Matthew Stafford injured as Rams’ losing streak stretches to four games

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford passes against the New Orleans Saints.
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford passes against the New Orleans Saints in the first half on Sunday in New Orleans.
(Gerald Herbert / Associated Press)

Matthew Stafford made his return but was knocked out in the third quarter after a sack as the Rams fell to the Saints 27-20 on Sunday in New Orleans.

Rams fall to Saints in New Orleans

After an unsuccessful onside kick, the Saints ran out the clock to beat the Rams in New Orleans. The Rams fall to 3-7 on the season.

Finals: Saints 27, Rams 20


Matt Gay makes 58-yard field goal to inch closer to Saints lead

Saints 27, Rams 20... 6 seconds left

After forcing the Saints to punt, the Rams sent out Matt Gay to convert a 58-yard field to cut New Orleans’ lead late in the fourth quarter.


Saints make it two-score advantage with field goal

Saints 27, Rams 17…9:06 left

Will Lutz kicked a 25-yard field goal to make it a two-score advantage for the Saints.

Quarterback Andy Dalton and Taysom Hill drove the Saints to a first down at the Rams’ three-yard line.

But Leonard Floyd sacked Dalton for 10 yards on second down, forcing the Saints one-play later to settle for the field goal.

Dalton has completed 20 of 23 passes for 254 yards and three touchdowns.

Hill has rushed for 47 yards in six carries and completed one pass for 14 yards.


Rams cut Saints lead with Matt Gay field goal

Saints 24, Rams 17…14:48 left

Bryce Perkins came on for injured Matthew Stafford and engineered a scoring drive.

Matt Gay’s 33-yard field goal pulled the Rams to within seven points.

Perkins scrambled for a first down and rookie running back Kyren Williams broke off a 17-yard run on another third down during the 12-play drive.

Perkins completed one of three passes for eight yards.


Saints extend lead after forcing Rams punt

Saints 24, Rams 14…5:47 left in the third quarter

Andy Dalton and receiver Chris Olave connected on a 53-yard touchdown pass play to put the Saints in control.

The Saints got the ball after forcing the Rams to punt following a sack of quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Stafford, who sat out last week against the Arizona Cardinals because of a concussion, was examined in the sideline medical tent.

Bryce Perkins came in for the ensuing series.

Dalton has completed 16 of 19 passes for 222 yards and three touchdowns.


Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford examined in medical tent after sack

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford was examined in the medical tent after he was sacked midway through the third quarter.

Stafford started after sitting out last week against the Arizona Cardinals because of a concussion.

Backup quarterback Bryce Perkins started warming up on the sideline for the Rams.


Saints open second half with touchdown

Saints 17, Rams 14…10:23 left in third quarter

Well, so much for that Rams’ momentum going into halftime.

Andy Dalton engineered a nine-play, 75-yard drive that he ended with a seven-yard touchdown pass to Jarvis Landry.

Dalton completed passes of 13 yards or more to Landry, Chris Olave and Alvin Kamara during the drive.

Dalton has completed 13 of 16 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns.


Rams take lead heading into halftime with Matthew Stafford’s second touchdown of the game

Rams 14, Saints 10… halftime

Matthew Stafford connected with Allen Robinson for a six-yard touchdown pass with 19 seconds left in the second quarter to give the Rams some momentum going into the break.

Stafford completed eight of nine passes during an 11-play, 87-yard drive.

Stafford has completed 11 of 17 passes for 159 yards, including touchdown passes to Robinson and Tutu Atwell.

Running back Cam Akers has rushed for 47 yards in nine carries.

Saints quarterback Andy Dalton has completed eight of 10 passes for 77 yards.


Saints regain lead with touchdown pass by Andy Dalton to Juwan Johnson

Saints 10, Rams 7…12:11 left in the second quarter

Andy Dalton fired an eight-yard touchdown pass to tight end Juwan Johnson to cap a seven-play, 51-yard drive.

