The Los Angeles Rams offensive line appeared to use the first quarter against the New York Giants as a bit of a snooze button for what was an early kick off for a west coast team. The second quarter was reminiscent of someone sleeping through all of their snooze alerts and waking up already late for work. Once the o-line got rolling after the first 15 minutes, they were firing on all cylinders.
Pass Protection: B
As previously stated, L.A.’s offensive line started off quite shaky, generating only one rushing yard and allowing two sacks in the first quarter alone. Even worse, they were both on third down and ended promising Rams drives in Giants territory.
Defensive linemen Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence combined on the first Giants sack of the day, bringing down Matthew Stafford on a third and 10 from the Giants 38 yard line. Williams put left guard David Edwards in the spin cycle, creating pressure right up the middle, forcing Stafford to drift to his right deep in the pocket.
Lawrence, who was being double teamed by center Brian Allen and right guard Austin Corbett, was the recipient of Williams’ effort. All he had to do was stick his arm out and grab a hold of Stafford to help Williams get Stafford to the ground.
The former USC Trojan decided he didn’t want to share the next sack. Corbett and Allen blocked defensive lineman Austin Johnson, as Williams performed a nice wrap around stunt. To the o-line’s credit, Corbett and Allen communicated very well as the stunt played out, allowing Allen to disengage from the double team block on Johnson and pick up Williams.
Unfortunately, Williams had picked up a bit of momentum and pushed Allen backwards as Stafford climbed the pocket. The “Big Cat” was able to sling Stafford down for the sack.
That was the last time New York was able to sack the Rams QB1, as the offensive line kept Stafford clean for the rest of the day, allowing him to pass for 251 yards and four touchdowns, while completing 78 percent of his passes.
I know I said the Rams would not allow a sack against the Giants. I was wrong. Not the first time and most certainly wont be the last.
Run Blocking: B-
Apparently, the jet lag was real. The offensive line was unable to open up rushing lanes early, generating only one rushing yard in the first quarter.
Once the second quarter began, creases opened up a bit allowing running back Darrel Henderson to lead the way with 78 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown. Henderson also added a touchdown reception for good measure. He averaged 3.7 yards per carry, a bit under the four yards a pop you would like to see out of a running back.
Sony Michel closed the game pounding the rock with nine carries for 42 yards, averaging 4.7 yards per carry. The Rams running game totaled 131 yards on the day, as L.A. was able to just eat clock against a defense that knew it was over in the second half.
The only hiccup after the line got rolling was the inability to pick up third downs on the ground. Los Angeles failed on all four of their rushing attempts to convert on third down. Each of these attempts required two yards or less to move the chains.
Had the o-line been able to help Henderson pick up a few those crucial short yard situations on third down, they would have certainly gotten a better grade.
The big guys up front weren’t called for a single penalty against the Giants, on a day where the refs were a bit flag happy. If they can continue to keep the officials from calling their respective numbers, it will go a long way in helping L.A. stay ahead of the chains and extend drives, thus create more scoring opportunities.