After a loss to the Seahawks in which the Rams had five giveaways, Los Angeles' record stands at 3-2 heading into a two-game road trip. But even with the turnovers, the Rams had an opportunity to win on their final drive.
With that in mind, here are five takeaways from Week 5.
1) Far too many turnovers
As referenced above, the Rams committed five turnovers on Sunday — an alarming number for any single game. Running back Todd Gurley fumbled at the goal line, wide receiver Tavon Austin muffed two punts — both after signaling for a fair catch — losing one, and quarterback Jared Goff threw two interceptions and lost a fumble.
Head coach Sean McVay said he was "extremely concerned" about the giveaways following Sunday's game.
"[W]e always talk about it — other than points there is no greater indicator of the history of this game of winning and losing football games than turnovers," McVay said. "We turned the ball over five times today and that's not a recipe for winning football. That's not something that we can afford to do if we expect to win games moving forward."
Given the circumstances, both Goff and Gurley said they felt that in a sense, L.A. gave the game away.
"They're really good for a reason they've been really good for a long time for a reason. But. we really beat ourselves today — we did. We beat ourselves all day, offensively," Goff said. "The defense did a great job for us, caused a couple turnovers and held them to some field goals and did a great job. We didn't do our part."
"Just take care of the ball and the rest takes care of itself. We just weren't able to do that, but it's stuff we can fix for sure," Gurley said. "Taking care of the ball, we will definitely get that fixed for sure."
2) And yet…
Despite the myriad mistakes — Los Angeles also scored only three points in four red-zone opportunities — the Rams still had a chance to win the game late.
Down six points with just over a minute left, Goff began the home team's final drive with a 35-yard pass to tight end Tyler Higbee, bringing L.A. into Seattle territory. Then a 20-yard pass to wide receiver Robert Woods put Los Angeles on the Seattle 20.
Of course, the Rams wouldn't get it done. But a pass to Cooper Kupp went off his hands in the end zone, leaving the rookie wideout particularly disappointed in the locker room.
Check out some of the best photos from the Week 5 contest against the Seattle Seahawks.
"At the end of the day, let's face the facts — I have to make that play," Kupp said. "I'm going to take responsibility for that and extreme ownership of it and go back and continue to work. As much as I would like to go back and fix it, I can't. So I have to go back and learn from it, move forward."
That Los Angeles' offense was able to put itself in position to win the game after what was an uneven performance says something about the unit's resiliency.
"To our players' credit, they continue to fight and battle all the way to the end," McVay said. "That's one of the things that I feel like is starting to become one of our identities. And we make no excuses — we didn't get it done today. Starting with me, we can all look at ourselves critically and figure out what we can do to be a part of the solution."
3) Defense shows improvement
One reason the Rams were able to stay in the game throughout was the defensive performance. L.A. surrendered only 241 yards and 15 first downs to Seattle, as the visitors managed only 3.7 yards per play.
"We knew they like to run the ball and we had to stop the run first and defend the pass second," middle linebacker Alec Ogletree said. "Wish we could have came out a little different, but definitely proud as a defense for sure."
"Yeah, I think we just had a great plan," defensive lineman Michael Brockers said. "I think we prepared very well and we knew these guys. I just chalk it up to preparation."
Quarterback Russell Wilson had only 198 yards passing and 16 yards rushing, as the Rams contained him well.
"He's so good outside of the pocket and to his advantage he's better out of the pocket mostly because he can't see inside the pocket," Brockers said. "Our whole philosophy was just to keep him in the pocket, don't let him beat us with his feet."
What makes the performance all the more impressive is that the defense held Seattle to just 16 points, despite having to contend with five turnovers. The Seahawks scored only three points off of Rams giveaways. Brockers said there wasn't much frustration on the defense, even though the offense was out of sync on Sunday.
"Not really, because we're a brotherhood — we stick together," Brockers said. "Our motto is "Don't blink," so we have to play through those things. It's football and those things happen."
4) John Johnson looks the part**
One reason the game did not get out of hand despite the five giveaways is that the Rams also had two takeaways. Safety Cody Davis started for the injured Lamarcus Joyner and came away with his second career interception on a Seattle trick play.
But safety John Johnson also made the first start of his career, and appeared to play quite well. He intercepted Wilson after Austin's muffed punt left Seattle with good field position, and the rookie out of Boston College nearly returned the pick for six points.
"I felt real comfortable," Johnson said of making his first start. "I believe the whole team and the coaching staff have a whole lot of trust in me. I have got to come in and play. I have got to prepare like a starter like I said and I felt really good out there."
Johnson ended Sunday with three total tackles, two passes defensed, and the interception.
"I know just when you're able to look at it from afar, he made a couple splash plays, was in a position as a middle safety to get over the top on some deep balls, obviously makes the pick," McVay said. "I think John's a player that since he's got here, he's continued to grow. He's a player that we have a lot of confidence in and expecting him to continue to improve."
5) Earning some respect
Seattle safety Earl Thomas — widely regarded as one of the best defensive players in the league — had some praise for the Rams' offense while speaking to NFL Network's Deion Sanders on GamedayPrime following yesterday's game.
Thomas forced Gurley's fumble at the goal line, and had an interception in the second half to be one of the keys to Seattle's victory. But he was complimentary of what he saw from Los Angeles during the contest.
"It was a hard-fought battle," Thomas told Sanders. "Hats off to Goff — he's better than last year, bro. He did a great job. He even looked me off sometimes, so I've got to get better."
It's not often that quarterbacks can say they've successfully looked off Thomas, who has 24 interceptions, 63 passes defensed, and 11 forced fumbles in his eight-year career. And so while the Rams still clearly have work to do to clean up their errors, there has been marked improvement through five games.