There is nothing quite like going to a NFL game. That’s even more true when it’s your favorite team – in this case, the Los Angeles Rams. Home games are great. However, living on the east coast, it’s very rare that I make it out to Los Angeles. My last Rams home game was the Rams’ first home game in Los Angeles in 2016.
Sunday was my 12th Rams game in person and I can say I’ve been blessed to go to all 12. That’s even more true after everything that the world has gone through over the last year. The Rams played three games on the east coast last year and due to the Pandemic, I was not able to go to any.
This would be my first Rams game in person since 2017 when the Rams beat the Giants, 51-17.
Sunday was special and it was special to be able to enjoy a game in person once again. Not only that, but I was there with people who mean a lot to me. Jake Ellenbogen drove down with his family and a few friends. Alexis Kraft also flew to New York from Chicago and met us there.
In case you didn’t know, the Ramily also travels really well.
There were a lot of Rams fans in the parking lot before the game and it was great to meet quite a few of them. One of the Downtown Rams OG’s Ed Henderson also made the trip to New York from California.
It was just great to meet up with some Rams fans before the game and be there in person. I arrived at the stadium at around 11 a.m., giving me a little over an hour and a half to tailgate and meet people. Cheers were had. White Claws were drank. Bratwurst were eaten. It was a great time.
Once, the game started, I saw Matthew Stafford for the first time in a Los Angeles Rams jersey. I’ve seen Stafford twice playing for the Lions, but seeing him play for the Rams was a different feeling. QB1 started slow, but his no-look touchdown pass to Cooper Kupp is a moment that I won’t soon forget.
Later in the second quarter, Jake looked over at me and said how the Rams should take advantage of the Tae Crowder matchup on Darrell Henderson with a wheel route. Exactly two plays later, Stafford hit Henderson on a wheel route for a touchdown to cap off a 28-point second quarter.
As mentioned, it was a slow start. However, the defense played very well throughout the game. Taylor Rapp came through in a big way with two interceptions. He’s taken a lot of criticism from fans this season and it was nice to see him make some big plays. Dont’e Deayon also played a very good game after coming off the practice squad earlier this week.
This game won’t necessarily be remembered for the game itself. The Rams were playing backups by the end and the fourth quarter was incredibly boring. However, the score 38-11 had never happened before in the NFL.
No, this game will be remembered for the memories made before and after the game with the people that I spent it with.
After the game we hung out with other Los Angeles Rams fans as the players loaded the buses. It took three different stops, but finally found a place to eat and I enjoyed a great burger and moscow mule as the Cowboys-Patriots game wrapped up. A day that started at 5 a.m. ended at 12 a.m. as I finally arrived home after a 3.5 hour drive.
It wasn’t the most exciting game, but it was just great to see football in person again and even better to do it with people I care about and share the same passion with.
Three Word Game Review: Second Quarter Explosion
After a slow start in the first quarter, the Los Angeles Rams absolutely exploded in the second. With the help of two Giants turnovers, the Rams scored 28 of their 38 unanswered points in a span of 10-minutes. The defense picked up the offense when it needed it and the two sides complimented each other well.
The Turning Point
The Los Angeles Rams finally got in the end zone early in the second quarter to take the lead. Three plays later, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo stripped Daniel Jones and Leonard Floyd recorded. Four plays later, the Rams were in the end zone again. In the span of 2:23, the Rams went from trailing 3-0, to leading 14-3. At that point the Rams were in control and weren’t going to look back.
1. Taylor Rapp Silences Doubters
Taylor Rapp is a freak of an athlete and has taken his brunt of criticism for being less than par in coverage. However, on Sunday he intercepted Daniel Jones twice, and likely could have had a third. Rapp was reading Jones well and just continued to make plays. Jones threw just one interception coming into the game. Rapp alone doubled Jones’ season total.
2. Dont’e Deayon Filled in Admirably
Dont’e Deayon came off the practice squad last week due to Darious Williams‘ injury. If he plays like he did on Sunday, the Rams won’t put him back on. Deayon played the second-most snaps on defense with 66 which was 46 more than David Long. It’s clear that the Rams are done with Long and Deayon likely just surpassed him.
3. Stafford Overcomes Slow Start
Stafford has started slow in each of the last four games. However, he turned it on in the second quarter. The Rams quarterback finished with his lowest yardage total this season, but completed 78% of his passes and threw for four touchdowns with a rating of 128.7. Stafford has three games this season with 250 yards and three touchdowns with a rating of 125 or higher. Sunday marked Stafford’s third game this season with 250 yards, three touchdowns, and 125 passer rating. Goff hit that mark three times in the last three seasons combined.
4. The Pass Rush is Swarming
The Los Angeles Rams pass rush has been very good this season and continued that on Sunday. No, the Giants offensive line is nothing to brag about. Still, Jones had been sacked just eight times all year. The Rams got to him four times. 33% of Jones’ sacks this season have no come via the Rams. The thing is, it’s not even Aaron Donald doing the the dirty work. Okoronkwo and Floyd made plays off the edge. Production is coming from everywhere.
5. Kupp Should be in Offensive Player of the Year Conversation
Cooper Kupp continues to make plays this season. He had his third 100 yard game and third game in which he’s scored two touchdowns. We’re not even through six weeks, and Kupp almost had 50 receptions. He’s on pace for 130 catches for 1,850 yards. That would be a franchise record for the Rams.
Looking Ahead to Next Week
Next week isn’t necessarily a big game. However, it will be Jared Goff’s return to Los Angeles. The Lions are 0-6 and Goff is 0-13 without Sean McVay as his head coach. Detroit might be the worst team in the league right now, despite their bad luck against the Ravens and Vikings.
Stafford will also be going up against his former team. With this game being in Los Angeles, it will likely mean more for Goff than it does for Stafford. The Rams are 15.5 point favorite and should win comfortably.