If one quarterback has four touchdowns and the other quarterback has four turnovers, you know you’re not watching evenly-matched football teams. That was certainly the case on Sunday at the Meadowlands, as the LA Rams traveled east and destroyed the New York Giants with a 38-11 victory in Week 6.
The win pushes the Rams to a 5-1 record with their only loss coming against the currently-undefeated Arizona Cardinals. That helps LA keep pace with the Cards in the NFC West standings with a Week 7 showdown against Jared Goff’s Lions looming on the horizon.
Here are five takeaways from the LA Rams’ 38-11 win that I think are possibly most important to know immediately.
Matthew Stafford was so good that he got the fourth quarter off
It is a good thing that the Rams have Stafford and not either of their 2020 quarterbacks starting the game, as was suggested at the end of last season. Stafford had arguably his most dominant performance during a year with multiple dominant performances (and two NFC Player of the Week awards and that could soon be three), going 22/28 for 251 yards and four touchdowns.
Stafford also threw a pick on a tipped pass at the end of the first half, which holds virtually no meaning to me.
He had another no-look pass on this touchdown to Cooper Kupp:
Stafford now has 17 touchdowns through six games and he’s averaging over nine yards per attempt. When the Week 6 dust settles, the Rams should be looking at their own QB atop many of the statistical rankings.
John Wolford entered the game in the fourth quarter and it did not go as well. He threw a pick almost immediately.
Rapp Party: Taylor Rapp with a career day against Daniel Jones
Rams safety Taylor Rapp has drawn criticisms for lapses in coverage many times during his NFL career but he had a career day on Sunday, notching two interceptions against Giants quarterback Daniel Jones.
Taylor Rapp's first 29 games: 3 interceptions— TurfShowTimes (@TurfShowTimes) October 17, 2021
Taylor Rapp vs Daniel Jones today: 2 INTs
Rapp had three interceptions in his first 29 career games, two of which came off of Kyler Murray, and the other came against Nick Foles. Now he has two off of Daniel Jones and overall LA had four takeaways off of Jones: three picks and one fumble recovery.
Robert Rochell had the other interception but the fourth round rookie left the game with injury.
Cooper Kupp making history
Receiver Cooper Kupp did most of his damage in the first half but also did plenty of damage in the second half and finished with nine catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns. Kupp now has 46 catches for 653 yards and seven touchdowns through six games. Only five other players since 1990 have posted over 600 yards and six touchdowns through Week 6. Prior to that, only Jerry Rice had reached the mark (twice) from 1986-1989.
Only two players in the last 35 years have crossed over 600 yards and seven touchdowns through Week 6: Randy Moss’s historic Patriots season in 2007 and Kupp right now.
Injuries for Rams were a bit of an issue
It’s important not to underrate an injury just because a player isn’t a starter on offense or defense and the Rams must evaluate a number of key issues that popped up on Sunday. Jake Funk, Johnny Mundt, and Robert Rochell all left the game and did not return and if they were to miss any action that means that they’ll have to look for a kickoff returner, a number two blocking tight end, and a player regularly mixing in with the cornerbacks on defense at a time when LA needs better cornerbacks.
The Giants would be the NFL’s worst team if it weren’t for the Texans
I think it is difficult to assess this game as anything more than what it is: arguably the league’s best team against perhaps its worst or second-worst. I’m just stunned that Houston is fielding the 53-man roster that they’re fielding — the only thing that GM Nick Caserio wants is the 2022 number one pick — but the Giants actually wanted this collection of players and coaches and they’re just an abysmal team right now.
Injuries play a part in that. New York was without its top two receivers, Saquon Barkley, and a number of key players elsewhere. But every team has injuries. This is the quarterback they wanted. This is the offensive line, for the most part, that they wanted. These are the coaches they hired. This is most of the defense that the Giants intended to assemble to make a run at the 2021 playoffs.
Instead, they are 1-5 and that victory came in overtime against Jameis Winston’s Saints two weeks ago.
I recently predicted that New York could pick third in next year’s draft, plus they also have Chicago’s first round pick because of the Justin Fields trade. Chicago lost to the Packers on Sunday and the Giants might wind up with two picks in the top-15, if not higher.
They’ll need it.
When the Rams face the Lions in Week 7...Well, maybe the result won’t be much different. The Texans aren’t the only team that’s actively trying to lose.