Atlanta Falcons lose heartbreaker to Rams, the 28-3 curse lives on in 2022

Tougher tests lie ahead for winless Atlanta Falcons
Falcons vs. Rams
Falcons vs. Rams(Associated Press)
Published: Sep. 18, 2022 at 8:45 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - In week 1, the Atlanta Falcons blew a double-digit lead against the heated rival New Orleans Saints to lose in dramatic fashion.

In week 2, the Falcons trailed 28-3 at one point, before another last-minute rally fell short with them losing 31-27 against the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams.

The worst part about their 0-2 start to the 2022 season is tougher tests lie ahead.

They have to travel 2,672 miles across the United States to face the Seattle Seahawks in one of the toughest and loudest stadiums in the NFL.

After playing the Seahawks, the Falcons will face the Cleveland Browns before traveling to face long-time nemesis Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Falcons’ defense allowed Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford to throw for 272 yards and three touchdowns. The defense was also picked apart by receiver Cooper Kupp, allowing two touchdowns.

Veteran cornerback Jalen Ramsey intercepted a potential go-ahead touchdown pass in the end zone and the Los Angeles Rams held off a second-half rally attempt by the Atlanta Falcons for a 31-27 victory Sunday.

Atlanta — which has started 0-2 for the third straight year — trailed 28-3 early in the third quarter before almost completing a miraculous comeback.

Troy Anderson blocked a punt that Lorenzo Carter returned 26 yards for a touchdown, and a 2-point conversion pass from Marcus Mariota to Drake London brought the Falcons within 31-25 with 5:06 remaining.

Los Angeles turned it over on their ensuing drive when Darren Hall forced Kupp to fumble and recovered it at the Rams 37. On third-and-13 from the Rams 24, Mariota tried to find Bryan Edwards, but it was picked off by Ramsey.

Los Angeles took a safety when returner Brandon Powell ran out of the end zone on punt formation after a three-and-out. After the free kick, Atlanta had one final chance at the Falcons 40, but Mariota was sacked before he could get a Hail Mary attempt off on the final play.

Stafford completed his first 12 passes en route to going 27 of 36. Kupp had 11 catches for 108 yards and touchdowns on consecutive drives in the second and third quarters.

Kupp caught a 3-yard TD with 18 seconds remaining in the first half to give the Rams a 21-3 lead. The Super Bowl MVP’s first score came three plays after Rams rookie cornerback Cobie Durant picked off a pass bobbled by Cordarrelle Patterson and returned it 51 yards up the right sideline to the Falcons 9.

The Rams then took the second-half kickoff and extended their lead by another touchdown when Kupp made an over-the-shoulder catch on a fade pattern on third-and-4 from Atlanta’s 10.

Mariota was 17 of 26 for 196 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

London, the No. 8 overall pick who went to college at Southern California, had eight catches for 86 yards, including his first touchdown during the third quarter.

The Falcons were able to move the ball in the first half, but were done in by mistakes. They got the opening kickoff and went 49 yards before Younghoe Koo was wide left on a 44-yard field goal attempt. Los Angeles would convert that into a touchdown when Stafford connected with Allen Robinson for a 1-yard score.

Atlanta then turned it over on downs on its next possession when Patterson was stopped by Bobby Wagner and Greg Gaines. The Rams made took advantage of the short field and scored eight plays later when Darrell Henderson went 8 yards around right guard to make it 14-0 with 9:34 remaining in the second quarter.