Alvin Kamara had an 11-yard run and a 15-yard reception during the drive, which also featured a 12-yard run by Taysom Hill.

Dalton has completed seven of nine passes for 73 yards.


Rams respond quickly with a 62-yard touchdown from Tutu Atwell

Rams 7, Saints 3…4:00 left in the first quarter

It took the Rams only one play to respond.

Matthew Stafford connected with receiver Tutu Atwell for a 62-yard touchdown pass play to put the Rams in the lead.

It was the first career touchdown for Atwell, a 2021 second-round draft pick who had only one career catch going into the game.

Atwell had been inactive the last two games. But with Cooper Kupp sidelined, he got a big opportunity.

Stafford, back in the lineup after sitting out last week’s game against the Arizona Cardinals because of a concussion, has completed two of four passes for 67 yards.


Rams defense limits Saints to field goal

Saints 3, Rams 0 … 4:14 left in first quarter

Will Lutz kicked a 46-yard field goal to give the Saints the lead, but it was a victory of sorts for the Rams defense.

The Saints had driven to the 13-yard line on a 26-yard pass from Andy Dalton to Juwan Johnson, a run off a direct snap by Taysom Hill and a short gain for a first down by Alvin Kamara.

But Greg Gaines and Leonard Floyd got consecutive sacks to force the field goal.


Rams inactives vs. Saints

The Rams have listed the following players inactive against the Saints in New Orleans:


NFL readers Q&A: Should Rams look to future?

Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp tosses a ball up in the air.
Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp warms up before a loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Nov. 13.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

The Rams had never been under .500 since Sean McVay took over as coach in 2017 until this season. L.A. is a McVay-worst three games under .500. Plus the Rams lost star receiver Cooper Kupp before heading to New Orleans to face the Saints in Week 11. The Chargers are hoping to get some of their injured players back but nonetheless face a huge task at home Sunday against the AFC West rival Kansas City Chiefs. Rams beat writer Gary Klein and Chargers beat writer Jeff Miller address fans’ concerns and questions with eight weeks to go in the regular season.

With Matthew Stafford in concussion protocol and so many Rams out of the lineup on offense, when should Sean McVay consider letting the young guys play? Is there really any hope for this season or is it time to look to the future?

Alex Helmke, Santa Clarita

Klein: It’s not a matter of letting the young guys play. With all the injuries, they are playing. Last week, rookie running back Kyren Williams played for the first time since the season opener. I would expect his role to grow. Rookie cornerbacks Derion Kendrick and Cobie Durant have been playing. Rookie safety Russ Yeast also played against the Cardinals on defense. And receiver Lance McCutcheon played on offense for the first time. With Cooper Kupp out, it will be interesting to see if McVay activates receiver Tutu Atwell, a 2021 second-round pick who was inactive the last two games. Atwell has one catch in two seasons. The Rams have hope until they are eliminated from the playoffs. If Matthew Stafford remains in concussion protocol, that day probably is not far off.

Read more >>>


Peyton Manning meets up with two of the NFL’s all-time great receivers

San Diego Chargers wide receiver Lance Alworth in 1970.
(Associated Press)

This might be the season of giving, but in the new chapter of his lighthearted NFL series, Peyton Manning is all about receiving.

In the latest episode of “Peyton’s Places,” the Hall of Fame quarterback meets up with two of the greatest receivers in football history, Lance Alworth of the San Diego Chargers and Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions. Both are notoriously camera shy — Alworth almost never grants interviews — but seem happy to spend time with Manning for the show, which is available for streaming Sunday on ESPN+.

Manning, who had never met Alworth before, walked the beaches of San Diego and tossed a football with him, and watched highlight footage of the receiver’s career with the Charger (1960-70) and Dallas Cowboys (1971-72).

“I think he got a big kick out of watching some of his old film that NFL Films had of him at practice and miked up moments with Sid Gilman and John Hadl,” said Manning, who wore a powder-blue No. 21 Hadl jersey for the segment. “I think it took him back, and his memory was sharp on things they were coached to do, routes. He got a big kick out of seeing some of his highlights and seeing how good he was.

