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Disastrous Third Quarter Costs Rams in Loss to Eagles

Posted Monday, December 17, 2018 - 12:15 pm

The Los Angeles Rams allowed the first 17 points of the second half in a 30-23 loss to the injury-depleted Philadelphia Eagles Sunday evening at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, their first back-to-back regular- season losses in Sean McVay’s two seasons as coach.

The Rams got a 37-yard field goal from Greg Zuerlein and a 1-yard touchdown run by Todd Gurley in the fourth quarter.

The Rams didn’t get the ball back until there was one minute, eight seconds left to play after Jake Elliott missed a 53-yard field goal attempt.

Jared Goff completed five consecutive passes, moving the Rams from their own 43-yard line to Philadelphia’s 18, where he spiked to ball to stop the clock with four seconds to play. Goff’s pass intended for Josh Reynolds in the end zone fell incomplete as time expired.

Nick Foles, starting in place of the injured Carson Wentz, completed 24 of 31 passes for 270 yards with one interception and Wendell Smallwood ran for 9- and 4-yard touchdowns in the third quarter as Philadelphia (7-7) won for the third time in four games, keeping its faint playoff hopes alive.

Foles was playing for the first time since Sept. 16. He was the Rams starting quarterback in 2015, their final season in St. Louis, but was released days before veterans were due to report to training camp for the 2016 season.

The Rams (11-3) outgained the Eagles 413-381 and led 23-17 in first downs. The Eagles led 31:36-28:24 in time of possession before a crowd announced at 74,210.

The Rams have lost their past six games against Philadelphia, including a 43-35 loss last season at the Coliseum.

It’s the Rams’ longest losing streak in the series that began in 1937, when they were based in Cleveland.

The Eagles took the lead for good with 10:28 left in the third quarter on Smallwood’s 9-yard run, one play after Foles’ 50-yard pass to Alshon Jeffery.

The Rams were forced to punt on the next possession.

Philadelphia then increased its lead to 23-13 on Elliott’s 40-yard field goal. Foles was five-for-five for 39 yards and Smallwood ran four times for 32 yards on the 10-play 52-yard drive.

On the third play of the Rams next possession, Goff stumbled as he took the center snap, then threw the ball as he was about to be sacked.

The pass was intercepted by Corey Graham and returned 16 yards to the Rams 12-yard line. Smallwood ran 4 yards  for a touchdown two plays later.

Goff completed 35 of 54 passes for 339 yards with two interceptions.

The Rams were trying to rebound from a 15-6 loss to the Chicago Bears last Sunday, their fewest points since a 44-6 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Jan. 1, 2017, the final game of the 2016 season. The Rams won at least two consecutive games after each of McVay’s previous six regular-season losses.

Greg Zuerlein kicked a 36-yard field goal as time expired in the first half, tying the score, 13-13. He had also kicked a 41-yard field goal 4:38 before halftime.

The Eagles had taken a 13-10 lead 1:07 earlier as rookie Josh Adams completed a nine-play, 75-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown run.

Philadelphia opened the scoring on its first possession on Elliott’s 51-yard field goal, four plays after Darren Sproles’ 17-yard run.

The Rams responded by driving 80 yards on 13 plays on the ensuing possession, with Gurley running the final 5 yards for the touchdown.  Goff completed all seven of his passes on the drive for 62 yards, including three completions to Gurley for 23 yards and two to Robert Woods for 22. Gurley ran for 17 yards on four carries.

Elliott’s 34-yard field goal cut the Rams lead to 7-6 with 12:00 left in the second quarter.

The Eagles also played without linebacker Jordan Hicks, who started the season’s first 10 games and missed his fourth straight game; cornerback Sidney Jones, a West Covina High School alumnus who started three of the previous four games; and left guard Isaac Seumalo, who started the past nine games.

CNS-12-16-2018 21:16

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