Rams’ lack of creating turnovers has become a big problem

It’s more than a dry spell, going well beyond a drought.

The Rams haven’t intercepted a pass or recovered a fumble in their last four games — all losses. They have a turnover in their last eight games.

Safety Nick Scott intercepted a tilted pass in an Oct. 16 win over the Carolina Panthers.

Since then, zero for the Rams defense.

“It seems like forever,” Scott said Thursday. “Seems like a season ago.”

The reigning Super Bowl champion Rams is 3-7 and close to elimination from the playoffs for many reasons.

Most obvious is an offense that has scored 16.8 points per game, which ranks 29th out of 32 NFL teams. And with quarterback Matthew Stafford sidelined again while he’s on record with a concussion and star receiver Cooper Kupp out for at least three more games while he recovers from ankle surgery, it’s not on track to improve.

Yet the defense didn’t help itself or the offense, and failed to generate turnovers that would have led to momentum, an advantageous field position, or instant points.

The Rams have only intercepted five passes and recovered just three fumbles. Their minus 7 turnover difference ranks 30th in the league.

“It’s annoying,” defensive coordinator Raheem Morris said of the lack of turnovers, adding, “The few times technique and opportunity met, we couldn’t redeem anything.

“I said to the guys… ‘You need a turnover like you need oxygen… like we need air.’ This is our life force.”

The defense has been gasping for air for most of the season.

In a season-opening loss to the Buffalo Bills, cornerback Troy Hill and outside linebacker Terrell Lewis caught passes and the Rams recovered two fumbles.

The next week against the Atlanta Falcons, the Rams recovered from a fumble, rookie cornerback Decobie Durant returned an interception from 51 yards, and cornerback Jalen Ramsey clinched a win with a late interception.

The Rams didn’t make a turnover in the next three games.

Scott’s interception against the Panthers ended the streak. Since then, the Rams have not capitalized on a potential error.

“We can’t talk about not getting them without talking about the missed opportunities,” Morris said, “the kind of things that are scarce but not cigar.”

Linebacker Bobby Wagner played 10 seasons on defense for the Seattle Seahawks, known for their aggressiveness and turnover creation. He said players who excel at intercepting passes or forcing fumbles share a trait.

“They’re just obsessed with finding ways to get the ball,” he said, “and that’s what we have to do.”

The Rams’ next opportunity comes Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs and star quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Mahomes has passed 28 touchdowns with seven interceptions. The Chiefs have lost six fumbles.

Mahomes isn’t afraid to take risks. He delivers passes from all angles and causes problems for the defense with running.

“It may or may not be an opportunity for more interceptions,” Scott said. “He’s a guy who climbs on the run and makes a lot of plays and sometimes it’s a bit risky throwing with crazy arm angles and things like that.”

Etc.

The Rams had a jog Thursday morning that was off-limits to reporters. … Quarterback John Wolford (neck) was a full participant, according to the Rams’ injury report. Coach Sean McVay and offensive coordinator Liam Coen have said Bryce Perkins and Wolford will both get work before deciding on a starter for Sunday’s game. Center Brian Allen (thumb) and offensive lineman Ty Nsehke (ankle) did not participate. Tight end Tyler Higbee (knee), Receiver Allen Robinson (ankle), offensive lineman Matt Skura (knee) and linebacker Travin Howard (hip) were limited.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/rams/story/2022-11-24/los-angeles-rams-creating-turnovers-kansas-city-chiefs Rams’ lack of creating turnovers has become a big problem

Emma Bowman

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