Though the Los Angeles Rams were missing some of their key starters this week they came away with a 38-22 victory against the Houston Texans on Sunday. Darrell Henderson found holes all day long even with Andrew Whitworth watching from the sideline and rookie Ernest Jones got his first interception as the Rams improved to 7-1 on the season. Here’s how it happened.
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Head coach Sean McVay’s emphasis on starting fast throughout the last two weeks must have finally hit home as LA’s offense started out blazing hot. Darrell Henderson’s first run of the game went for 15 yards and Stafford found Kupp twice for 23 yards to get to the red zone. On the three yard line Stafford completed a pass to a wide open Henderson for the first touchdown of the game.
Houston’s first drive of the game was derailed quickly when a false start and a holding penalty put their offense in a deficit they could not overcome. After just a single first down the Texans were forced to punt the ball to the Rams.
Henderson continued to find success on the ground and on the second drive of the game was averaging 10.3 yards a carry on six attempts. LA was in a position to score after driving down to the red zone for the second time of the match but failed to convert on fourth-and-2 when a pass to Henderson was just out of his reach and fell incomplete. With the ball on their own five yard line the Texans could not get a first down and went three-and-out after the stop.
Score: Rams 7, Texans 0
Starting in good field position at their own 35 yard line LA once again had no problems driving down to the red zone but like the trip before could not punch the ball in for the touchdown. Stafford was looking for Kupp in the back of the end zone but his pass sailed high and the Rams settled for the field goal. Their defense would get the ball back to Stafford almost immediately when rookie linebacker Ernest Jones intercepted Davis Mills and returned the ball to Houston’s 12 yard line.
After three run plays in a row LA faced its second fourth down try in the half when they went for it on fourth-and-3. Stafford’s intended pass to Van Jefferson was nearly picked by Vernon Hargreaves but a questionable holding call was flagged to give the Rams a new set of downs. The very next play Stafford found Robert Woods for the second touchdown of the game.
Robert Woods has been the WR13 since Week 4 and just scored another TDpic.twitter.com/EP6xqq9WUz— FantasyPros (@FantasyPros) October 31, 2021
After another three-and-out by Houston Stafford and company started their fifth drive of the first half on their own 21 yard line. On the third play of the series Stafford found Kupp for a 52 yard gain. The reception was a gentle reminder that the league has still not found a way to cover the fifth year receiver.
Four plays later Henderson walked into the end zone for his second touchdown of the game. Henderson finished the first half with 12 carries that went for 80 yards.
The Texans finally found some momentum when Tremon Smith took the kickoff 44 yards. Mills completed two throws that went for 15 yards each that set the his offense up for a 45 yard field goal. Ka’imi Fairbairn’s try was no good and the LA rams pitched a shutout in the first half.
The highlight of the drive and possibly the game was called back due to a penalty when Jones got caught for illegal use of hands. Donte Deayon went up high and snagged what looked like a throw-a-way pass from Mills and then somehow managed to tap his toes in for the interception. With Desean Jackson soon to be out of the building Deayon may have just built himself a resume to apply for an offensive position.
What a catch and effort from Donte' Deayon on the interception that was called incomplete. That was TOUGH!— Allen Miller (@Swiff_89) October 31, 2021
Good Lord Donte Deayon! I know that doesn't count but that is an absolutely absurd interception— Daniel Leu (@Leuzer6) October 31, 2021
Score: Rams 24, Texans 0
The Texans got the kickoff to start the second half but after just 1:31 and four plays LA’s offense had the ball back in their grasps but they also did not get much done offensively after Woods could not handle a pass that would have lead to a huge gain. Johnny Hekker’s name was called for the first time of the game.
It would not take long for LA to get another chance on offense and on the first play of the drive Stafford aired one out for Van Jefferson who came away with a catch and a 68 yard gain. After a Henderson rush went back to the line of scrimmage for no gain Stafford found Kupp in the end zone for an 11 yard touchdown reception, his 10th of the season.
Though LA’s offense was clicking on all cylinders their defense absolutely crushed the Texans offense. By the end of the third quarter the defensive line was credited with five sacks and continued to hold their opponent to a scoreless game and just 73 total yards. The Texans drive following the Kupp touchdown went for negative yardage as they continued their punting trend.
The Rams continued their trend of scoring. Rookie Ben Skowronek got some action and had two catches for 25 yards. Once in the red zone Woods took a pitch at the 16 yard line and ran in untouched for an easy six.
Score: Rams 38, Texans 0
Leading by 38 points Stafford was retired for the day and backup John Wolford took over as quarterback. His first opportunity on the field lead to the Rams second punt of the game.
With just 8:08 left in the game the Texans finally found their first score of the game. Chris Moore had an impressive sideline grab and Rex Burkhead found some success as Mills put his team in the red zone. On first-and-goal Burkhead ran hard up the middle and crossed the sticks to deny the shutout.
With the reserves in for the Rams offense Hekker got his third opportunity to punt. Following the kick Brandin Cooks got his number called on a 45 yard long ball that he caught and took to the house.
On the kickoff the Texans attempted an on onside kick that bounced off of Woods hands and landed into the Moore’s arms. For the second week in a row the Rams allowed a successful onside kick in what could become an ugly special teams trend. After getting the ball back on the kick the Texans quickly turned the possession into another score and a two-point conversion.
Brevin Jordan's first career TD pic.twitter.com/vwFzQWSNNg— Rivers McCown (@riversmccown) October 31, 2021
The Texans second onside kick try was recovered sloppily by the Rams. With Wolford and the offensive backups in play the offense would go three-and-out and give the ball back to the Texans with 1:52 left in the game.
After improving to 7-1 on the season the Rams will travel back home to take on the Tennessee Titans on Sunday Night Football.
Final Score: Rams 38, Texans 22