Champion Rams are super disappointing in lopsided loss to Cowboys
It still might not officially qualify as a Super Bowl hangover.
But the Rams are woozy. Punchless. They are teetering on a fall, if not perhaps a complete collapse.
A team that proclaimed its intention to “run it back” and become the first team in nearly two decades to repeat as Super Bowl champion appears to be running on empty.
And coach Sean McVay and his staff are dealing with major headaches after the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Rams 22-10 on Sunday at SoFi Stadium.
A crowd of 74,154 heavy on Cowboys faithful watched the Rams lose their second game in a row and fall to 2-3.
Matthew Stafford sacked five times in Rams’ 22-10 loss to Cowboys
🏈 FINAL — Cowboys 22, Rams 10
Continuing issues on offense are threatening to derail the Rams’ season and decimate their reputation as one of the NFL’s most potent scoring attacks.
Matthew Stafford and the Rams once again struggled to find rhythm on offense, being shut out in the second half of a humbling loss to the Dallas Cowboys at SoFi Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Stafford, who took a couple big hits in the fourth quarter that left him grimacing, was picked off by Cowboys safety Malik Hooker with just under four minutes left in regulation.
On the Rams’ final possession, the game ended like it had started — with Stafford giving up the ball on a strip sack. Cowboys linebacker Micah Parson strip sacked Stafford and defensive end Sam Williams recovered the ball.
After enduring six sacks in last week’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Stafford was sacked five times by the Cowboys.
Dallas asserted its dominance on defense early, with defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence scoring on a fumble return off a strip sack on the Rams’ first possession. While a 75-yard touchdown catch by Cooper Kupp in the second quarter allowed the Rams to take the lead, they quickly lost it when Tony Pollard scored on a 57-yard touchdown run minutes later.
Stafford completed 28 of 42 passes for 308 yards, with a touchdown, an interception and two lost fumbles. Kupp made seven catches for 125 yards and a TD.
Cowboys quarterback Cooper Rush completed 10 of 16 passes for 102 yards. Tony Pollard rushed for 86 yards and a TD, with Ezekiel Elliott adding 78 yards on the ground.
Cowboys kick another field goal to extend their lead
Cowboys 22, Rams 10 —5:32 left in fourth quarter
Brett Maher kicked a 36-yard field goal, putting the pressure on the Rams.
The Cowboys used 5 minutes and 37 seconds during a nine-play drive.
The Rams’ offense has been ineffective, especially in the second half. Their one scoring opportunity ended with a missed field-goal attempt by Matt Gay.
It was Gay’s first miss this season.
Cowboys open second half with a field goal to extend their lead
🏈 Cowboys 19, Rams 10 — 8:11 left in the third quarter
The Cowboys opened the second half by driving 53 yards in 13 plays and scoring on Brett Maher’s 40-yard field goal.
The Rams appeared ready to stop the drive when Cooper Rush passed down the right sideline to receiver Michael Gallup, who caught the ball and kept his feet inbounds for a 26-yard reception.
The Cowboys’ drive stalled at the 22-yard line, where Rams linebacker Bobby Wagner nearly intercepted a third-down pass.
Rams safety Jalen Ramsey recorded a sack during the drive.
Matthew Stafford and Rams trail Cowboys 16-10 at halftime
🏈 Cowboys 16, Rams 10 — Halftime
Matthew Stafford will get an opportunity to engineer a possible second-half comeback.
The Cowboys scored touchdowns on a fumble return by defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and a long run by Tony Pollard to take the lead.
The Rams scored on Cooper Kupp’s catch-and-run for a 75-yard touchdown.
Stafford has completed 13 of 24 passes for 199 yards and a touchdown. He also lost the fumble that was returned for a touchdown.
Kupp has three catches for 84 yards.
Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald has two sacks.
Cowboys quarterback Cooper Rush has completed five of eight passes for 49 yards.
Cowboys retake lead on Tony Pollard’s 57-yard TD run
🏈 Cowboys 16, Rams 10 — 7:59 left in the second quarter
The Rams’ lead did not last long.
Cowboys running back Tony Pollard took a handoff and broke off a 57-yard touchdown run.
The Rams missed several tackles during Pollard’s jaunt to the end zone. It was reminiscent of last Monday, when San Francisco 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel shed Rams would-be tacklers en route to a long catch-and-run touchdown.
Cooper Kupp turns one-handed catch into 75-yard touchdown
🏈 Rams 10, Cowboys 9 — 9:31 left in the second quarter
Cooper Kupp showed his speed, and the Rams took the lead.
Kupp caught a short pass from Matthew Stafford, and then turned upfield and sprinted to a 75-yard touchdown.
Kupp has three catches for 84 yards. Stafford has completed eight of 13 passes for 169 yards.
