The Los Angeles Rams improve to 5-1 after a dominant showing against the depleted New York Giants with a 38-11 win. There were several story lines discussed, including a handful of Rams suffering injuries and of course a certain quarterback playing against his former team next week. Here’s what head coach Sean McVay, Taylor Rapp, and Matthew Stafford said after the victory.
McVay on the defense leading the way to victory
“Really pleased with our defensive effort today. I thought they were outstanding. They got a bunch of short fields. A lot of credit for some of the first half points goes to them.”
After yielding a field goal on the Giants first possession, Rams defense was dominant creating turnovers at a rapid pace and forcing three consecutive three and outs in the second quarter.
Several Rams banged up against the Giants
“Van (Jefferson) came back in, I think he’s going to be okay. (Jake) Funk got his hamstring. Johnny Mundt, it’s a knee. Not really sure on that, but it doesn’t look good right now…I think (Robert) Rochell’s going to be ok.”
The Rams cannot afford anymore injuries to the secondary, so it’s good to hear Rochell is expected to be ok. It would have been nice for Funk to be able to avoid injury today, as this blowout was the perfect opportunity to get him some action at running back. The injury to Mundt appears to be serious, and may open up some opportunities for Brycen Hopkins and/or Jacob Harris.
McVay frustrated by another slow start
“I just think the slow starts, it’s just not good enough…I don’t want to come up here and continue to say the same things. We’ve just got to do a better job. I’ve got to do a better job. ”
The slow starts are concerning. It may have been a consequence of having ten days off, combined with the coast-to-coast trip and an early kickoff. Either way, the Rams must figure out a way to come out the corners swinging.
Taylor Rapp on his two interceptions
“Just using my instincts. Just underneath defender, reading the qb, reading the qb’s eyes…Having practice execution equal game reality.”
Rapp had a career day, intercepting Jones twice. He could have had another one early in the game, but we can let him slide this time.
Interception alert!— LA Rams Nation (@RamsNationCP) October 17, 2021
Taylor Rapp with the grab!pic.twitter.com/3qQW6FPyUn
The defensive backs shined in Darious Williams’ absence
“A lot of guys had expanded rolls. We knew that coming into the game this week and everyone kind of stepped up. We had a brother down with D. Will (Darious Williams). Everyone had to step up. Really proud of everyone and how they handled their roles.”
It may have been a combination of execution and a lack of weapons to guard, but the young secondary stepped up big time, with Rochell also getting a pick, bring the young units total to three interceptions on the day.
Cupp acknowledges third down has been a problem for the Rams offense
“We just got to do a better job executing is what it really comes down to. Got to sustain drives. Be able to get the first downs. Got to be better on third down. We’ve been atrocious the last few weeks.”
Kupp and company were astoundingly bad on third down, converting only 18 percent. This further echoes how good the defense was today. I can’t remember seeing a team convert only two of 11 third down attempts and score 38 points.
Rochell on his first career interception
“It felt great. Just going out there, making a play for my team. It’s just such a great feeling.”
Rochell got the first of hopefully many interceptions during his rookie campaign. He was in the right place at the right time as the receiver he was covering fell down and the former Central Arkansas Bear made a nice pick as he dove to the ground.
Rochell confirms he is ok after injury scare
“Yeah, I’m fine. We just ran into each other and kind of bumped knees. Just something simple but I’m fine.”
Thankfully, Rochell was able to avoid an injury and further complicate things on the back end of the defense. Judging by his comments and how he looked at the podium, he shouldn’t miss any time at all.
Stafford on the defensive picking up the offense early
“I thought they did a hell of a job today, like they’ve been doing all season. We didn’t start as fast as we wanted to today, and they kept us right there in it. They know once we hit the ground running, we get something going, we’re tough to stop.”
Luckily for Stafford and the Rams offense, the defense bullied the Giants injury riddled offense for most of the game, getting four sacks on Daniel Jones. Jones was held to a 44.7 quarterback rating, his lowest of the season. The defense generated four sacks and four turnovers, giving the Los Angeles offense consistent short fields, leading to a 28 point second quarter.
Stafford’s early thoughts on playing the Detroit Lions next week
“Just like every other game. It’s an NFL opponent coming into our building. Do I have a ton of history with them? Absolutely…It will be just another football game once the ball is snapped, but I’ll definitely try to say hey to some people I haven’t seen in a while.”
He may be nervous early and I can’t blame him. Stafford will be facing an organization he previously led since 2009, the same year Avatar came out. So yeah, there is a bit of history. Once he settles in, I’d expect him to throw the ball all over the field to show the Lions what could have been, had they been able to build a winning organization around him.