INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Kevin Byrd returned Matthew Stafford’s second consecutive interception for a touchdown from 24 yards, and the Tennessee defense stunned the Titans 28-16 over the Los Angeles Rams in a showdown between conference co-leaders Sunday night. Won from
Jeffrey Simmons had three of Stafford’s five sacks from Tennessee during a formidable performance against the Rams’ prolific passing offense. Stafford threw important back-to-back interceptions that the Titans turned into 14 points in 11 seconds of the second quarter, sending them well on their way to their fifth consecutive victory.
“Those guys played well,” Titans coach Mike Wrabel said of his defense. “It was fun watching them play. … we really think the group is playing with a lot of confidence right now. They can come here and catch the way they play to score goals in the field, and we played well in the red zone. “
Ryan Tanhill passed for 143 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score For the Titans (7-2), who scored just 194 offensive yards in his first game without injured NFL rushing leader Derrick Henry.
Adrian Peterson ran for just 21 yards, but the veteran was trailing 6-yard TD run scored With 3:00 in the first game of his 15th NFL season.
The Titans got a crucial stop near midfield with 6:39 to play, and the Tennessee defense kept the Rams out of the end zone for just the fourth time in 73 games under Sean McVay – but Sonny Mitchell caught a 3-yard TD Pass with 24 seconds remaining.
Defense of the Titans changed the game dramatically in the second quarter. Stafford inexplicably threw a desperate pass At the heart of the defense to avoid taking a sack to safety, and Long returned his interception to Ram 2.
Geoff Swim caught a touchdown pass on the next snap – and just after kickoff, Stafford threw Robert Woods over the edge Byard. was returned by For his first career pick-6.
Stafford covered 294 yards and threw the 24th pick-6 of his career – the most active quarterback – during the worst game of his debut season with the Rams (7-2). Los Angeles’ four-game winning streak ended in only the fourth meeting between the two teams in 15 years with their conference’s top record.
After generating MVP talk for his excellent eight-game start to the season, Stafford looked shaky and confused against Tennessee’s defense in the first half. He barely managed a back stiffness during the week, and he played after suffering an ankle injury during the game.
Los Angeles, the NFL’s least-punished team, was also flagged 12 times for 115 yards—the most yards in McVay’s career.
“We have to play cleaner football,” McVay said. “I want to see what we learn from our reaction. Last time we were shocked, I loved how we reacted. … A lot of things happened tonight that are unnatural for us. The way Our players competed till the end and showed their resilience, which I liked.
Aaron Donald was whistled for trampling a passerby, while Tanhill was throwing the ball into third place with five minutes to play. Call carried a drive that ended in Peterson’s 6-yard run that ended in his 119th career TD and 125th total touchdown rush, making him the 11th-highest Walter Peyton in NFL history. tied up with.
“I felt like we knew what to expect,” Donald said. “He stuck to his game plan, with running and playing—action. Just a different back there. “
Both the teams were missing big names for this showdown. Tennessee played its first game of the season without Henry following a leg injury, while von Miller did not make his debut for the Rams when he acquired him from Denver earlier this week. Miller is still recovering from an ankle injury.
Pietersen was out of the league on Monday before signing with the Titans after knowing the extent of Henry’s injury. Tennessee immediately put him in the starting lineup.
Stafford rolled to start in the second half, but Los Angeles had a touchdown off the board on their opening drive when officials ruled that Tyler Higby’s toe was out of bounds before his scoring catch on the third down Went. Rams scored a field goal instead.
Titans: Taylor Levan was active, but Bobby Hart started with a left tackle. Levan was “unavailable” except in an emergency, Vrabel said. … Aaron Brewer also started on right guard in place of Nate Davis.
Rams: Henderson hurt his ankle in the second quarter, but he continued to play. … WR Jacob Harris walked away with an undisclosed injury in the second half.
Titans: Host Saints on Sunday.
Rams: Go to the 49ers next Monday night.
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