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NFL: Rams win Monday night battle of tough defenses

Los Angeles receiver Josh Reynolds

 

By GREG BEACHAM AP Sports Writer

INGLEWOOD, Calif.  — Josh Reynolds and Gerald Everett caught touchdown passes from Jared Goff, and the Los Angeles Rams won a matchup of dominant defenses, beating the Chicago Bears 24-10 on Monday night.

Goff passed for 219 yards and Malcolm Brown  rushed for a score for the Rams (5-2), who remained unbeaten at brand-new SoFi Stadium and reasserted themselves as NFC contenders with a rebound performance one week after a rough loss at San Francisco.

Taylor Rapp made an end-zone interception on a pass deflection by Troy Hill while the Rams held Chicago (5-2) to 182 yards in the first three quarters and built a 24-3 lead.

Eddie Jackson returned a fumble 8 yards for Chicago’s only touchdown with 7:30 to play, but Los Angeles’ defense stayed in control, yielding 279 total yards and three points. The Rams have won twice in three defense-dominated games between these longtime rivals over the past three seasons.

Nick Foles passed for 261 yards for the Bears, who dropped out of the NFC North lead and fell to 3-1 on the road with their latest discouraging offensive performance. Chicago managed just 49 yards rushing and has 175 yards on the ground in the past four games.

The Rams’ defense, now coordinated by former Bears outside linebackers coach Brandon Staley, sacked Foles four times and picked off two of his passes, including Jalen Ramsey’s first interception of the season near midfield to clinch the victory with 3:13 to play.

Even punter Johnny Hekker dominated the Bears, pinning them inside their 10 with all five of his punts in a superb performance by the four-time Pro Bowler.

The Rams led 10-3 at halftime after holding the Bears to 126 yards. Reynolds made his 4-yard TD reception on the second drive for just the second scoring catch by a wide receiver against Chicago’s stingy secondary all season, but the Bears stopped two additional drives just outside field goal range to keep the deficit manageable.

The Rams went up 17-3 midway through the third quarter on a TD drive capped by Brown’s 1-yard run.

Chicago mounted its best drive immediately thereafter, but its 71-yard march ended when Hill deflected a pass intended for Darnell Mooney in the end zone and Rapp snagged it for an interception.

The Rams followed with a crisp 80-yard drive capped by a 12-yard TD catch-and-run by Everett, their big-play tight end.

Chicago got to the Rams 4 with just over nine minutes to play, but Aaron Donald flushed Foles from the pocket and into Justin Hollins’ arms for a fourth-down sack.

Robert Woods fumbled three plays later on a jet sweep, and Jackson returned it for the sixth defensive touchdown of his four-year career.

REUNION GAME

Leonard Floyd had two sacks and six tackles in his first game against Chicago since the Bears released him last offseason. After his sack, Floyd jumped up and went toward the Bears sideline, shouting and gesticulating.

INJURY REPORT

Bears: C Cody Whitehair injured his calf in the second half.

Rams: Rookie S Terrell Burgess was taken off the field on a cart in the fourth quarter with an air cast around his left leg. He has an ankle injury. … TE Tyler Higbee was inactive with a hand injury, missing his second game since 2016. Johnny Mundt had a career-high 47 yards receiving in his absence, including a career-best 34-yard catch in the second quarter.

UP NEXT

Bears: Host New Orleans on Sunday.

Rams: Visit Miami on Sunday as the opponent in Tua Tagovailoa’s debut start.

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