Seeing as they ultimately lost to Detroit by a field goal, 31-28, that blown opportunity loomed large in the end.
Lions coach Jim Caldwell would prefer an easier path to success. We go after it, we try to be prudent with it.
"You know, you talk and coaches tell you how much they like you, but at the end of the day you never know what can happen in a draft", Donald said. Keenum just didn't have it, pundits said, and perhaps the time for a chance had arrived. And they hit it big in a free play to open the second half, though it was far from dumb luck.
But five games into his sophomore campaign, Gurley is on pace for just over 920 rushing yards, a figure that would've ranked 10th in the league a year ago.
On the play after Joyner came out, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford connected with slot receiver Golden Tate for a 23-yard touchdown. The NFL Odds for the game have the Lions favored to pick up the victory at home.
"We had our meeting last night and said, 'It's all hands on deck, '" Stafford said.
"He's a Pro Bowl player and you miss those guys", Detroit defensive Teryl Austin acknowledged. "We knew that at the beginning".
Sunday was Tate at his absolute best, a confident, charismatic player who is unafraid to go over the middle or jump to make the hard catch.
Keenum was 27 of 32 with three touchdowns for 321 yards and one interception. In the receiving end, Kenny Britt posted 75 yards in five receptions while Austin added 59 yards in seven catches. Coach Jeff Fisher has become notorious in recent years for being unable to get over the.500 mark on the season and his second quarter gamble could very well have cost the Rams the game. "Thirty-one points is not acceptable, especially in a game where your offense is starting to click and you're making plays and scoring points".
Keenum had been inconsistent at best in his first five games, and took criticism after last week's loss to Buffalo, in which he threw for 271 but zero touchdowns and two interceptions.
Keenum's yardage total was the second-highest of his career.
In our business, uncertainty can become a distraction, Fisher said. "It slowed down for him. I was pleased with the way Case played, but still we need to win a football game".
Stafford, like Keenum, thrived throughout the game and completed 23 of 31 attempts for 270 yards. On the defense, Detroit is allowing 25.0 points and 378.2 yards per game against the opponents. Gurley was stuffed, so the game stayed tied.
Even with an injury-weakened defensive line, the Rams should contain Detroit's run game. Gurley was tackled for a loss by backup defensive tackle Stefan Charles.
TWO-STOP ROAD TRIP: The Rams have been on the move a lot, relocating to Los Angeles from St. Louis and bouncing around to three cities for offseason workouts, training camp and the regular season.
In all three Lions wins this season, Stafford has guided a comeback in the fourth quarter.