Takeaway rams: Lots to choose from, especially those from Stafford

The Rams defeated the Atlanta Falcons 31-27 on Sunday at SoFi Stadium.

What we learned from the victory of the Rams:

Quarterback Matthew Stafford has yet to reduce turnovers: Coach Sean McVay and Stafford are quick to explain that each interception has a different story.

OK, no arguments there.

But Stafford, who had 17 passes intercepted last season, has already intercepted five in two games.

Stafford insists his throwing arm is fine and completed 27 of 36 passes for 272 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday.

But if the Rams want to repeat themselves as Super Bowl champions, Stafford can’t continue at this turnover rate.

The Allen Robinson receiver can be a factor: After targeting Robinson only twice in the season’s opening defeat to the Buffalo Bills, McVay and Stafford said they needed to get him more involved.

Against the Falcons, they’ve been waiting for a whole game.

Robinson was targeted five times. He had four catches for 53 yards, including a touchdown.

Cooper Kupp remained Stafford’s go-to receiver, receiving 11 passes for 108 yards and two touchdowns across 14 targets. Tight Tyler Higbee was targeted nine times and had seven catches for 71 yards.

Running back Cam Akers responded to McVay’s most urgent request: Akers ran for 44 yards in 15 carries against the Falcons. He also took two passes for 18 yards.

The third year for delivered at McVay’s request after gaining zero yards on three goals against the counts.

“I have more reps, more burns,” Akers said. “I made the most of them.”

What must he do to have more opportunities?

“Do more than I did,” he said.

Receiver Ben Skowronek added another role: Throughout the game, Skowronek lined up as a full-back in lineup I.

“Just to be able to confuse it a bit,” McVay said.

Skowronek took two passes for 16 yards, helped protect Stafford and paved the way for Akers and Darrell Henderson.

It remains a staple of the special teams.

Offensive lineman Alaric Jackson offers versatility: Right guard Tremayne Anchrum sustained an ankle injury during the second play of his early career start, so Jackson intervened.

Jackson, a second-year pro, was to serve as a swing tackle.

But he has shown he can also guard and helped an offensive line that gave up seven sacks against the Bills and gave up only one against the Falcons.

Cornerback rookie Cobie Durant is a director: Durant, a fourth-round pick from South Carolina State, intercepted a pass and recorded a layoff on his defensive debut.

Durant entered Sunday’s game as a cornerback after Troy Hill sustained a groin injury in the second quarter. A series later, Durant caught a Marcus Mariota pass that left Cordarrelle Patterson’s hands and returned him at 51 yards to set a touchdown that gave the Rams a 21-3 lead at half-time.

Rams defender Cobie Durant, right, celebrates with linebacker Terrell Lewis.

Rams defender Cobie Durant, right, celebrates with linebacker Terrell Lewis after his interception set a touchdown.

(Allen J. Cockroaches / Los Angeles Times)

“On tipping and tipping, you have to execute,” Durant said, adding, “I was like, ‘Dang, here you go, take my pick and it was like getting to the crib.’ … I only use my opportunities.

The defense on the third down is much better: After allowing the Bills to convert nine out of 10 times to the third down, the Rams stopped the Falcons seven out of 10. The Falcons converted two thirds down on the first drive and only one later.

Linebacker Ernest Jones scored 12 record tackles for the Rams.

Durant, inside linebacker Bobby Wagner and outside linebacker Justin Hollins fired Marcus Mariota, who completed 17 of the 26 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns, with two interceptions.

The unit of points needs work: In the second game of the 2022 season, the Falcons blocked a punt from Riley Dixon and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown.

He recalled last season when, in the second game, a snap bounced off Rams’s punt protection and the Indianapolis Colts recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown.

Rams’ special teams units showed last season that they could improve by the end of the season. They need a repeat if they aim to repeat themselves as Super Bowl champions.