The Los Angeles Rams rolled into Houston in Week 8 on a three game win streak and with a 6-1 record. At the half way point of the season, the Rams were finding a rhythm. Could this game against the Houston Texans end up being LA’s most dominant performance of the regular season? The reasons to thinks include the offense scoring 38 points in the three quarters and the defense holding the opponent scoreless for that same span.
WEEK 8: LOS ANGELES RAMS VS HOUSTON TEXANS
Runningback Darrel Henderson had his best game of the season agains the Texans and gave the Rams their first score. On the first play of the game, Henderson took a hand off to the right to charge the interior of the line and then burst through for a 15 yard scamper to start the series. Cooper Kupp caught two passes for 14 and 15 yards to put the Rams in range. Henderson then, capped off the 13 play drive with a catch for a touchdown from Matthew Stafford off a jet sweep play action to Robert Woods.
Prior to Week 8, the Los Angeles Rams made the first trade of the mid season phase by trading inside linebacker Kenny Young to the Denver Broncos. The move was made in part because of the potential of rookie Ernest Jones and Jones did not take long to show up. In the second quarter against Houston, quarterback Davis Mills rolled out to the left, worked hastily through his options, and let one go to toward the sideline. Jones read the play nicely, jumped it for an interception and took it half way to the end zone and out at the ten yard line. Jone would continue on after this game as the starter in place of Young, all the way to the Super Bowl.
Four plays after the Jones interception, Woods worked from the slot to slip in between the linebackers in a zone read. Stafford zipped one on a rope in the tight window to Woods for the touchdowns. Woods would finish this game with three catches for 35 yards and a touchdown.
On the next Rams possession, Stafford found Kupp running across the middle and hit him perfectly in stride. Headed toward the sideline, Kupp made what is becoming his trademark cut from instead of stepping out and dashed for another 20 yards before being taken down. The play would result in a 52 yard chunk and ultimately a touchdown by Henderson. Kupp would end up with seven catches for 115 yards and one touchdown.
With the Texans scoreless to start the second half, Leonard Floyd shut down any hopes a momentum shift by getting a sack and forcing punts in each of the first two Texans drives. Aaron Donald had 1.5 sacks. Jones, Obo Okowonkro, and Greg Gaines would add half a sack each to the dominant defensive outing.
In the third quarter, up 24-0, McVay would keep the foot on the gas by dialing a deep pass to Van Jefferson over the middle that Stafford hit for a huge 68 yard gain. Then from the red zone Kupp would work a an in breaking route from the wide right position for an easy touchdown catch.
The final Rams score of the game came on a 10 play drive in which rookie Ben Skrowonek had a 23 yard catch near the sideline for a chunk play. Then came the end around toss to Woods who cut off some nice blocking for the score.
With the score 38-0 to start the fourth quarter, many of the starters would be rested. Backup quarterback John Wolford came in for Stafford to finish the game. The Texans would make the most of substitutions by scoring 22 points in the fourth quarter and the end result would be 38-22 Rams.