By Cedric Williams
The Los Angeles Rams delivered what may have been its most impressive performance since the team moved back to town last year, with a sensational 51-17 win over the New York Giants on Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Los Angeles put up big play after big play on offense and led by as much as 48-10 early in the fourth quarter. The Ram defense forced three turnovers, which led directly to 17 points. And the special teams contributed three made field goals and a blocked punt in a truly dominating victory over New York. The Giants did manage to score a garbage time touchdown in the fourth quarter, which the Rams answered with a late field goal to close out the scoring, and give the Ram franchise its first 50-plus point performance in a single game since a 52-0 victory over the Oakland Raiders in 2014.
And it’s because of that performance that we’ve got nothing but high marks for the Rams all around for their Week 9 performance.
LA used several big plays and lots of creativity in putting up 473 total yards. QB Jared Goff had four touchdown passes and four different players carried the ball (including WR Tavon Austin and TE Gerald Everett) for a combined 162 rushing yards. Five different receivers each had at least 40 receiving yards, with each of them pulling in at least one catch for over 35 yards in a scintillating performance for the Rams offense.
About the only downside was a fumble by one of LA’s backup running backs, which the Rams recovered themselves. So even that proved to be no harm, no foul for a Rams team that in eight games in 2017, has already scored more points than it did in all of 2016.
Injuries were a huge problem for the Giants heading into Sunday, and the Rams took full advantage by pulverizing New York’s offensive line. DT Aaron Donald and LB Connor Barwin both had sacks and forced fumbles, and CB Trumaine Johnson nabbed his 18th career interception, as LA held New York to a mere 4.8 yards per play.
Special Teams: A+
The NFL’s October Special Teams Player of the Month, K Greg Zuerlein, was back at it again, going nine-for-nine on his kicks on Sunday, including connecting on all three of his field goal attempts and all six PATs. Another key play was a blocked punt by LB Cory Littleton, which led to the touchdown that put the Rams up 48-10 late in the third quarter.
LA had 10 days to get ready for New York, and the Rams looked like a team that put all that time off to great use. Head coach Sean McVay had his club ready to exploit just about every opening the Giants gave them. And then when New York tried to adjust, LA seemed to be ready for the adjustments too and just dominated the Giants for the entire game.
Seattle’s last-second loss means the Rams are now back alone in first place in the NFC West, and they’ll get the chance to improve on that with their first true home game in over a month next Sunday at The Coliseum against the Houston Texans.