Advertisement
Sports

The Sports Report: Rams find their groove again

la-photos-1staff-468980-sp-1020-rams-falcons5-wjs-180454705
Jared Goff scores on a one-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

RAMS

The Rams ended a three-game losing streak by defeating the hapless Atlanta Falcons, 37-10, on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the same venue where last season the offense played poorly in a Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots.

With quarterback Jared Goff regaining his feel and cornerback Jalen Ramsey making his Rams debut, the Rams improved to 4-3.

Advertisement

“We just kind of needed to get that feeling back,” Goff said.

After passing for a career-low 78 yards in a loss to the San Francisco 49ers, he completed 22 of 37 passes for 268 yards, including touchdowns to running back Todd Gurley and tight end Gerald Everett. Goff also ran for a touchdown, putting a move on linebacker Deion Jones and spiking the ball in the end zone.

“I started to find a little bit of a rhythm,” Goff said. “It felt good. It felt like it should feel, and I’m going to try and build on this feeling.”

Gurley, returning to the lineup after sitting out against the 49ers because of a thigh bruise, rushed for 41 yards in 18 carries.

Advertisement

“It’s cool,” Gurley said of ending the losing streak. “Much-needed win.”

After failing to get premium performances from the offense, defense and special teams in the same game this season, the Rams came closer Sunday, albeit against an opponent that is 1-6 and on a five-game losing streak.

The offense produced touchdowns. The defense intercepted a pass, forced three fumbles, and edge rusher Dante Fowler had three of the Rams’ five sacks. Special teams also made big plays, including Johnny Hekker’s completion on a fake punt, and a forced fumble that was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown in the final seconds.

“A good team, complete win,” coach Sean McVay said.

Read more Rams

Sam Farmer: Jalen Ramsey’s Rams debut shows what’s around corner for their defense

Todd Gurley’s spectacular touchdown catch ignites Rams’ scoring machine in win

Rams look to stay on winning path as the rest of NFC West slugs it out

Advertisement

RAMS SCHEDULE

All times Pacific. Radio: 710 ESPN, 93.1 JACK FM

Rams 30, at Carolina 27

at Rams 27, New Orleans 9

Rams 20, at Cleveland 13

Tampa Bay 55, at Rams 40

at Seattle 30, Rams 29

San Francisco 20, at Rams 7

Advertisement

Rams 37, at Atlanta 10

Sunday vs. Cincinnati, 10 a.m., CBS (in London, counts as home game for Rams)

Nov. 10 at Pittsburgh, 1:15 p.m., Fox

Nov. 17 vs. Chicago, 5:15 p.m., NBC

Nov. 25 vs. Baltimore, 5:15 p.m., ESPN

Dec. 1 at Arizona, 1 p.m., Fox

Dec. 8 vs. Seattle, 5:15 p.m., NBC

Dec. 15 at Dallas, 1:15 p.m., Fox

Dec. 22 or 23 at San Francisco, TBD

Dec. 29 vs. Arizona, 1:15 p.m., Fox

CHARGERS

Is there any way we can convince Melvin Gordon to start holding out again?

During a stretch in which the Chargers have struggled to move the ball on the ground, they lost to the Tennessee Titans, 23-20, Sunday because they couldn’t gain one yard on consecutive running plays in the final 34 seconds.

The latter of those failures ended when Gordon fumbled into the end zone and the Titans recovered.

Before that, the Chargers saw two plays that were initially ruled as touchdowns get overturned by replay.

A team desperate for a victory exhaled twice thinking it had finally succeeded only to then — upon further review — absorb consecutive punches to the stomach.

“This was a tough one,” coach Anthony Lynn said. “I have been in the league for a long time, and I have never been in a game like this. The emotions of this game, going from winning the game to losing the game in a matter of seconds …”

On the Chargers’ final play from scrimmage, Gordon was originally ruled to be down before the ball came out.

Already in position to at least attempt an abundantly makeable tying field goal, the Chargers suffered an excruciating fate: a third consecutive reversal (in the span of 44 seconds) that went against them.

