Rams have rolled on road, now must show they can win at home
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The up-and-coming Los Angeles Rams have shown the NFL that they can win on the road. Now, they just have to start doing it at home.
Off to their best start since going to the Super Bowl in 2001, the Rams (6-2) posted their fifth win in six games with a dominant 51-17 win over the New York Giants on Sunday.
Four of the five wins have been away games, while the fifth was a “home” game against the Cardinals in London.
When Sean McVay’s team returns to the Los Angeles Coliseum next weekend against Houston, it will be their first game there in 34 days. The last one was a loss to Seattle. In fact, the Rams are 1-2 in the stadium, which has seemed nothing like home.
In the loss to the Seahawks, offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth said the offense had to use a silent count because there were so many Seattle fans.
“I think we’re eager to see if we can continue playing good football right now,” McVay said. “We’re excited to be back home in LA and playing in front of hopefully a good crowd at the Coliseum, but I know that our players, they certainly will appreciate and like that support. But really what our focus will be on is trying to see if we can string together another complete game.”
The Rams have had two near-perfect performances in their last two games. After beating the Cardinals 33-0 in London, they ripped the Giants by 34 points.
Los Angeles scored on eight of its first nine possessions, Jared Goff had career bests of four touchdown passes and 311 yards, the defense forced three turnovers that were converted into 17 points and the special teams blocked a punt that set up the second of two short Todd Gurley touchdown runs.
Goff smiled when asked about playing at home again.
“Yes. Shoot, we were 1-1 at home? 1-2? Arizona is not a home game,” he said. “We want to get one in front of the home fans, for sure. I think we will have a little more excitement coming home now. We’ve been away for three weeks. Hopefully we get that place rocking and come out with a W.”
The Giants (1-7) probably will be happy to get away from MetLife Stadium, where they are 0-4 this season. They fans started leaving the building at halftime and the 76,000-plus seat facility was almost empty at the final gun. Those who stayed got their “boos” in.
“I don’t know what to tell you,” defensive tackle Jay Bromley said. “We just didn’t play well today. I don’t think that we’re necessarily apart as a team. I think we’re still a close-knit team. We just didn’t execute today.”
Five things to know from the blowout:
RAMS IN STRIDE: McVay has the Rams on a roll. They have won the last two games by a combined 84-17 margin. What makes the Rams scary is that they are getting plays from all three phases. In recent years, the Rams have had a good defense and excellent special teams. The offense has blossom in Goff’s second season with the additions of WRs Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods, Whitworth and fellow OL John Sullivan. This was the Rams’ fifth game of 30-plus points, which is the most in a season since 2003 when they scored 30-plus points seven times.
GIANTS DEFENSE: The defense carried the Giants to an 11-5 record and their first postseason berth since 2011 a year ago. While the unit has not played as well this season and has blown three fourth-quarter leads, this was the first time Steve Spagnuolo’s unit was horrible.
In its defense, the group was without CB Janoris Jenkins, who was suspended by the team, DEs Olivier Vernon and Kerry Wynn, LBs Jonathan Casillas and B.J. Goodson and backup CB Donte Deayon.
50,000: Eli Manning became the seventh NFL quarterback to reach the 50,000-yard passing mark with a 37-yard pass to Sterling Shepard in the fourth quarter with the Rams leading 48-10. Manning threw two touchdowns in the game, but he also missed a wide-open Shepard around the Rams 30 the New York trailing 17-7 in the second quarter and overthrew an open Tavarres King in the end zone with New York down 27-10 just before the half.
THIRD AND 33: The biggest play of the game came in the second quarter with the Rams leading 10-7 and facing a third-and-33 at their own 48. The call was a receiver screen to Woods and it turned into a 52-yard score.
“When you get the ball in guys like Robert’s hands or any of our receivers, really, anything can happen. We were really just trying to get into field-goal range for Greg (Zuerlein). I threw it to him and kind of saw the seam that he saw. I was really just like, ‘Hey, we might have a chance here.’”
LEADING SCORER: Zuerlein hit field goals of 27, 46 and 47 yards and made six extra points. He has 99 points in eight games.