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John Johnson III's first interception of season a 'turning point' in Rams' win over Browns

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – It all aligned perfectly for Rams defensive back John Johnson III

Clinging to a 20-19 lead after a 3-and-out by its offense, Los Angeles was in desperate need of a stop midway through the fourth quarter. Cleveland Browns quarterback Joe Flacco launched a deep ball toward the right sideline intended for Elijah Moore 

Away came Johnson with his first interception of the season, and against his former team, no less. 

"Really felt like the turning point in the game was John Johnson's interception," McVay said. "And we've talked about playing complementary ball, I think that's been on display, especially the last two weeks, but what a huge play that was." 

Five plays later, quarterback Matthew Stafford's 3-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Cooper Kupp extended the Rams' lead to 27-19 – the beginning of what would be 16 unanswered points scored over the final 3:48 of the game. 

Final score: Rams 36, Browns 19. A win streak reaching three games for Los Angeles. 

"The win was really what I wanted," Johnson said postgame. "But yeah, cherry on top. I had one earlier I felt like I should've caught, and it always comes back. At that point in the game, it was a big point in the game. Against that team, it feels really good." 

That touchdown – the bookend of the offense complementing the opportunity set up by the defense – was made possible by Johnson's 42-yard return, though it almost looked as if he'd be the one responsible for the points. 

"My calf was cramping before that drive," Johnson said. "I was just happy to – I'm just trying get some yards back, you know, put the offense in a good situation to score. But yeah, I tried to get a little saucy, but my wheels, man, I had some flat tires." 

In a game that saw the Rams' offense and defense pick each other up throughout, there was no bigger example that that pick by Johnson. 

"That's NFL football. That's how you win football games," Stafford said. "They're never going to be perfect. There are going to be ups and downs, ebbs, and flows, and being able to weather those storms, continue to trust each other. I have total confidence in both sides of the ball and really the kicking game as well to go out there and execute when we need to. We were able to do that which was great."

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