Rams lose to Saints as Matthew Stafford is injured again – Orange County Register
NEW ORLEANS — Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford uncorked a sensational touchdown bomb to second-year wide receiver Tutu Atwell. It was the good part of the day for the Rams against the New Orleans Saints, and a bit too late for these two to finally connect on the field.
There’s often far more harm than good on Sundays during the Rams’ disappointing 2022 season as defending Super Bowl champions.
Stafford left the game early to be assessed for a concussion, two days after being cleared to play because he has spent the past two weeks in concussion protocol. Replacement quarterback Bryce Perkins finished the Rams’ last loss, a 27-20 loss at Caesars Superdome.
The Saints considered signing quarterback Andy Dalton for Jameis Winston earlier in the week, but they didn’t and the Rams defense reassured them they made the right decision.
Dalton delivered a stellar performance and hit a sensational 53-yard touchdown pass to rookie receiver Chris Olave in the third quarter to extend New Orleans’ lead to 24-14.
In their first half without injured receiver Cooper Kupp, the Rams (3-7 after their fourth straight loss) finally showed their commitment to the running game and Stafford managed to spread the ball while building a 14 advantage. -10 at halftime. The Rams entered the locker room with 65 rushing yards on 17 carries.
Stafford ran an 11-play, 87-yard drive in the final three minutes of the first half, which was capped off with a six-yard touchdown to Allen Robinson for the four-point lead.
The Rams drafted Atwell in the second round of last year’s draft because of the blistering speed he displayed while Stafford threw a 62-yard touchdown pass to him in the first quarter to give the Rams a 7-plus advantage. -3. It was Atwell’s first career touchdown, and a long time coming for a player who struggled to see the field in his first two NFL seasons. Atwell was a healthy scratch in the previous two games, but saw an increase in snaps on Sunday due to Kupp’s ankle injury.
The Saints (4-7) entered the red zone on their second drive of the game, but back-to-back sacks from Greg Gaines and Leonard Floyd forced New Orleans to settle for a 46-yard field goal from Wil Lutz and a 3-0 advantage with 4:14 in the first quarter. The scoring campaign was sparked by a 26-yard reception by tight end Juwan Howard.
Taysom Hill, the Saints’ Swiss army knife, gave the Rams defensive fits early and often. Hill-engineered runs from the quarterback position moved the Saints on a scored second-quarter drive that ended with an eight-yard touchdown pass from Dalton to Johnson for a 10- 7.
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