LOS ANGELES (AP) By the time the Los Angeles Rams finally scored a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter, most of crowd at the Coliseum had long since emptied out.
The reaction from those that remained, including a sizable number of fans for the visiting Atlanta Falcons, straddled the line between sarcasm and genuine enthusiasm that the Rams had actually scored a touchdown.
It was their fourth touchdown in five home games this season, only the second at the Coliseum since Jared Goff took over as the starting quarterback.
The Rams didn’t give their fans much to cheer about in their 42-14 loss to the Falcons on Sunday, with Goff’s struggles summing up a forgettable afternoon. The rookie didn’t do much right, and when Goff did, it was usually undone by a drop or penalty.
”It’s my team. I need to take control and make things happen,” said Goff, who threw for 235 yards and two interceptions.
Goff took the Rams into the red zone on their opening scripted drive, which was delayed by a fumble on the opening kickoff that allowed the Falcons to score a touchdown 10 seconds into the game. But Goff’s pass on third down hit Kenny Britt right in the hands and careened up into the air, where it was easily intercepted.
Moments later, a clever play call where Tavon Austin lined up in the backfield and ran a wheel route down the sideline should have resulted in a touchdown. But Goff was pressured and overthrew a wide-open Austin, keeping the Rams off the scoreboard again.
Goff threw an interception on the next possession, with Falcons linebacker Deion Jones making a leaping grab and returning it 33 yards for a touchdown. Goff took the blame for the bad ball that effectively put the game away at 21-0 midway through the second quarter.
”Threw it right to the defender,” Goff said. ”He made a good play, a really good play on it and took it back.”
Even an apparent 56-yard touchdown pass from Goff to Brian Quick in the fourth quarter was celebrated with fireworks and applause before it was called back because of offensive pass interference, though Goff would eventually score on a 2-yard run to end the drive.
The Rams were befuddled by the offense’s struggles, pointing to a good week of practice that never carried over to game day.
”It’s not a game you can just pick it up and start it when you want to,” Austin said. ”You’ve got to come out firing. One play can change the game. We had multiple of those. We shot ourselves in the foot. Ain’t nobody to blame but us.”
Coach Jeff Fisher tried to find the positives for Goff in a loss that guaranteed the Rams’ 10th straight losing season.
”Jared is gaining valuable experience for his career,” Fisher said. ”He’s going to be our quarterback for a long, long time.”
While he appreciates the vote of confidence, Goff’s focus is on turning his rookie experiences into wins sooner than later.
”Hopefully we can come out on the other side, that light at the end of the tunnel, look back at days like today and know that made us better,” Goff said.
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