Rams News: Matthew Stafford Takes Responsibility For Turnovers Against Titans
Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons (98) pressures Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) and forces him to throw an interception during the second quarter at SoFI Stadium Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021 in Inglewood, Calif. Titans Rams 061

The Los Angeles Rams suffered their second loss of the season in Week 9, this time to the red-hot Tennessee Titans in their first game without the injured Derrick Henry. The Rams — and especially quarterback Matthew Stafford — looked completely lost against the pressure brought by the Titans defense.

The Rams absolutely could have won this game, or at least kept it close, had it not been for two ugly consecutive turnovers by Stafford early in the game. Leading 3-0, the Rams found themselves backed up by their own goal line. Trying to avoid a safety, Stafford whipped the ball out of the end zone for an interception.

The Titans quickly scored to make it 7-3 and gave the ball back to the Rams. Then, on the first play from scrimmage, Stafford threw a bad pass that was picked by Kevin Byard and returned for a touchdown, making it 14-3 and putting the game nearly out of reach early on.

After the game, Stafford took all the blame for the turnovers and the loss. “Yeah, I mean, the first one, the guys got a hold of me. I got to do a better job, probably just falling on that one or throwing it over (WR) Robert’s (Woods) head maybe earlier. Maybe try to get back through it,” Stafford said of his endzone interception. “I can’t have that. I basically spotted them 14 points.

“Can’t do that in the NFL, especially against a good team like that, that wants to get out in front, run the football, mix coverages, all that kind of stuff. Just wasn’t good enough early in the game. Turnovers really killed us. Those were on me. If I clean those up, I know I will, I got a lot of confidence in this team to go out there and play some really good football. Our defense played good, good enough to keep us in the game. If we don’t turn the ball over twice it gives us a chance to win that one. I got to play better myself first and foremost.”

He calmed any worries about him feeling out of sync, saying that he was simply not taking the easy plays that were being given to him. “Yeah, I think I just got to get it out. There were guys underneath open. I was trying to probably do a little bit too much. I just got to play within the scheme, play within myself… do that a little bit better. Felt like kind of settled in in the second half.

“At that point, you know, I had done too much damage early in that game to get us out of it. I love the way our guys fought. We were close. Maybe if the (TE Tyler) Higbee touchdown stands, it’s a different ballgame there late. I love the way our guys fight and battle. I always appreciate that. Just got to be cleaner… turnovers, penalties, all those things hurt us tonight.”

As poorly as Stafford and the Rams played with turnovers, penalties and other issues, they still had a chance to win the game if a couple plays go slightly different. Perhaps the loss can just be chalked up as a bad game that can be forgotten, rather than a signal of a greater issue.

The Rams now head to the Bay Area to face the San Francisco 49ers before their bye week. A win against a division opponent would be huge for keeping pace with the 8-1 Arizona Cardinals.

Jacob Harris out for season

Rams backup tight end and wide receiver Jacob Harris will miss the remainder of the season after tearing his ACL and MCL in the loss to the Titans. He had not been hugely productive in the passing game, but was a big part of the Rams run-blocking schemes.