Lions' next: Rams falter late, lose to Bills

Gary Klein
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles — The Los Angeles Rams won three games in a row with big defensive plays that secured victories in the final minute.

On Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, they needed a late clutch drive or play from the offense.

They did not get it and suffered a 30-19 defeat at the Coliseum.

On a day when the Rams were without three of their starting defensive linemen, Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor passed for two touchdowns and LeSean McCoy rushed for 154 yards as the Rams fell to 3-2.

Former USC standout Nickell Robey-Coleman intercepted two passes. In the third quarter, he returned one 41 yards for a touchdown. He also picked off a scrambling Keenum with less than two minutes left as the Bills improved to 3-2.

The Rams were back at the Coliseum for the first time since they defeated the Seattle Seahawks in their home opener on Sept. 18.

Greg Zuerlein had kicked three field goals in that 9-3 victory, and he added four on Sunday against the Bills.

But the Rams could manage only one touchdown on Todd Gurley's short second-quarter run.

The Rams also could not overcome the absence of injured defensive linemen Robert Quinn, William Hayes and Michael Brockers.

Keenum completed 21 of 31 passes for 271 yards. Gurley rushed for 72 yards and a touchdown in 23 carries.

Taylor completed 12 of 23 passes for 124 yards and rushed for 29 yards in four carries.

In his return to the Coliseum, former USC star Reggie Bush carried one time for three yards.

The Rams trailed, 16-13, at halftime but tied the score about midway through the third quarter on Zuerlein's third field goal.

That's when Keenum made a mistake.

Robey-Coleman stepped in front of a receiver, intercepted Keenum's pass and returned it 41 yards for a touchdown.

Despite two delay-of-game penalties, the Rams launched a long drive early in the fourth quarter.

But the drive stalled at its eight, and the Rams settled for Zuerlein's fourth field goal, which made it a four-point deficit.

The Rams got the ball back with 4 minutes 35 seconds remaining at their 18-yard line but they could not get a first down. A direct snap to receiver Bradley Marquez on a fake punt netted only a couple of yards and gave the ball back to the Bills.

McCoy broke off a 24-yard run to set up Taylor's touchdown pass to Marquise Goodwin that sealed the victory for the Bills.

McCoy rushed for 111 yards in nine carries to help the Bills go into halftime leading, 16-13.

The Rams came out with a dynamic offense, Keenum mixing passes to Tavon Austin with hand-offs to Gurley as the Rams moved to the Bills' 14 yard-line. But a false-start penalty on third down stalled the drive and the Rams settled for Zuerlein's 37-yard field goal.

Taylor immediately answered, scrambling up the middle for a 22-yard gain and connecting with tight end Charles Clay on passes of 12 and 29 yards to set up Taylor's short touchdown pass to receiver Justin Hunter.

Gurley's fumble late in the first quarter gave the Bills an opportunity and they capitalized quickly.

McCoy's 53-yard run set up Mike Gillislee's short touchdown run to put the Bills ahead, 13-3.

The Rams cut the deficit to seven with Zuerlein's second field goal, and they tied the score with Gurley's one-yard touchdown with just under two minutes left.

But Taylor and McCoy keyed a two-minute drill as the Bills moved from their 25 to the Rams' 5, where they kicked a field goal for a 16-13 lead.

Rams at Lions

Kickoff : 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16, Ford Field, Detroit

Records : Rams 3-1, Lions 2-3

Line : Lions by 3

Series : Rams lead 43-40-1 (Rams 21, Lions 14, Dec. 13, 2015)

Did you know ? The last time the Lions played the Los Angeles Rams, they lost 16-13 in Anaheim Stadium on Oct. 24, 1993.