Rams tape review: Getting to Cam Newton, and Case Keenum goes left-handed

The Rams lost to the Carolina Panthers, 13-10, on Sunday to extend the team’s losing streak to four games.

Each week we take a look at what worked, what didn’t and what you might have missed. This week, we pay special attention to plays involving Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.

What: Panthers QB Cam Newton connects with TE Greg Olsen for a touchdown

Down: Third and five

Time: 4:18 left in first quarter

Here Newton zones in on his primary receiver, Greg Olsen (88), prior to the snap. The 6-foot-5 tight end has the advantage on safety T.J. McDonald (6-foot-2), but simply spins to the open middle of the field and gives Newton an easy throw to make for the score.

“When he got a head-start release, it was pretty much good riddance after that,” Newton said of the play.

What: Rams DE Eugene Sims sacks Newton for an eight-yard loss

Down: Second and 10

Time: 6:29 left in the second quarter

Newton spoke to the NFL in the week leading up to Carolina’s trip to L.A. about how defenders haven’t been flagged for roughing the passer against him despite issuing illegal hits. Following this play, he should probably talk with left tackle Mike Remmers (74) or running back Jonathan Stewart (28) about how they let defensive end Eugene Sims (97) crush their quarterback without so much as laying a finger on him.

What: Rams RB Todd Gurley breaks off his longest run of the year from the wildcat

Down: First and 10

Time: 4:48 left in second quarter

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While Gurley (30) only had 12 total carries, his longest of the season — an 18-yard run — came out of the wildcat formation. Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly (59) appears most concerned with tight end Lance Kendricks (88) before the ball is snapped, and maybe rightly so. Watch how Kendricks runs along the offensive line and actually cuts defensive end Kony Ealy (94) and safety Tre Boston (33) off from the play.

What: Rams LB/S Mark Barron’s delayed rush takes out Newton, and prompts Panthers to seek review

Down: Second and nine

Time: 5:03 left in third quarter

Following the game Newton was asked if he felt like he received better treatment from the referees, to which he replied: “I’m not worried about that. Just trying to find ways to win.”

Apparently, after reviewing the tape, the Panthers have decided he didn’t and have sent tape of his sack by Mark Barron (26) to the league for further review, according to an ESPN report.

Barron gets an open lane and goes unimpeded to Newton in the pocket. He appears to lead with his shoulder, but his forearm comes out a bit on the hit.

What: Rams QB Case Keenum goes left-handed to get a completion and keep a late drive going

Down: Second and 10

Time: 1:30 left in fourth quarter

The Rams’ longest drive (15 plays) came on their last possession of the game. Here Keenum has linebacker Thomas Davis (58) bearing down on him and cutting off his throwing angle with his right hand, so he switches hands and manages to get the ball out to running back Benny Cunningham (23), who picks up six yards on the play.

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Follow Matt Wilhalme on Twitter @mattwilhalme

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