Falcons get manhandled by the Rams, 37-10
The Rams and head coach Sean McVay were not too kind to his hometown team.
The Rams snapped their three-game losing streak as they methodically pulled away from the Falcons behind a rambunctious defensive effort to post a 37-10 victory on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The Rams improved to 4-3, while the Falcons dropped to 1-6, having dropped their fifth straight game.
The Rams defensive front, with Dante Fowler and Aaron Donald leading the way, put Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan under siege and eventually knocked him out of the game with an right ankle injury early in the fourth quarter.
The Rams had five sacks, eight quarterback hits and three forced fumbles when Ryan left the game.
Ryan appeared to suffer a right ankle injury when Donald beat left guard Wes Schweitzer, who was playing for James Carpenter, and sacked the quarterback early in the fourth quarter. On the play, Ryan's right ankle was severely twisted and he limped off the field.
To add insult to injury, Donald also took the ball off Ryan.
Backup quarterback Matt Schaub came on to replace him.
Ryan completed 16 of 27 passes for 159 yards and one interception. He had a passer rating of 60.6.
Fowler, who had seven tackle and three sacks, had his way with Falcons rookie right tackle Kaleb McGary.
The Falcons were down 13-3 at half time and basically sent up a white flag of surrender in the second half. It was the fifth time at halftime they've had a double-digit deficit at the half.
The Falcons trailed at Minnesota (21-0), lead at home against the Eagles (10-6), trailed at the Colts (20-3), trailed at home against Tennessee (24-7), lead at Houston (17-6) and were down at the Cardinals (20-10).
The Falcons lost all of the previous four games they trailed by double digits at halftime and they were blown out in the second half against the Texans.
The Rams added two quick third-quarter touchdowns to take a 27-3 lead and frustrations started to spill over.
Rams tight end Gerald Everett, who's from Decatur, caught a 8-yard touchdown pass and broke out in the "Dirty Bird" dance in the end zone.
After the Rams went up 20-3, running back Devonta Freeman got into a fight with Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Freeman was "disqualified" from the game for "throwing a punch."
The fight broke out after the Rams picked off a screen pass intended for Mohamed Sanu on the other side of the field. The play was poorly blocked and Sanu bobbled the ball up Rams linebacker Cory Littleton.
TV replays show Freeman grabbing Donald's facemask, while Donald had Freeman lifted up off the ground with two hands before both benches cleared.
Freeman was taken out of the scrum by an official.
Falcons defensive end Takk McKinley and Donald were called for unnecessary roughness on the play.
With Freeman out and Ito Smith out with a head/neck injury, the Falcons were down to running backs Brian Hill and Kenjon Barner.
The Falcons had already also lost a battle to Littleton.
Smith was carted off the field after a scary collision Littleton. The play happened on a third-and-9 from the Rams' 49 late in the first quarter. On the television replays, Littleton appeared to lower his head as the top of the players' helmets hit head-on.
Smith (5-foot-9 and 195 pounds) lost the battle to Littleton (6-3, 228) and fell backward. He remained on the ground before the cart came on the field.
It was announced that Smith was being evaluated for a "head" injury, possibly a concussion. He was later ruled out with head and neck injuries.
The Falcons opened the game strong on offense and take a 3-0 lead when the opening drive stalled.
The slowly and methodically got well against the Falcons' defense.
The Rams added a field goal by Greg Zuerlein and Gurley got open on Falcons linebacker/defensive end Vic Beasley for a 13-yard touchdown pass to make it 10-3.
Zuerlein added 25-yard field goal for the halftime margin.
The Rams added a touchdown with 11 seconds left after a muffed punt by Russell Gage. Backup defensive back Darious Williams recovered in the endzone for a touchdown.
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