The call was changed to a fumble, the fifth time this season the Chargers have turned the ball over in a goal-to-go situation.

“It’s very difficult, especially when it makes you 2-5,” wide receiver Keenan Allen said. “No good. No good at all. It’s going to leave a taste.”

The loss was the Chargers’ third in a row and fifth in six games.

Said Lynn, “You expect to get six inches, and we didn’t.”

Gordon finished with only 32 yards in 16 carries

Read more Chargers

Anthony Lynn: Chargers ‘don’t deserve to win the damn game’ after goal-line failure

Melvin Gordon’s struggles and injuries are hurting the Chargers’ run game

CHARGERS SCHEDULE

All times Pacific. Radio: KFI-AM 640, KFWB-AM 980

at Chargers 30, Indianapolis 24 (OT)

at Detroit 13, Chargers 10

Houston 27, at Chargers 20

Chargers 30, at Miami 10

Denver 20, at Chargers 13

Pittsburgh 24, at Chargers 17

at Tennessee 23, Chargers 20

Sunday at Chicago, 10 a.m., Fox

Nov. 3 vs. Green Bay, 1:15 p.m., CBS

Nov. 10 at Oakland, 5:15 p.m., Fox, NFL Network

Nov. 18 vs. Kansas City, 5:15 p.m., ESPN (at Mexico City, counts as home game for Chargers)

Dec. 1 at Denver, 1:15 p.m., CBS

Dec. 8 at Jacksonville, 1 p.m., Fox

Dec. 15 vs. Minnesota, 5:15 p.m., NBC

Dec. 22 or 23 vs. Oakland, TBD

Dec. 29 at Kansas City, 10 a.m., CBS

Sunday’s NFL scoreboard

Rams 37, at Atlanta 10

at Tennessee 23, Chargers 20

at Buffalo 31, Miami 21

Jacksonville 27, at Cincinnati 17

Minnesota 42, at Detroit 30

at Green Bay 42, Oakland 24

at Indianapolis 30, Houston 23

Arizona 27, at NY Giants 21

San Francisco 9, at Washington 0

New Orleans 36, at Chicago 25

Baltimore 30, at Seattle 16

at Dallas 37, Philadelphia 10

Read game stories here

Tonight’s game

New England at NY Jets, 5:15 p.m., ESPN

Bye week: Carolina, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay

GALAXY

Late goals from Sebastian Lletget and Jonathan dos Santos broke open a plodding defensive game and lifted the Galaxy to a 2-1 win over Minnesota United in a first-round playoff game at Allianz Field.

That earns the Galaxy a meeting with crosstown rival LAFC on Thursday at Banc of California Stadium. LAFC, which finished with the league’s best-record record to earn a first-round playoff bye, is winless in five meetings with the Galaxy.

It was fitting that Zlatan Ibrahimovic, whose time with the Galaxy will likely end when the team’s playoff run does, set up the goal that put his team in front to stay.

Irrelevant for most of the night — he completed less than half his passes in the first half — Ibrahimovic found himself with the ball deep in the Minnesota penalty area in the 71st minute. Defender Michael Boxall blocked his try but the rebound caromed directly into the path of Lletget, who beat Minnesota keeper Vito Mannone.

Dos Santos added what looked to be an insurance goal four minutes later, bending a right-footed shot by Mannone. Romain Alessandrini, making his first appearance since undergoing knee surgery in April, got the assist on the goal, which proved to be the game-winner when Minnesota’s Jan Gregus ended David Bingham’s chance for a shutout by drilling a right-footed shot from the top of the box past the Galaxy keeper at the right post in the 87th minute.

DUCKS

Mikael Backlund scored with 11:03 left, Cam Talbot made 29 saves and the Calgary Flames rallied for a 2-1 victory over the Ducks.

Backlund got a pass from Matthew Tkachuk on a 2-on-1 rush after a neutral zone turnover and beat goaltender John Gibson with a snap shot from the right faceoff circle. It was his second goal in two games.

