INGLEWOOD, CA– 73,471 elated fans at SoFi Stadium watched the Pittsburgh Steelers score 14 unanswered points in the 4th quarter, defeating the Los Angeles Rams 24-17 on Sunday, October 21st. Miscues once again cost the Rams-turnovers and two missed field goals allowed the Steelers to rally late to notch the victory.
Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett converted on a fourth-down quarterback sneak at the two-minute warning to ice the game. The controversial spot was a horrible conclusion to an uneven performance by the Rams, who fall to 3-4 on the season frustrating fans by repeating the same fatal errors week after week.
Pickett got that generous spot to convert a fourth-and-1 at the Los Angeles 38, Jaylen Warren and Najee Harris rushed for touchdowns in the fourth quarter, and the Steelers awoke from a quiet offensive day.
Coach Sean McVay was unable to challenge the spot because the Rams were out of timeouts, and the play occurred just outside the window that would have resulted in a booth review.
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford passed for 231 yards and hit Tutu Atwell for a 31-yard touchdown right before halftime for Los Angeles, which dropped to 1-3 at home this year. Although T.J. Watt stepped in front of Stafford’s first pass of the second half deep in Rams territory and returned his seventh interception a career-best 24 yards, setting up Pickett’s 1-yard sneak for the Steelers’ first rushing touchdown of the entire season.
These interceptions are back breaking for the Rams, a common theme from all of their losses this year.
Rookie sensation Puka Nacua had eight catches for 154 yards, but the Rams struggled for consistent offense after halftime, scoring no points on their final three drives and managing only 20 yards while completing no passes in the fourth quarter. Brett Maher also missed two long field-goal attempts and an extra point.
“It’s just execution,” said Stafford, who failed to complete a pass in a fourth quarter with at least four attempts for only the second time in his 15-year NFL career. “We can’t have chances to make plays that are going to change the game one way or the other and not make those. We’ve got to be more consistent, and the only way to do that is to continue to work.”
Stafford went just 14-of-29 for 231 yards with a touchdown and an interception in the loss for the Rams, falling below .500 in the disappointing loss.
Los Angeles mounted an 88-yard drive shortly before halftime capped by the long TD catch by Atwell, who alertly cut in front of a pass apparently intended for Cooper Kupp from a scrambling Stafford.
The Steelers managed just 91 yards of offense in the first half and failed to convert a third down. They still tied it with 13:49 to play when Diontae Johnson’s 39-yard catch set up Warren’s 13-yard scoring run. Johnson had five catches for 79 yards in his return from injury.
George Pickens made four of his five receptions for 107 yards in the second half of Pittsburgh’s first win over the Rams in Los Angeles, where the Steelers had been 0-10. There were terrible towels flailing above there heads, as Steelers Nation was well represented at SoFi.
Darrell Henderson rushed for 61 yards and a touchdown in his season debut for Los Angeles, and Royce Freeman got 66 yards on his first carries of the season.
Henderson was released last November after 3 1/2 seasons with the Rams, and the Super Bowl winner was out of the league this fall until LA re-signed him last week when Kyren Williams went on the Injured Reserve list with a bad ankle after a terrific performance last week against the Arizona Cardinals.
The Rams had one last chance on offense, but Matthew Stafford threw three straight incomplete passes before his team punted the ball away with just more than five minutes left. That was the last time they held the ball.
Up next for the Rams, a visit to AT&T Stadium to face the Dallas Cowboys. Hopefully, the Rams can rebound after the loss and return to their winning over America’s Team.