LOS ANGELES – When points are hard to come by, any turnovers loom large in determining the outcome.
There was only one turnover between the Panthers and Rams on Sunday. It came from a spectacular individual effort by linebacker Thomas Davis.
"It was a heck of a play," tight end Greg Olsen said. "The play of the game."
Quarterback Case Keenum and the Rams struggled to develop any kind of rhythm against Carolina, but it looked they were on the cusp of finally putting some points on the board late in the third quarter.
Keenum had just completed arguably his best pass of the day, a 17-yarder to wide receiver Tavon Austin, who scooted out of bounds at the Los Angeles 40-yard line.
But on second-and-7, Keenum faked a handoff and looked downfield. Davis knew what was coming.
"It was something we saw during the week, and I just reacted to the throw," Davis said.
Keenum was looking for tight end Tyler Higbee down the left side. Davis dropped well into coverage and put himself in position to make a play on the ball once Keenum pulled the trigger.
"I dropped back and got set up, and I got my eyes on the quarterback," Davis recalled. "He threw the ball in my direction, and I was like, 'Come down with this football by any means necessary.'"
Davis soared high into the air to snag the ball before landing flat on his back at the Carolina 45-yard line.
"That was a crucial mistake," Keenum said. "I really want that one back, because we were moving on offense.
"That wound up costing us big."
The Carolina offense turned that takeaway into a 38-yard Graham Gano field goal for a 10-0 lead early in the fourth quarter.
And the 12-year veteran linebacker – who also posted a game-high 11 tackles with a sack and forced fumble – proved to teammates and coaches that love to razz him that he's still got plenty of hops.
"I'm just really trying to dispel that notion of Thomas Davis being old," Davis joked. "I had to get up and come down with that pick."
View game action photos from Carolina's 13-10 win over Los Angeles.