The Los Angeles Rams came out of their bye looking sluggish, particularly on the offensive side of the ball, in their Week 10 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Despite a valiant effort from the defense, it wasn’t enough as the Steelers held on for a 17-12 victory to drop the Rams to 5-4 on the year.
The Rams wasted no time getting on the scoreboard after a snap from center Maurkice Pouncey went over the head of quarterback Mason Rudolph, which was picked up by linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. and taken back for a touchdown on the third play of the game.
Following a couple of stalled drives on both sides, The Steelers offense was able to strike first with the help of a crucial pass interference penalty on cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Rudolph took full advantage by finding wide receiver James Washington in the end zone to cap off a nine-play, 82-yard drive to tie the game.
Los Angeles simply had no answer for Pittsburgh’s hounding pressure and it clearly started to take its toll on quarterback Jared Goff. To make matters worse, the offensive line suffered a crucial blow with center Brian Allen going down with a knee injury.
With the offense continuing to struggle, the defense took it on themselves to give them another chance to get on the scoreboard after cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman forced a crucial fumble to nullify a 34-yard gain by Washington. Unfortunately, it went to waste after a sack on Goff resulted in a fumble return for a touchdown by cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick to take a 14-7 lead.
The abysmal start to the first half came to end with a missed 56-yard field goal by Los Angeles.
Goff’s struggles continued to start the second half as he was picked off by cornerback Joe Haden on a pass intended for tight end Tyler Higbee. Things got worse after he was briefly sidelined with a hip injury that forced quarterback Blake Bortles to enter the game.
A botched fake punt play resulted in an interception by punter Johnny Hekker to give the Steelers prime scoring position. Fortunately, the Rams defense was able to come through once again to push them out of field goal position thanks to a sack by linebacker Clay Matthews.
The offense finally managed to piece together a respectable 10-play, 76-yard drive that resulted in a 30-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein to make it a 14-10 game.
Hekker was able to pin the Steelers within their own five-yard line with a spectacular coffin corner punt. Just like they did all game, the defense took full advantage after defensive tackle Aaron Donald brought Rudolph down in his own end zone for the safety.
Pittsburgh found a way to respond by coming up big on crucial downs to keep their drive alive. They ultimately cashed in on a 33-yard field goal from kicker Chris Boswell to cap an eight-minute offensive series to take a five-point lead.
That left the Rams with one last drive to win the game, and Goff got off to a nice start with a pair of completions to Gerald Everett to move the ball across midfield. The drive eventually stalled though, resulting in a turnover on downs with 1:25 remaining.
The defense once again did its job, forcing a three-and-out to give the offense one last chance. Goff wound up throwing an interception though, securing the victory for the Steelers.