LA Rams spending the week on the road after 4-2 start
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Rams’ 10-day road trip would have been a whole lot more annoying if they had been forced to spend this week stewing on a loss.
Instead, the first-place Rams can thoroughly enjoy their brief stop in Florida on their way to London.
The Rams are off to their first 4-2 start since 2006 after beating Jacksonville 27-17 on Sunday. Their hometown is buzzing about coach Sean McVay’s new-look team, which has already matched the win total of last season’s club.
With the spotlight shifting to fall sports in the packed LA market, this would be a good time for the Rams to be at home — except their next “home” game is in London on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. They won’t play in the Coliseum again until Nov. 12.
The Rams will make the most of their situation as they attempt to maintain their momentum. They’re 3-0 away from Los Angeles this season, so it might work out for them.
“Being away, still you’re almost creating another camp in-season, and it feels comfortable,” McVay said from Florida. “So far, it’s been a great setup here. We don’t want to use it as any bit of a distraction.”
The Rams have set up camp at a beachside resort in the Jacksonville area. They’ll practice at the University of North Florida’s soccer fields until Thursday, when they’ll fly to London for a shorter European trip than last season, when they spent a week in England.
“It’s going to be a grind,” said Malcolm Brown, who returned a blocked punt for a touchdown against the Jaguars. “A lot of travel, but we’re not worried about it. We’re going to work hard and keep practicing like the way Coach McVay challenges us every single day, to practice how we play.”
This is the second of the Rams’ three straight seasons with international games, thanks to the NFL’s conditions on their return home from St. Louis. The Rams get only seven home games in each of their first seven seasons back in the Coliseum — unless they can reach the playoffs for the first time since 2004, a possibility that looks a bit less far-fetched with the passing weeks.
McVay was thrilled by the performance of his special teams units, which scored two touchdowns. He praised another stellar effort by coordinator Wade Phillips’ defense, which held Jacksonville to three points in the final three quarters.
McVay also felt the game represented another positive step for Jared Goff, even though the quarterback put up relatively minor statistics.
Goff went 11 of 21 for 124 yards, but he threw an early touchdown pass and didn’t throw an interception. In the fourth quarter, he led the Rams on a 57-yard drive for a field goal that proved to be the final points.
“A lot of the great ones just have a way of staying even-keeled,” McVay said. “Because you want those players to take on that personality, that disposition and never feel like the moments are too big no matter what the circumstances are.”
NOTES: Rams RB Lance Dunbar is eligible to come off the PUP list this week, but the Rams might wait until after their bye next weekend, McVay said.