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Rams fall to Giants in London, 17-10, their third loss in a row

Rams fall to Giants in London, 17-10, their third loss in a row
Rams quarterback Case Keenum cocks his arm to pass against the New York Giants at Twickenham Stadium in London. He was intercepted four times. (Tim Ireland / Associated Press)

It was a long trip here. With another loss on their record as a souvenir, it promised to be an even longer trip back.

There's certainly no longer a question about these Rams.

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An early three-game winning streak conjured possibilities of a potential playoff run. A current three-game losing streak leaves them resembling Rams teams of recent seasons.

As they enter a bye week, the Rams look pretty much like a below-average team headed for another 7-9 finish.

Sunday's 17-10 defeat by the New York Giants before an enthusiastic international crowd at Twickenham Stadium once again illustrated problems that have plagued the Rams during a slide that leaves them at 3-4.

"Every week it's a different story," said Coach Jeff Fisher.

This one had a familiar theme – Rams have opportunity to tie or win the game in the end, Rams fail to convert those opportunities – but featured a slightly different scenario.

The Giants intercepted four passes, turning two into touchdowns, in a defeat that will renew calls for the Rams brain trust to pull the plug on quarterback Case Keenum and install top draft pick Jared Goff as the starter.

Giants safety Landon Collins returned one of his two interceptions for a touchdown and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie ended two threats with interceptions in the end zone late in the fourth quarter as the Giants improved to 4-3.

Keenum was not entirely at fault – Collins' touchdown return came after the ball bounced off receiver Tavon Austin's hands and receiver Brian Quick apparently ran the wrong route on the final interception – but he did not resemble the record-setting passer of the previous week.

"I take full responsibility," Keenum said. "You can't turn the ball over in this league …. I've got to do better."

The Rams headed home to Los Angeles on Sunday night with few good memories from a 10-day trip that also included a loss at Detroit. They won't play again until Nov. 6 against the Carolina Panthers at the L.A. Coliseum, which seems like a natural time for Goff's debut.

Fisher and his players said Keenum was not the problem.

Rather, they said, it is the Rams' inability to play well on offense and defense in the same game.

"We were able to squeeze out three wins, so we were doing something right there," veteran defensive end Robert Quinn said, "But these last three weeks, we've definitely been taking our turns pointing the finger.

"Guys on both sides of the ball need to figure it out and start playing consistently."

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After two weeks of taking the blame, the defense stepped up against the Giants and allowed only one touchdown.

But the offense reverted to early-season form and once again failed to come through down the stretch.

"We can't be waiting for the defense to save us, and the defense can't wait for us to save them," offensive lineman Rodger Saffold said. "We're leaving too many games up to chance at the end."

So the Rams will use the next week to try to figure out how to regain their swagger.

"Everybody needs to ask, whether you're a player or coach, are you helping of are you hurting the team?" said running back Todd Gurley, who rushed for 57 yards.

Keenum and other players said the Rams would not be idle this week.

"It comes at a great time," cornerback Lamarcus Joyner said of the bye. "We get to do some soul searching."

Said veteran tight end Cory Harkey: "We've just to figure out a way to finish."

The Rams are having no problems starting fast.

They took a first-quarter lead on a Keenum touchdown pass to Austin and a field goal. But the Giants tied the score on with a field goal and Collins' first interception, which he returned for a touchdown.

The Giants scored early in the fourth quarter on Rashad Jennings' short touchdown run for a 17-10 lead with 9:23 left.

Rodgers-Cromartie ended one threat with his first end zone interception. But the Rams got a final chance when they got the ball back with three minutes left.

Keenum drove them from the Rams' 25 to the Giants' 15 with two clutch passes to Quick before lofting a pass to the left corner of the end zone. No receiver was near and it was intercepted by Rodgers-Cromartie.

"It was a miscommunication," Quick said.

The Rams will spend the two weeks leading up to their next game trying to get on the same wavelength for the final nine games.

"Hopefully, guys realize these nine weeks are going to fly by," Quinn said. "We don't want to be at the end of December counting our missed wins.

"Hopefully, we get it together."

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