Rams eye consistency after Steelers defeat    

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (News4usonline) – The Los Angeles Rams lost their NFL inter-conference matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers by the score of 24-17 at SoFi Stadium. A pattern is starting to form for the 3-4 Rams. 

Like the games in which they’ve dropped, the Rams competed against the Steelers at a high level and had opportunities to topple their AFC North visitors. Those chances were nixed by not finishing off a strong start. 

In the first half, the Rams had more total yards of offense (226-91) than the Steelers, more first downs (10-5), had a much better third-down efficiency (55 percent to 0 percent) and led 9-3 after the first two quarters of action. 

Aaron Donald (99) of the Los Angeles Rams puts the squeeze on a Pittsburgh Steelers ballcarrier during an NFL inter-conference matchup at SoFi Stadium on Oct. 22, 2023. Photo by Mark Hammond/News4usonline

The dominance by the Rams in the first half dissipated over the course of the third and fourth quarters. Pittsburgh outscored the Rams 21-8 in the second half with 14 points coming in the final period to come away victorious on their Southern California road trip. 

Rams head coach Sean McVay talked about what worked for his team defensively in the first half and what adjustments, if any, the Steelers made in the final two quarters.   

“I don’t know that they necessarily made any adjustments,” McVay said. “It was just as the game starts to unfold and it’s just like anything else. You have to be able to consistently execute and you have to be able to consistently respond whether things go our way or whether they don’t. There weren’t really many adjustments that they made other than they ended up just being able to make some plays. They got some opportunities to be able to convert on some third downs.”  

Winning and losing in the NFL comes down to simplistic things. It’s a missed tackle here. Maybe it’s a special teams hiccup. It could be a blown defensive assignment or a wayward pass that misses its intended target. It’s the little things that separate what team wins on a consistent basis. 

For McVay and his ballclub, finding consistency is something they are still working on. Through the first seven weeks of the season, the record of the Rams reflects the difficulty of finding that consistency. The Rams, so far, have not been able to put together consecutive wins this season. 

After beating NFC West Division rival Arizona a week ago, the Rams fell short of beating Pittsburgh. Afterward, McVay talked about the challenge of trying to win every week in the NFL.   

“I think the NFL’s hard. I think that it is challenging every single week,” McVay remarked.  “We’ve lost and played some pretty good teams and that’s what the goal is going to continue to be is to figure out, how do we string together those consistent performances? 

Give me some room to run: Los Angeles Rams running back Royce Freeman (24) runs through a big hole against the Pittsburgh Steelers during an NFL game played at SoFi Stadium on Oct. 22, 2023. Photo by Mark Hammond/News4usonline

“I thought we were in a position to be able to do that today and ultimately, we didn’t get that done and I got to be able to figure out, all right, how do we do that? How do we string together some consecutive performances? But ultimately, it’s really about how do we look at this? How do we correct it? And how do we move forward next week because this game is over with,” McVay added. 

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, who completed 14 of 29 passes for 231 yards and had a 31-yard touchdown throw in the second quarter to Tutu Atwell, voiced his disappointment about the defeat.  

“[It’s] frustrating to lose, disappointing. Just didn’t do enough in the second half to get it done, obviously,” Stafford said. “Left some plays out there that we wish we had back. A good football team we just played. We’re in the game the whole game, felt like we had control of it for a decent amount of it just didn’t finish it.”

Top Photo: Los Angeles Rams running back Darrell Henderson (27) takes the handoff from quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) and runs up the middle of the Pittsburgh Steelers defense during an NFL game played at SoFi Stadium on Oct. 22, 2023. Photo by Mark Hammond/News4usonline