Kevin Byard scored a touchdown by returning Matthew Stafford’s second interception of the game 24 yards for a score, and the Tennessee Titans defeated the Los Angeles Rams, 28-16, on Sunday night.
Tennessee’s performance was stifling against the Rams’ potent passing offence, and Jeffery Simmons had three of the Volunteers’ five sacks of Stafford. The Titans were well on their way to a fifth straight win until Stafford threw back-to-back interceptions that led to 14 touchdowns in the final 11 seconds of the second quarter.
Defense Carries Titans Past Rams 28-16
The Titans (7-2) lost their first game without injured NFL rushing leader Derrick Henry, and while Ryan Tannehill tossed for 143 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score, the offence totaled just 194 yards.
After gaining only 21 yards on the ground, Adrian Peterson scored a touchdown from 6 yards out with 3 minutes remaining in the opening game of his 15th NFL season.
Simmons, who led the Titans in sacks since 2008, was closing in on Stafford in the end zone when the quarterback heaved a desperation pass straight into the middle of Tennessee’s defence to avoid the safety. After Geoff Swaim caught a pass for a touchdown, it was immediately returned for a touchdown by David Long Jr. at the Rams’ 2.
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Byard First Career Pick
Byard returned Stafford’s pass intended for Robert Woods down the sideline for a touchdown immediately following the kickoff, giving him his first career pick-6.
The defence played tremendous the whole game, and those early plays were unbelievable, quarterback Ryan Tannehill said.
It was enormous when you consider the combination of (Simmons’) pressure on the quarterback, David’s play on the ball, and Kevin’s ability to read the pattern and go underneath it to break up the pass. They really turned forth a great performance.
After Byard returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown, Geoff Swaim scored on a touchdown reception, and then Stafford threw an interception to Robert Woods down the sideline.
This was by far Stafford’s worst game as a Ram, as he passed for 294 yards and threw the 24th pick-6 of his career (7-2). The Los Angeles Lakers saw their four-game winning streak snapped as they faced up against the Chicago Bulls, just the fourth time in the last 15 years that the top teams from each conference have squared off.
Following an impressive start to the season (in which he was mentioned for the MVP award), Stafford looked wobbly and confused against Tennessee’s defence in the first half.
Due to his back pain, he was only able to get in a few light practises over the week, and despite injuring his ankle in the game, he continued playing.
The matchup was marred by the absence of key players from both squads. Henry missed Tennessee’s season opener with a foot injury, and the Rams didn’t get to use their new defensive end from Denver until this week. Miller’s recovery following ankle surgery is ongoing.
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Taylor Lewan was on the Titans’ active roster, but Bobby Hart got the nod at left tackle. At right guard, Aaron Brewer replaced Nate Davis.
Henderson, a wide receiver for the Rams, sprained his ankle in the second quarter but stayed on the field. In the second half, Jacob Harris went out with an injury. Thanks for reading our article Defense Carries Titans Past Rams 28-16 For 5th Straight Win.