. “There were plays where we can execute better. Whether it’s throwing and catching or just assignment wise. A lot to clean up.”
Stafford started off well, completing his first seven passes of the game to get into the red zone before a sack by Samson Ebukam sent the Rams backward for a field goal.
Two more trips to the red zone stalled near the goal line and ended with field goals, and those were the productive drives.
The other seven possessions featured three three-and-outs, two fourth-quarter turnovers, another drive that netted no yards before a punt and a give-up possession to run out the clock at the end of the game.
The Rams managed just 57 yards on the ground and Stafford produced only 254 yards on his 32 completions, with his 7.9 yards per completion, his lowest total since 2018.
“Without a doubt it’s fixable,” said receiver Cooper Kupp, who had 14 catches for 122 yards. “These kind of games hurt. It’s a gut punch to walk off the field and don’t accomplish what you have worked so hard to accomplish.”
Despite the struggles to move the ball, the Rams still had a chance when they moved the ball into Niners territory midway through the fourth quarter trailing 17-9.
McVay called for a screen to Kupp and the Niners read it perfectly. Safety Talanoa Hufanga came off his man and intercepted the pass, racing 52 yards for the game-sealing touchdown.
“They were in man coverage,” McVay said. “It’s not a play you like versus that look. It was like deja vu. Same thing happened with Jimmie Ward last year in that same spot.”
This marked the fourth time in the past six regular-season meetings that the Niners had a pick-six against Los Angeles, with three of the scores coming in the same end zone at Levi’s Stadium.
Fred Warner had one in 2019 and Ward did it last season. Javon Kinlaw had the fourth in Los Angeles in 2020.
BASEBALL LEGEND: Sadaharu Oh, who flew against his doctor’s advice to throw the first pitch at the Taipei Dome, said he had high expectations for baseball in Taiwan Taiwan yesterday defeated South Korea 4-0 in the opening game of the Asian Baseball Championship in front of a crowd of more than 16,000 at the newly opened Taipei Dome. The team was led by a starting pitcher Hsu Ruo-hsi, who in a dominant performance recroded 10 strikeouts and allowed only two hits in seven scoreless innings on the mound. Eighteen-year-old Sun I-lei came to close out the final two innings, ensuring that Taiwan hung on to their four-run lead, after scoring three runs in the third inning and another in the fourth. The eight-day championship is to take place
NIGHT OF FIRSTS: In the first official game at the Tapei Dome on Sunday, not only did Taiwan notch a win over South Korea, they also recorded the stadium’s first hit and RBI The Philippines yesterday dominated Thailand 14-4 at the Taipei Dome in the opening game of Group B on the second day of the Asian Baseball Championship, while Palestine pipped Hong Kong 3-1 in Taichung in Group A. World No. 35 the Philippines put themselves on the board early, racking up two runs in the first inning, followed by two in the third, one each in the fourth and fifth, and three in the sixth. Thailand, ranked 43rd in the world, did not get on the board until the top of the seventh inning, when they tried to stage a comeback, putting up
TROUNCED: Taiwan beat Palestine in six innnings on day three of the Asia Baseball Championship, while it took just five innings for Japan to defeat Thailand Taiwan yesterday beat Palestine 19-0 at the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium on the third day of the Asian Baseball Championship. The Group A game was over in six innings after a 6:03pm start. Taiwan went on the offensive from the first inning, scoring three runs, but the real damage was done in the third inning, when they scored seven. The Palestine players are all studying or working in the US. In another duel between two unevenly matched teams, Japan thrashed Thailand 16-0 in their late Group B game at the Taipei Dome. They won in five innings thanks to the mercy rule, which states
NATIONS LEAGUE: England crushed Scotland 6-0, but their Olympic hopes were ruined when the Netherlands beat them on goal difference with a 4-0 win against Belgium Germany and the Netherlands on Tuesday booked their places at the UEFA Women’s Nations League finals , where they are also to fight for spots at next year’s Paris Games, but there was heartbreak for England whose hopes of competing in the Olympics were dashed, despite beating Scotland 6-0. Germany drew 0-0 in Wales, but secured their passage thanks to Iceland’s 1-0 win over Denmark. The Netherlands needed a 95th-minute goal from Damaris Egurrola to see them to a 4-0 win over Belgium which meant they edged England on goal difference in Group A1 after the FIFA Women’s World Cup runners-up hammered