The Los Angeles Rams allowed a tie-breaking 11-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to Ryan Grant with one minute, 49 seconds to play in a 27-20 loss to the Washington Redskins Sunday.
The Rams tied the score, 20-20, on Greg Zuerlein’s 40-yard field goal with 7:16 left after allowing the game’s first 13 points.
Washington drove 70 yards on 10 plays on the ensuing drive, with Cousins completing all three of his passes for 42 yard and Samaje Perine running for 38 yards on seven carries.
The Rams attempt to retie the score after Grant’s touchdown ended when Jared Goff’s pass was intercepted by Mason Foster on the first play of the drive.
“I probably could have given us a better play and we could have made a better decision with the football,” Rams coach Sean McVay said.
Goff completed 15 of 25 passes for 224 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown pass to Todd Gurley with 8:43 left in the third quarter that cut Washington’s lead to 20-17.
“I thought he did a good job,” McVay said. “He created some off- schedule plays.”
Goff explained that an off-schedule play is “when nobody’s open early on and I get out of the pocket.”
Gurley scored the Rams’ first points on a 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Zuerlein cut the deficit to 13-10 with a 32-yard field goal on the Rams next possession.
Chris Thompson ran 61 yards for a touchdown for Washington (1-1) on the ensuing possession.
Washington took a 13-0 lead on Dustin Hopkins’ 41-yard field goal on its first possession, Thompson’s seven-yard touchdown run on its second and Hopkins’ 22-yard field goal on its third.
Cousins completed 18 of 27 passes for 179 yards and one touchdown. Rob Kelley ran for 78 yards on 12 carries, Thompson 77 on three and Perine 67 on 21.
Gurley ran for 88 yards on 16 carries and caught four passes for 48 yards.
The Rams were outgained 385 yards to 332, trailed 21-14 in first downs and 36:19-23:41 in time of possession and committed two turnovers to none for Washington.
The Rams were seeking their first 2-0 start since 2001. Washington avoided its second consecutive 0-2 start.
Three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Aaron Donald made two tackles, including one for a loss, and hit Cousins once in his 2017 debut with the Rams after missing training camp as he sought a contract extension. Donald reported to team’s training facility Sept. 9, but did not play in last Sunday’s season- opening 46-9 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
“I didn’t win my one-on-ones,” Donald said. “When I have one-on-ones, I usually win those. I was doing too much thinking. I keep trying to say, that’s on me. so I just have to play better.”
The Rams announced the paid attendance at 56,612, the least in their nine regular-season games in their second tenure at the Coliseum. The previous low was 60,128 the previous week against Indianapolis.
The lowest number of tickets sold for a Rams game at the Coliseum during the 2016 season was 80,729 for their New Year’s Day season finale against the Arizona Cardinals.
The game matched McVay against the team that employed him from 2010-16, including as offensive coordinator from 2014-16. McVay also worked with Washington coach Jay Gruden on the coaching staffs of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008 and the Florida Tuskers of the short-lived United Football League in 2009.
The game included a celebration of the return of the Olympics to Los Angeles.
Olympic decathlon gold medalist Rafer Johnson lit the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum’s cauldron, just as he did to open the 1984 Olympics. He was joined by International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, Mayor Eric Garcetti and Casey Wasserman, chair of LA 2028, the Games’ bid committee.
–City News Service