By John Turney
Rams rookie cornerback Cobie Durant joined elite company by intercepting a pass and also recording a sack in a Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons in SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. Since 1982, when sacks became official, he became the first Rams rookie to record the duo of big plays.
In the second quarter of the game, he picked off a Marcus Mariota pass and returned it 51 yards. Mariota threw a short pass to running back Cordarrelle Patterson who deflected it and it fell into Durant's hands.
|Durant's interception. Credit: Fox Sports|
Later, in the third quarter, on a second and nine play, he sacked Mariota for a seven-yard loss on a corner blitz ending the Falcons drive.
|Durant's sack. Credit: Fox Sports|
Durant, a fourth-round draft pick out of South Carolina state with 4.38 speed, got his first significant playing time in the game, having played thirteen snaps, all on special teams, in the Rams opener ten days ago. In today's game, he was part of the Rams nickel and dime packages playing both outside and inside as a slot corner where he was positioned when he got to Mariota for the sack.
The last time any Ram pulled off the feat was Jack Youngblood in a 1975 playoff game against the St. Louis Cardinals, also in Los Angeles. That day the Rams beat the Cards 35-23 on the strength of two interceptions returned for touchdowns, one by Youngblood and the other by safety Bill Simpson
On the Cardinals second play from scrimmage, Youngblood tipped a Jim Hart swing pass intended for Jim Otis that popped up for a split second before landing in his hands and he proceeded to return it 47 yards for a touchdown.
Late in the third quarter, Youngblood threw Hart for a ten-yard loss to complete the pair of notable plays. However, his sack is not recognized by the NFL since it occurred prior to 1982—leaving it lost to history. Still, the sack took place, official or not, so Durant gets to attach his name to a Rams legend.
Well done, rook.