Tutu Atwell makes 54-yard catch, sets up Rams field goal
🏈 Cowboys 9, Rams 3 — 5:22 left in the first quarter
Tutu Atwell finally got his first NFL reception for the Rams.
Atwell, a second-round draft pick in 2021, caught a 54-yard pass from Matthew Stafford to give the Rams a first down at the Cowboys’ 11-yard line.
But the Rams could not convert the opportunity into a touchdown.
Matt Gay’s 29-yard field goal cut the deficit to six points.
Gay has made all eight of his field-goal attempts this season. But the Rams’ struggles to score touchdowns from inside the 20-yard line continue.
In last Monday’s 24-9 defeat by the San Francisco 49ers, the Rams failed to score a touchdown and settled for three field goals.
Cowboys block a Rams punt, extend their lead in the first quarter
🏈 Cowboys 9, Rams 0 — 8:43 left in the first quarter
Cowboys defensive end Dorance Armstrong is terrorizing the Rams.
Minutes after sacking Matthew Stafford and forcing a fumble that DeMarcus Lawrence scooped and returned for a touchdown, Armstrong blocked a punt by Riley Dixon.
The Cowboys got the ball at the Rams’ 20-yard line, but had to settle for Brett Maher’s 33-yard field goal.
Cowboys return fumble for touchdown on Rams’ opening drive
🏈 Cowboys 6, Rams 0 —13:27 left in the first quarter
Not a great start for the Rams.
The Cowboys pass rush already made an impact.
On the first series, on third and one, the Rams attempted to pass. But Matthew Stafford was sacked by Dorance Armstrong, forcing Stafford to fumble. DeMarcus Lawrence scooped the ball and returned it 19 yards for a touchdown.
Who’s to blame for Allen Robinson’s disappointing start with the Rams?
He’s been the forgotten man in the Rams offense.
That’s not how it’s played out for Robinson or the Rams through roughly a quarter of the season.
While Kupp has 54 targets and 42 catches — both league highs — Robinson has only 18 targets and nine catches for an offense that only has demonstrated consistency in not establishing a rushing attack and struggling to score touchdowns inside the 20-yard line.
The Rams play the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday after not scoring any touchdowns in a 24-9 defeat to the San Francisco 49ers.
It might be time for Rams offense to hit the ground running
They have failed to consistently produce explosive plays. Struggled mightily to score touchdowns from inside the 20-yard line. Seemingly searched in vain for a way to jump-start the offense.
So, is this the week the Rams finally turn to, and establish, a rushing attack?
Coach Sean McVay’s offense has always been most effective — and entertaining — when the rushing game created play-action opportunities for the quarterback, whether it was Jared Goff or Matthew Stafford.
On Sunday at SoFi Stadium, the Rams (2-2) face a Dallas Cowboys defense that ranks among the best in the NFL, especially because of a pass rush led by All-Pro linebacker Micah Parsons and two-time Pro Bowl end DeMarcus Lawrence.
Rams vs. Dallas Cowboys matchups, start time, how to watch and prediction
Breaking down how the Rams (2-2) and the Dallas Cowboys (3-1) match up heading into their game at 1:25 p.m. PDT on Sunday at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. The game will be shown on Fox (Ch. 11) and streamed on NFL+ and the Fox Sports app.
When Rams have the ball: Quarterback Matthew Stafford must bounce back after committing two turnovers in a 24-9 defeat to the San Francisco 49ers. Stafford has passed for four touchdowns, with a league-worst six interceptions. He has not passed for a touchdown in the last two games, something Stafford has not experienced since 2016. The Rams’ beleaguered offensive line gets a lift by the return of left guard David Edwards, who was sidelined against the 49ers because of a concussion. But the line, which gave up seven sacks against the 49ers, is still short-handed with third-string Jeremiah Kolone set to start at center.
Rams vs. Dallas Cowboys: Betting odds, lines and picks against the spread
The up-and-down nature of the NFL is always a fascinating thing, especially when there are two teams in the same city. Rams fans spent their Monday night questioning a lot of different things. The two Los Angeles teams are 2-2 heading into Week 5 action, but one team feels to be on the verge of an upswing and the other is like the proverbial one-armed man out on the water rowing a boat.
Both teams are favored this week to improve to 3-2, but there are a lot of questions to ponder about the matchups that lie ahead.
Dallas Cowboys at Rams (-5½, 43)
Lookahead lines prior to Week 4 had the Rams more like a touchdown favorite, but the Cowboys continued to impress with Cooper Rush in place of Dak Prescott and the Rams laid a giant egg against a formidable foe for the second time this season. The Rams are still clearly favored at SoFi Stadium, but this season is not off to the start that the reigning Super Bowl champs were seeking.