Halftime Notes: With Three Zuerlein Field Goals, L.A. Leads 9-7

Check out in-game photos of the Rams' Week 10 matchup against the Texans.

The Rams have had a rough time offensively throughout the first half, but still lead the Texans 9-7 after two quarters. Here are a few notes from opening 30 minutes.

EARLY TAKEAWAY LEADS TO POINTS

For the second week in a row, defensive tackle Aaron Donald ended the opening drive of a Rams opponent with a strip sack.

On 2nd-and-8 from the Houston 39, Donald came in from the defense's right to sack his college teammate Tom Savage, knocking the ball out in the process. The ball squirted backwards, and outside linebacker Matt Longacre — starting in place of Robert Quinn — was able to recover the loose ball and return it to the Houston 12-yard line.

From there, kicker Greg Zuerlein hit a 27-yard field goal to give Los Angeles an early 3-0 lead.

ANOTHER TAKEAWAY KEEPS POINTS OFF THE BOARD

With the Texans threatening late in the second quarter, linebacker Mark Barron came up with an interception to get the defense off the field.

On 2nd-and-17, Savage threw a pass over the middle, where Barron was ready as the underneath defender. He picked off the pass at the Los Angeles 10, returning the ball 15 yards to the L.A. 25.

It was a key sequence, as it looked the Texans might go up at least 10-6. Instead, after the Rams' two-minute drill, the home team took a 9-7 lead with a Zuerlein 50-yard field goal.

ROUGH FIRST QUARTER FOR THE OFFENSE

The Rams had a tough time getting anything going offensively in the game's opening period.

While the unit started on Houston's 12-yard line, the offense couldn't do much with the opportunity and had to settle for Zuerlein's field goal.

Then the Houston defense forced L.A. into a three-and-out on the next possession. And while running back Todd Gurley began the Rams' following drive with an 11-yard run, Texans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney sacked quarterback Jared Goff for an 11-yard loss on the next play.

The Rams ended the first quarter with just six total yards.

BUT THEN…

Head coach Sean McVay executed a strong play call to negate some of the aggressiveness from Houston's

defense, as Gurley took a screen 43 yards to the Houston 28. And then Gurley took a handoff to the left 15 yards down to the Texans' 13 on the next play.

From there, though, the offense stalled, and Zuerlein hit his second field goal to give Los Angeles a 6-0 lead.

FAKE PUNT CLOSE, BUT DOESN'T CONVERT

Down 7-6 with 4th-and-7 from the L.A. 32, the Rams elected to try a fake punt. While Johnny Hekker completed the pass to wide receiver Pharoh Cooper, the Texans were ready as safety Kurtis Drummond tackled the wideout short of the sticks.

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