Five Takeaways: Gurley, defense bright spots for Rams in loss to Steelers

PITTSBURGH – A 17-12 loss to the Steelers at Heinz Field certainly wasn't the result the Rams wanted, but the performances of Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald gave the Rams performances to build off of in defeat.

Here are five instant takeaways from the matchup:

The Los Angeles Rams face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers for Week 10 at Heinz Field.

1) Gurley gets going.

Starter Todd Gurley looked explosive against a formidable front seven, finishing with 12 carries for 73 yards.

His 22-yard run in the third quarter helped open up play action for the Rams offense on a drive that ended with a 30-yard field goal by kicker Greg Zuerlein. Five of his attempts went for six or more yards.

Overall, his 6.1 yard per carry average was best since averaging 6.9 on 14 carries for 97 yards against the Panthers in the season-opener.

2) Donald has impactful homecoming.

It took some time, but Rams DT Aaron Donald eventually gave family and friends in attendance something to smile about.

Early in the fourth quarter, the former University of Pittsburgh standout combined with LB Clay Matthews to sack Steelers QB Mason Rudolph in the endzone for a safety. It cut Los Angeles’ deficit to two and was one of multiple plays by the defense that kept the Steelers within striking distance late.

3) Offensive line experiences planned and unplanned shuffling.

The Rams’ adjustments to the offensively were both expected and unexpected.

They expected to start Austin Blythe at left guard and David Edwards, who started the previous two games there, at right guard. They didn’t expect to lose starting center Brian Allen and starting right tackle Rob Havenstein to injuries.

The unexpected meant Austin Corbett making his Rams debut and playing left guard, with Blythe shifting over to center. Edwards moved over to right tackle, and Coleman Shelton was inserted at right guard.

Shelton was the last of the active offensive linemen for the Rams on Sunday, which tells you how hard the group was hit by those setbacks.

4) Third down woes hinder offensive rhythm.

Besides turnovers, an inability to convert on third down made it difficult for the Rams' offense to get going throughout the night.

L.A. converted on just one of 14 on third down, and head coach Sean McVay said there were "so many stoppages" that didn't allow the Rams offense to get into a rhythm.

It was obviously an unusual performance by the offense, which entered Sunday's game converting 40.4 percent of its third down tries.

5) Win as a team, lose as a team.

There was no finger pointing in the Rams locker room.

Yes, the comeback fell short, but blame was shared in the loss that snapped a two-game winning streak for Los Angeles. Donald even said the defense could've done more.

They will regroup as a team and move on to next week's game against the Bears as a team.

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