Updated 10/8, 7:30 p.m. PT
LOS ANGELES — The Rams committed five turnovers and scored only three points in four red-zone trips, falling to the Seahawks 16-10.
"Anytime that you turn the football over five times against a great opponent like the Seattle Seahawks, you're going to put yourself in a tough position," head coach Sean McVay said postgame. "To our players' credit, they continued to fight and battle all the way to the end. That's one of the thing that I feel like [is] starting to become one of our identities.
"And we make no excuses — we didn't get it done today," McVay continued. "Starting with me, we can all look at ourselves critically and figure out what we can do to be a part of the solution."
Quarterback Jared Goff finished 22-of-47 passing for 288 yards with two interceptions and a fumble that Seattle recovered. Wide receiver Tavon Austin fumbled a pair of punt returns — both after signaling for a fair catch — and lost one. And running back Todd Gurley had a key fumble early in the game that wiped Rams' points off the board.
"We really beat ourselves today," Goff said. "We did — we beat ourselves all day offensively. 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."
McVay said he's "extremely concerned" about the five giveaways.
"If we don't fix that, it's going to be really tough to win football games," McVay added.
Nevertheless, the Rams had a chance to win the game late. Down six with no timeouts, L.A. got the ball on its own 25 with 1:07 left in the fourth quarter. Goff began the drive with a long pass down the seam to tight end Tyler Higbee for 35 yards. A play later, Goff connected with wideout Robert Woods for 20 yards in the middle of the field.
A spike gave the Rams 2nd-and-10 at the Seattle 20 with 17 seconds left. After an incomplete pass to Gurley on the left, Goff threw a pass to rookie wideout Cooper Kupp in the end zone. Kupp dove for the ball, but it went off the end of his hands and fell incomplete.
Kupp was clearly upset with himself in the locker room after the game.
"We're playing in the NFL. You're expected to make those plays and my expectations are no different. I expect to make that play," Kupp said. "I can't say anything about whether it was behind me or a one-handed catch — if I'm putting my hands on the ball, I've got to make the play."
"It was a really tough catch," Goff said. "It would've been an incredible catch if he came up with it. But to him, his standards are so high — that's the type of play he likes to make. I just told him, 'Don't worry about it. It's a long season, and we're going to have so many more situations, hopefully, throughout our career together just like that.'"
Goff attempted another pass to Kupp on 4th-and-10 — on what appeared to be a similar play — but this time Kupp was well defended and the ball fell incomplete.
Though the Rams ended Sunday with 375 total yards, 21 first downs, and were 8-of-15 on third down, the offense looked out of sync for much of the contest. With Goff completing only 46.8 percent of his passes, the Rams gave plenty of credit to Seattle's defense for disrupting Los Angeles' rhythm.
"As an offense, we just need to get in a rhythm, get things going a little bit, and they did a good job of keeping that from happening," Kupp said. "At the same time, we lost. … We're going to go back and watch film, learn from that, and we're going to move on to Jacksonville."
"I thought we moved the ball pretty well for a lot of the game — early on there we definitely did, then hit a lull in the middle, and started moving it again," Goff said. "We had [an 11]-play drive and a 13-play drive that went for no points. So it wasn't so much we weren't moving the ball — we just weren't finishing drives. That's what it came down to."
Coming off an NFC Offensive Player of the Week award for his 215-yard performance against the Cowboys, Gurley was not as heavily involved in this week's contest. He took only 14 carries for 43 yards, and caught just two passes for seven yards.
"The flow of the game kind of dictates and determines whatever plays we feel like are going to work best," McVay said. "Obviously, we know what a special player Todd is, but given some of the things that they were presenting, we felt like there were some other chances with some different things — but nothing Todd wasn't doing. It was just more a matter of some of the decisions that we made and that I made, as far as the play selection."
Gurley's day looked like it began well, as the running back appeared to take a 12-yard pitch into the end zone. The play was ruled a touchdown on the field, but upon further review, Seattle safety Earl Thomas punched the ball out of Gurley's hand as he was headed out of bounds at about the one-yard line. The ball, however, stayed in play and hit off the pylon for a touchback.
