They managed to take the lead in the second half, going up 17-16 on a truly impressive start to the third quarter, but the St. Louis Rams couldn’t seal the deal against the first-place Atlanta Falcons, falling to 4-6 and suffering their second home loss of the year. NFC West Division rivals the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals also fell today, leaving the division in rough stasis for another week.
It was closer than it looks—the Rams came within one play of reducing the Falcons’ fourth quarter lead to two when Missouri alumnus William Moore intercepted a goal-line pass to Michael Hoomanawanui, who caught four passes for 46 yards and one touchdown. It was Bradford’s first interception since October 10, and from there it was all Falcons.
The Rams looked like a team possessed in the first quarter and on that first defensive stop and offensive drive of the second half, but the offense was rarely on the field—just 24 minutes with the ball, to 35 for the Falcons—and never got running back Steven Jackson fully established. Jackson carried the ball just 11 times for 54 yards.
Sam Bradford was 27-for-42 with 233 yards passing, two touchdowns, and one interception. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was 26-for-39 for 253 yards, and the Falcons also got a surging second half from running back Michael Turner, who, after being mostly silent in the first, ended the game with 131 rushing yards on 28 carries, including the game-icing touchdown.