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Rams

Things you might have missed during the Rams’ 42-14 loss to the Falcons

Here are a few things you might have missed during the Rams’ 42-14 loss to the Falcons on Sunday at the Coliseum.

FIRST QUARTER

The Falcons won the turnover battle early. First, backup returner Mike Thomas had the opening kickoff bounce off his facemask and into Atlanta’s possession to set up an easy three-yard score. Then, the Falcons got another turnover when the ball bounced off another Rams player, this time off Kenny Britt’s hands.

A staple of the Rams’ offense has become punter Johnny Hekker attempting to draw the defense offside by jumping under center, or by taking a snap in shotgun formation and rugby-punting the football.

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SECOND QUARTER

With their top receivers sidelined because of injuries, the Falcons attacked the Rams with screen passes. On a second and goal, back Tevin Coleman scored on a six-yard catch and run.

Jared Goff never saw linebacker Deion Jones on the quarterback’s pick-six. Goff stared down Britt as fellow rookie Jones dropped into coverage before snatching the pass and scoring. The score was a first for Goff, and a second for Jones.

Thomas got lucky after a bad decision, opting to return a kickoff from deep in the end zone. When the teams were called for off-setting penalties the result was a touchback, with the Rams starting at their 25 instead of the 16, where Thomas was knocked out of bounds.

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Tavon Austin had 125 all-purpose yards by halftime. The Rams had 122 yards in the half.

THIRD QUARTER

The defensive breakdown on Taylor Gabriel’s 64-yard touchdown reception was linebacker Alec Ogletree’s fault. He said as much after the game, noting how he got caught up in the Falcons’ play-action and ended out of position.

Safety Maurice Alexander appeared to knock himself unconscious with a hit on Falcons receiver Nick Williams, and was carted off the field. Both Alexander and Williams were later deemed to have suffered concussions.

Fans started to leave with four minutes left in the third quarter, then the rush to get out intensified after Vic Beasley gave Rob Havenstein a shoulder shake. The simple move was all Beasley needed to get the Rams tackle out of position for the triple crown of linebacking: a strip-sack, fumble recovery and touchdown return.

Other fans couldn’t be bothered with the lines to exit and ran onto the field. Three opted for the police escort.

FOURTH QUARTER

Aaron Donald was smiling late in the fourth quarter — seriously. He had picked up a ball knocked out of a receiver’s hands and ran it in for a touchdown — only it wasn’t. The pass was ruled incomplete. 

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matt.wilhalme@latimes.com

Follow Matt Wilhalme on Twitter @mattwilhalme


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