Jakob Silfverberg scored for the Ducks, who lost for the first time in five home games. Gibson made 27 saves.

USC FOOTBALL

After seeing several seasons marred by untimely injuries, USC coach Clay Helton had learned a lesson. To weather the inevitable storm of injuries, developing depth was essential.

So this past spring, Helton and the rest of his Trojans staff made more of a point to develop where they could, offering up extra repetitions and extra attention. Through fall camp, they rotated as many young players as possible in hopes that the experience might one day prove worth it.

That moment came fast and furious for USC’s defense Saturday night at the Coliseum as a ragtag unit down two cornerbacks, two defensive ends and two linebackers came together for a phenomenal fill-in performance in a 41-14 victory over Arizona. The same was true on the other side of the ball, where USC turned successfully to its fifth-string running back, Kenan Christon, to speed past the Wildcats.

“Thank goodness you’ve trained the next guy to be ready for that job,” Helton said. “I told our staff today: It’s a great lesson for us all. Always remember to coach each and every person on your team as hard as you can and lift them up to be the best player they can possibly be.”

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Ohio State edged past Clemson to No. 3 in the Associated Press college football poll and Wisconsin dropped to 13th after being upset ahead of its showdown with the Buckeyes.

Top 25 rankings

1. Alabama (24 first-place votes), 7-0, 1,486 points (1st last week)

2. LSU (16), 7-0, 1,462 (2)

3. Ohio St. (13), 7-0, 1,429 (4)

4. Clemson (9), 7-0, 1,408 (3)

5. Oklahoma, 7-0, 1,343 (5)

6. Penn St., 7-0, 1,224 (7)

7. Florida, 7-1, 1,138 (9)

8. Notre Dame, 5-1, 1,058 (8)

9. Auburn, 6-1, 1,054 (11)

10. Georgia, 6-1, 1,031 (10)

11. Oregon, 6-1, 979 (12)

12. Utah, 6-1, 852 (13)

13. Wisconsin, 6-1, 767 (6)

14. Baylor, 7-0, 732 (18)

15. Texas, 5-2, 627 (15)

16. SMU, 7-0, 587 (19)

17. Minnesota, 7-0, 577 (20)

18. Cincinnati, 6-1, 468 (21)

19. Michigan, 5-2, 440 (16)

20. Iowa, 5-2, 347 (23)

21. Appalachian St., 6-0, 286 (24)

22. Boise St., 6-1, 225 (14)

23. Iowa St., 5-2, 185 (not ranked)

24. Arizona St., 134 (17)

25. Wake Forest, 6-1, 118 (not ranked)

Dropped from rankings: Missouri, Washington

BASEBALL

World Series schedule

All times Pacific. All games on Fox.

Game 1: Tuesday, Washington at Houston, 5 p.m.

Game 2: Wednesday, Washington at Houston, 5 p.m.

Game 3: Friday, Houston at Washington, 5 p.m.

Game 4: Saturday, Houston at Washington, 5 p.m.

Game 5*: Sunday, Houston at Washington, 5 p.m.

Game 6*: Oct. 29, Washington at Houston, 5 p.m.

Game 7*: Oct. 30, Washington at Houston, 5 p.m.

*-if necessary

TODAY’S LOCAL MAJOR SPORTS SCHEDULE

All times Pacific

No games scheduled.

BORN ON THIS DATE

1879: Golfer Willie Anderson (d. 1910)

1926: Golfer Bob Rosburg (d. 2009)

1928: Baseball player Whitey Ford

1928: Former Laker Vern Mikkelsen (d. 2013)

1946: Football player/sportscaster Jim Hill

1959: Baseball player George Bell

1983: Former Dodger Zack Greinke

1990: Basketball player Ricky Rubio

AND FINALLY

Highlights of the Rams’ victory over the Falcons. Watch them here.

That concludes the newsletter for today. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, please email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com. If you want to subscribe, click here.


Newsletter
Get our daily Sports Report newsletter
Advertisement