For 53 minutes, the New York Giants had a defensive performance against the LA Rams that head coach Sean McVay was worried about. Then on a single play, we were reminded that the Rams have players and coaches to worry about too.
Rams receiver Cooper Kupp caught a pass from Jared Goff midway through the fourth quarter and took it to the end zone for a 55-yard touchdown, giving LA a 17-9 lead with 6:56 remaining. The Giants had two more opportunities to score and go for a tying two-point conversion, but the Rams defense scored a turnover on downs and a diving interception by cornerback Darious Williams off of Daniel Jones to preserve the lead.
Los Angeles improves to 3-1, the fourth time in four years that Sean McVay has a winning record after the first quarter of the season.
The Rams defense held New York to 159 yards of passing offense, fewer passing yards allowed than in all but one of LA’s games last season. Brandon Staley’s defense held the Giants to three field goals and no touchdowns, sacking Jones five times and forcing the game-sealing turnover.
There were a few positives offensively, such as another opening drive touchdown script and a reminder that the Rams have elite receiving weapons, but McVay will have to reconsider how he’d beat New York next time.
Goff was 18 of 23 for only 112 yards after three quarters but made the throw he needed to make in order for the Rams to take an eight-point lead in the final stretch of the game.
He finished 25 of 32 for 200 yards and was sacked twice, both in the first half.
After spending the first three weeks as one of the top rushing teams, the Rams finished with only 58 yards on 23 carries, including eight for 22 when handing it to Darrell Henderson. LA scored its first touchdown on a two-yard run by tight end Gerald Everett — another point in the positives column for McVay — but he also lost a fumble on Sunday.
Kupp finished with five catches for 69 yards, Robert Woods was held to 35 yards on six catches and tight end Tyler Higbee had three for 21.
Defensively, the Rams were able to contain the Giants about as much as expected given that New York has had one of the least effective offenses in the NFL this season. Jones was held to 190 yards on 23 of 36 passing and he was sacked four times in the first half.
Michael Brockers, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Justin Hollins and Morgan Fox were each credited with one sack, while Aaron Donald and Samson Ebukam combined for another. Jalen Ramsey was in on the Okoronkwo sack too. Taylor Rapp, filling in for rookie Jordan Fuller, led the team in tackles but also missed a tackle on tight end Evan Engram that led to a first down and highlighted how important it is to get Fuller back healthy again. Troy Hill had two passes defensed and six tackles for the Rams.
LA hits the road for its next two games, beginning with a Week 5 matchup against the Washington Football Team.