The Los Angeles Rams traveled to the Meadowlands for their second away game in a row and were able to walk off with a victory over the New York Giants to improve to 5-1 on the season. LA’s defense showed up in a big way with turnovers galore and the offense was firing on all cylinders in the lopsided 38-11 victory on Sunday. Here’s how it happened.
Let ‘em know how LA does it— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) October 17, 2021
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The Giants got the ball to start the game at the 15 yard line after a holding penalty set them back in poor field position. LA nearly got the ball back quickly when Leonard Floyd came around the left corner and stripped the ball out of Daniel Jones hand. New York came away with the ball and on second-and-18 Kadarius Toney got open near the sideline for the first down. Toney had three receptions for 36 yards but aggravated a lingering ankle injury on his third catch of the game and was led to the locker room for examination.
The Giants moved the ball effectively down the field but could not punch the ball in once they made it to the red zone. Kicker Graham Gano found the uprights for the first score of the game.
On the Rams first possession of the game, Stafford missed Van Jefferson but came back the next play and threw a strike to Cooper Kupp for a 30 yard completion. New York’s defense did not allow much else as they stuffed the Rams run game and sacked Stafford on third down leading to a Johnny Hekker punt.
Starting in poor field position for the second time of the game, Jones and company started at their own 10 yard line. The Giants were able to get out of depths of their own end zone when Jones found Sterling Shepard for the first down — and when it appeared the Rams’ defense would get off the field and force the punt, a defensive holding call on Jalen Ramsey kept the drive alive.
The drive would fizzle out when the Giants attempted a QB sneak on fourth-and-1 but hit a wall that is the Rams defensive line. Though Jones was able to move the ball effectively thus far, LA’s defensive line made it very uncomfortable for him.
After the fourth down stuff, Stafford took the field with the best field position of the game at this point at their own 42 yard line but could not do much with it. Hekker did find success with his arm after a trick play led to a first down, but offsetting penalties forced the replay of fourth down and took away possibly one of the bigger turning points of the game.
Score: Rams 0, Giants 3
The Rams got the ball moving on their first drive of the second quarter. After some setbacks with penalties, Stafford placed a perfect ball to Kupp for a 28 yard gain that got the engine turning for LA’s offense. Stafford then found Higbee for 10, which was followed by a 15 yard scamper from Michel.
On the next play at the Giants 15 yard line, Stafford connected with Robert Woods on a short pass that went for six — and the first touchdown of the game.
Following the Rams’ touchdown, LA’s defensive line hit home when Obo Okoronkwo stripped the ball out of Jones’ hand for the second time of the game — but this time they were able to recover it. Stafford helped that turnover turn into six when he found Kupp on fourth-and-1 after failing to cash in on the play prior.
Following back-to-back three-and-outs from both teams, Jones found Rams corner Taylor Rapp for the interception and gave LA an immediate red zone opportunity.
After a first down catch by Higbee to put them on the two yard line, Henderson did the rest and punched the ball in for the third touchdown of the game.
Though Los Angeles started out slow on all phases of the ball early in the game, the Henderson touchdown marked the third score in less than seven minutes of play in the second quarter, thanks in great part to the defense’s ability to get off the field quickly. The defense would do it again near the end of the second quarter, giving the ball back to the offense with 2:14 left in the first half.
On the first play of that drive, Stafford fumbled the snap in shotgun but quickly scooped up the ball and slung it to Kupp on the screen that went for 25 yards. Then, with 43 seconds left in the game, Stafford spotted Henderson open on the left side of the field and fired for a 25 yard score, his third in the first half.
With just 25 seconds, left both teams traded interceptions as time expired. Robert Rochell got his first interception of his NFL career after a Giants receiver fell during their route. Then with just 10 seconds left, Stafford’s deep pass to Kupp was intercepted by Xavier McKinney.
Score: Rams 28, Giants 3
Up by 25 points to start the second half of the game, LA turned from explosive to methodical. Head coach Sean McVay called runs and screens one after another in attempt to close out the game by running down the clock. Though the drive did not end in six, it did end in a field goal after a 13-play 9:15 drive
Coming into Sunday’s game, Jones had only thrown one interception in 2021. By the third quarter he had already thrown two — one to Rapp and the other to Rochell. During the Giants first possession of the third quarter Jones threw his third on the day and Rapp got his second.
Score: Rams 31, Giants 3
The Rams continued to award their defense for their turnovers when Stafford found Kupp on an amazing no-look pass that Kupp ran in for his second touchdown of the game and Stafford’s fourth on the day.
With a clear path to victory, McVay retired his starting quarterback and replaced him with backup QB John Wolford. Stafford finished the game going 22/28, 251 yards, four touchdowns and an interception.
Wolford’s first series is one he would probably like back. His first throw was off target and on his second he threw an interception to McKinney — his second of the game. Following the interception, the Giants were able to capitalize and score their first touchdown. Elijhaa Penny powered through the line for six, then Jones found tight end Kyle Rudolph for the 2-point conversion.
With the victory against New York, the Rams will take on the Detroit Lions next Sunday in a matchup that features a homecoming for former Rams QB Jared Goff ... and for the first time in his career Stafford will line up across his former team.
Final Score: Rams 38, Giants 11