That was the Rams' first trip to the red zone that finished without points.
"Obviously, I've got to do a good job of taking care of the ball. No ifs, ands, or buts about it," Gurley said. "I should've just lowered my shoulder."
Still, Los Angeles was able to score first in the second quarter, capitalizing on a takeaway. Safety Cody Davis — starting for the injured Lamarcus Joyner — gave the Rams the extra possession with an interception on a Seattle trick play.
On 1st-and-10 from the Seattle 32 — the first play of the Seahawks' possession — wide receiver Tanner McEvoy received a backwards pass from Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson and set up to throw to the far side of the field. The attempt to running back J.D. McKissic was underthrown, though, and Davis was there to make an interception on the defense's left.
Austin finished the Rams' ensuing possession with a 27-yard touchdown run on an inside handoff on 3rd-and-11, giving L.A. a 7-0 lead.
While Austin's muffed punt gave Seattle the ball at the L.A. 30, rookie safety John Johnson put the Rams in position to extend their lead with his first professional takeaway. On 1st-and-10 from the L.A. 15, Johnson undercut tight end Luke Willson's route and picked off the pass on the defense's left. Johnson nearly made it to the end zone, but Wilson tackled the safety — who was making his first start — at the Seattle 19.
"I'll get it right and I will take them to the house. But it was great to finally get an interception," Johnson said. "I feel like the first one is always harder to get. I hope that there's a lot more coming."
Kicker Greg Zuerlein hit a 35-yard field goal to give the Rams a 10-0 lead.
But after that, the Seahawks would score 16 unanswered points to win the game. Seattle's first points came on its ensuing drive, which went 15 plays, 75 yards, and took 7:34 off the clock. Wilson capped it with a four-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jimmy Graham — a fade to the left side of the end zone.
Then kicker Blair Walsh added a 48-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter, tying the score at 10 at halftime.
The Rams had a chance to score on their first drive of the second half, but Goff's pass on 3rd-and-12 from the Seattle 18 fell incomplete to tight end Gerald Everett in the end zone. And then Zuerlein missed a 36-yard field goal wide right, ending his streak of 19 converted attempts.
With a nine-play ensuing drive, Walsh gave the Seahawks a three-point lead with a 49-yard field goal.
L.A. again reached the red zone, but Goff and Gurley got their feet tied up on a play-action fake on 1st-and-10. The quarterback fell and was touched down for a 10-yard loss. A play later, Goff's screen attempt to Gurley was too high, went off the running back's fingertips, and into the hands of Seattle defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson for an interception.
"The interception over Todd's head — a play I can't make," Goff said.
The two teams traded punts in the fourth quarter, before the Rams appeared to get something going offensively midway through the period. But on 2nd-and-10 from the Seattle 49, Goff threw an errant pass over the middle and Thomas picked it off, returning it 19 yards to the L.A. 46.
"It came out high on me and hit [Thomas] right in his chest," Goff said. "Something I can't do."
Los Angeles' final turnover came once again after it looked like the offense could put something together later in the fourth quarter. Goff hit Higbee over the middle for a 29-yard pass. But on the next play, defensive end Frank Clark rushed from Goff's left, hit the quarterback and caused him to fumble. Richardson recovered the loose ball and returned it to the L.A. 20, putting Seattle firmly in field goal range.
The defense did a nice job to hold the Seahawks to a field goal after the sudden change, but 16 points would be enough for the visitors with just 1:12 left on the clock.
With the loss, the Rams are now 3-2 on the season. They have tough two-game road stretch before the bye, facing the Jaguars in Jacksonville before taking on the Cardinals in London.
"The nice thing about the NFL is you don't have very long to feel sorry for yourself, whether things are good or bad. And right now, we didn't get the result that we wanted," McVay said. "I'm sick about it, but I give credit to Seattle. But, we will move forward and I can't wait to get back to work, look at this film, and find a way to get ready for a good Jacksonville team this week."