Case Keenum was picking apart the Detroit Lions, throwing short and accurate passes to set a Rams record with 19 straight completions.
Then, with the game on the line, he made a mistake that sealed the loss.
Keenum threw deep over the middle toward a well-covered Lance Kendricks and was picked off by Rafael Bush with 1:01 left , allowing the Detroit Lions to hold on for a 31-28 win Sunday.
“Just thought Lance had a little seam there,” Keenum said. “Tried to look off a safety.”
Bush said Keenum didn’t try hard enough to do that.
“I saw the quarterback staring and knew I just had to catch the ball,” Bush said.
Detroit was determined to prevent Todd Gurley from having a big day on the ground and was able to do it, holding him to 58 yards on 14 carries.
“We wanted to let somebody else beat us,” Lions coach Jim Caldwell said.
The plan gave Keenum passing lanes to throw into and he took advantage.
Keenum was 27 of 32 with three touchdowns for 321 yards and one interception. He broke a franchise record for consecutive passes completed set by Jim Everett, who connected on 18 straight against the New York Giants in 1989.
For much of the game, he seemed to validate the Rams’ reasoning to play him and sit Jared Goff, the No. 1 pick overall.
Most of Keenum’s passes were short, though he did have a 47-yard pass to Kenny Britt that he turned into a spectacular catch.
He helped the Rams score a touchdown in each quarter. Keenum had a 20-yard pass to Britt, a 1-yard run of his own on a bootleg, a 15-yard pass to Kendricks and 9-yard pass to Britt.
But after Keenum’s second TD pass to Britt early in the fourth quarter, the Rams didn’t gain a yard on their next drive and Keenum threw an interception on the second play of their final possession.
“We went three and out at one of the most crucial drives,” he acknowledged.
Rams coach Jeff Fisher said the game seemed to slow down for Keenum, allowing him to make some “big-time throws,” against the Lions.
“I was pleased with the way Case played,” Fisher said. “But still need to win a football game.”
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