INGLEWOOD, Calif. – In the first meeting in Los Angeles in 30 years, the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers edged the Rams 24-17 at SoFi Stadium on Sunday. The Rams lost yet another close and winnable game at home falling to below .500 for the third time this season. Here are some of the biggest takeaways from the game:
Missed opportunities in the kicking game
Rams’ kicker Brett Maher missed two field goals and a PAT on the day that could have been one of the biggest differences in the Rams’ adding a second consecutive win to their record.
“He’s got to be better,” head coach Sean McVay said after the game. “That’s seven points that we missed out on that were key and critical for the momentum of the game.”
Welcome back Rams RB Darrell Henderson
With Rams’ starting running back Kyren Williams (ankle) and his backup Ronnie Rivers (IR, knee) both sidelined due to injuries, the Rams signed Darrell Henderson. The former Los Angeles running back returned to the team and split the workload with Royce Freeman on Sunday. Henderson found the end zone for the first time this season as he finished the day with 18 rushes for 61 yards and the touchdown.
The Rams second-half woes continue
The Rams once again found themselves struggling in the second half. The game took a turn when quarterback Matthew Stafford was picked off by the Steelers’ formidable defense. Stafford was picked off to start the third quarter by Steelers’ T.J. Watt. That interception set the tone for a challenging second half for the Rams offense.
The Puka Nacua show
Rams’ rookie wideout Puka Nacua leads the entire NFL in targets. On Sunday, he was targeted 12 times with eight receptions for 154 yards. Amidst the back-and-forth of the game, Nacua stood out once again as a bright spot, especially in the third quarter where he executed a 32-yard chunk play.
The Rams have yet to string together two consecutive wins this season, but as McVay mentioned “the NFL is hard.”
The team will have another opportunity to start that attempt to accomplish back-to-back wins. Los Angeles will spend the next two weeks on the road facing the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington followed up by the Green Bay Packers before returning to Los Angeles.