ATLANTA — Jalen Ramsey's entrance for the Los Angeles Rams boosted the reigning NFC champions' hopes they can return to the NFL playoffs.
Matt Ryan's exit with an ankle injury provided a painful reminder the Atlanta Falcons have little hope remaining to avoid a second straight losing season.
Jared Goff threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, and the Rams returned to the site of last season's Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots to beat the reeling Falcons 37-10 on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The Rams (4-3) snapped a three-game losing streak in the debut of Ramsey, the 2017 All-Pro cornerback acquired from the Jacksonville Jaguars on Tuesday night. With Ramsey's addition to the secondary, the defense enjoyed a productive day with five sacks, an interception and a fumble return for a touchdown.
"We're back on track," said linebacker Dante Fowler, who had three sacks and a forced fumble.
Rams coach Sean McVay was impressed by Ramsey's ability to prepare so quickly.
"I can't say enough about his ability to digest the game plan," McVay said. "I think it's just a real credit to our defensive coaches and then Jalen's ability to come in on short notice with such short practice time and do what he did. It was a good boost to our team, to be sure."
The Falcons (1-6) have now lost five straight, and this defeat hurt more than their pride.
Ryan's right leg bent awkwardly as he was sacked by Aaron Donald in the fourth quarter, causing a fumble that Donald recovered. Ryan limped off the field and was escorted to the medical tent on the sideline. He walked to the locker room, still favoring the ankle, with 7:36 remaining in the game.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn said he did not know the severity of the injury to Ryan, who wore a walking boot in the locker room and was not made available for his usual postgame news conference.
Donald was credited with a sack, forced fumble and recovery on the play. It was the Rams' fifth sack of Ryan, matching the five sacks by Atlanta's defense all season, with none in the past four games.
"That amount of quarterback hits and sacks for sure was a real factor in this game," Quinn said.
Matt Schaub replaced Ryan and threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Austin Hooper with 2:36 remaining.
The final insult for Atlanta came with only 11 seconds left, when Kenjon Barner fumbled a punt return when hit by Troy Reeder and Darious Williams recovered in the end zone for a touchdown.
Ryan's injury was the latest and perhaps most damaging dose of bad news for the woeful Falcons. Quinn's job security appears shaky at best just three seasons after leading the franchise to only its second Super Bowl appearance.
Quinn, who took on the added role of defensive coordinator after the Falcons went 7-9 last season, revealed after the game that he began assigning some defensive play-calling duties to assistants during the prior Sunday's road loss to the Arizona Cardinals and continued to share that role against the Rams.
"I'm always looking to do anything that's best for the team," Quinn said. "My ego is never bigger than the team."
Quinn said he doesn't believe he has lost the team or the season.
"I never think you're out of the fight," he said. "You shouldn't think that way as a team member, and I certainly don't think that way as a coach. I recognize that when you don't play well, those are fair questions, but I don't think we're ever out of the fight."
Atlanta's frustrations showed in a third-quarter scuffle between running back Devonta Freeman and Donald that led to Freeman's ejection. The two locked up after Ryan's pass off Mohamed Sanu's hands was intercepted by Cory Littleton deep in Atlanta territory with the Rams leading 20-3.
Freeman had his hands on Donald's facemask before throwing a punch at the much bigger defensive tackle, which appeared to make little if any contact. Umpire Terry Killens finally pulled Freeman away from Donald, taking Freeman to the ground in an apparent unintentional body slam before quickly helping Freeman to his feet.
Each player drew unnecessary roughness penalties, and Freeman was ejected for throwing the punch, leaving Brian Hill and return specialist Kenjon Barner as the options at running back with Ito Smith already out with an injury.
The turnover left the Rams at the Atlanta 16 for a short touchdown drive capped by Goff's 1-yard run.
When Quinn left the podium after his news conference, team owner Arthur Blank hugged him. After huddling briefly with Quinn, Blank said he has no immediate plans to fire the coach.
"It's very disappointing for everybody," Blank said. "We understand that it is."