INGLEWOOD, Calif. — No fans. No energy. And an entirely forgettable game.
Throughout the week, the Rams were asked how to avoid any letdown against the struggling Giants after they endured an emotional game last week in Buffalo, where they lost despite a 25-point, come-from-behind effort.
“We’ve always been really good at moving on and getting on to the next game, whoever it may be,” quarterback Jared Goff said earlier in the week. “Whoever they are, we’re ready for them.”
But the offense appeared stale Sunday, outside of an opening series that resulted in a creative 2-yard touchdown run by tight end Gerald Everett and a late 55-yard catch-and-run touchdown by Cooper Kupp. And while the defense was able to produce an eye-popping four sacks in the first half, it also played flat throughout most of the game.
The Rams must recapture the spark they played with in Week 1 and 2 as they return to the East Coast next Sunday to play at the Washington Football Team.
Describe the game in two words: Why use two words when one will do: uninspiring. The combined total yardage between the Rams and Giants in the first half was 183 yards, the lowest first-half total in a game this season, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
Troubling trend: Outside of an outstanding opening series and a late spark provided by Kupp, the Rams struggled to move the ball. Goff led a 12-play, 65-yard drive that resulted in a 2-yard touchdown run by Everett, the first rushing touchdown of his career. But after that, the offense gained only 122 yards before Kupp’s explosive 55-yard touchdown. Running back Darrell Henderson Jr. — who gained 121 all-purpose yards in Week 2, then followed that with a career-high 114 rushing yards in Week 3 — disappeared, as he rushed for only 22 yards on eight carries. The Rams finished with 243 total yards, their fewest this season.
Promising trend: Sacks, sacks, sacks. The defense didn’t play up to its potential, as tackling remains an issue, but did disrupt Daniel Jones more than any other quarterback this season, sacking him five times. Morgan Fox, Michael Brockers, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo and Justin Hollins recorded a sack, while Aaron Donald and Samson Ebukam combined for another. The Giants made three trips to the red zone but were unable to score a touchdown.
Pivotal play: With 6 minutes, 56 seconds remaining in the game and the Rams clinging to a 10-9 lead, Goff completed a midrange pass over the middle that Kupp leaped to catch, then sprinted the rest of the way for a 55-yard touchdown to help give the Rams a 17-9 lead.