“That’s been a fun thing when you’re watching film. I watched Super Bowl III with Joe Namath and the ’58 championship with Raymond Berry. Seeing them kind of light up when they talk about these games and plays like they were yesterday. I felt that with Lance.”

Manning also made a trip to Detroit to spend time with Johnson, throwing passes to him at Ford Field and exploring the history of his Megatron nickname. Johnson, incidentally, was runner-up for high school player of the year in Georgia. The winner that year? Rams coach Sean McVay.


Matthew Stafford looks to bounce back after sitting out last week

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford jogs on the field before a game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford jogs on the field before a game against the Arizona Cardinals on Nov. 13.
(Kyusung Gong / Associated Press)

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford was cleared from concussion protocol Friday and will play Sunday against the Saints in New Orleans, the team announced.

Stafford, who has been in concussion protocol since Nov. 8, sat out last week’s defeat by the Arizona Cardinals.

Stafford has passed for eight touchdowns, with eight interceptions.

Read more >>>


Rams vs. New Orleans Saints matchups, how to watch and prediction

Breaking down how the Rams (3-6) and the New Orleans Saints (3-7) match up heading into their game at 10 a.m. PST on Sunday at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans. The game will be shown on Fox (Ch. 11) and streamed on the Fox Sports app and NFL+.

When Rams have the ball

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford rolls out for a pass against the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 18.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Quarterback Matthew Stafford will return to the lineup after sitting out last week’s defeat by the Arizona Cardinals because he was in concussion protocol. Stafford has passed for eight touchdowns with eight interceptions — statistics that pale compared with last season, when he passed for 41 touchdowns with 17 interceptions.

Star receiver Cooper Kupp will be sidelined at least four games after having surgery for an ankle injury suffered against the Cardinals. Allen Robinson, Van Jefferson, Ben Skowronek, Brandon Powell, Tutu Atwell and Lance McCutcheon will try to fill the void. Look for tight end Tyler Higbee to be Stafford’s favorite target. Higbee has 44 catches.

Read more >>>


Rams hit the road seeking to turn around their season in New Orleans

Rams coach Sean McVay talks with an official during a win over the Carolina Panthers on Oct. 16.
Rams coach Sean McVay talks talks with an official during a win over the Carolina Panthers on Oct. 16.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

NEW ORLEANS — The situation was entirely different the last time the Rams played the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome.

Coach Sean McVay and his 2018 team were on the rise when they defeated the Saints with a field goal in overtime to win the NFC championship game and advance to Super Bowl LIII.

“It was very loud,” tight end Tyler Higbee said of the environment, “and then very quiet at the end, which is a good thing.”

On Sunday, the stakes will not be as great when the Rams play the Saints.

Yet once again the Rams’ season is hanging in the balance.

Read more >>>


Rams vs. Saints: Betting odds, lines and picks against the spread

Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald walks onto the field before a loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald walks onto the field before a loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Nov. 13. The Rams, sitting at the bottom of the NFC West, hope to jump-start their season with a win over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

With Cooper Kupp sidelined and Matthew Stafford still in concussion protocol, the Rams are a lot closer to “Be Bad for Bryce (Young)” or “Stink for (C.J.) Stroud” than they are to repeating as Super Bowl champs. Of course, with Stafford signed through 2026, a high draft pick would mean a player at another position.

Here’s how things stand for the Rams heading into Sunday’s matchup:

Rams at New Orleans Saints (-3, 39)

The Saints hadn’t even announced a starting quarterback by the time the Rams moved out to being a three-point underdog. Once news of the severity of Kupp’s injury hit the wire, the line moved to +4. Interestingly, the announcement that Andy Dalton, who has seven interceptions in seven games, would get the start didn’t sway the line at all in L.A.’s favor.

Read more >>>