Chargers and Rams Week 9 recap
Rams: “Rams On a Roll After Giant Win”
The rainy, slippery conditions in the meadowlands of New Jersey didn't slow down Jared Goff and the high-powered Rams’ offense on Sunday as they dominated the Giants, 51-17.
The (6-2)Rams are now first place in the NFC West and have the best point differential in the league. It was the second consecutive victory by 33 points or more.
The play that broke the game open came in the 2nd quarter after the Rams put themselves in a third down and forever-to-go situation. It was third and 33 to be exact, near midfield and the Rams called a short screen pass to Robert Woods.
A conservative playcall because Sean McVay understood they had a comfortable lead against an overmatched opponent and was planning on letting Johnny Hekker, his pro-bowl punter, pin them deep in their zone.
Woods had other intentions for the modest playcall. The wideout had a lot of cushion considering the yards to gain. He found some blockers downfield and pranced 52-yards into the endzone practically untouched.
The Rams took the ball away from the Giants three times in the first half and capitalized on each of those forced turnovers.
With over 200 yards passing and three touchdowns in the first half, Goff had one of the most impressive performances of his young career. Goff finished the game with 311 yards passing, with four touchdowns and no interceptions.
Woods finished the game with two touchdowns on four receptions and 70 yards, by far his best performance since coming to LA.
Todd Gurley scored two rushing touchdowns even though he only carried the ball 16 times for 59 yards. Gurley had a huge 44-yard reception on one of his two catches. His 18 touches in the game was the second fewest this year, but I am sure that was by design. No need to risk injuring the star running back in a blowout.
Coach McVay announced that Malcolm Brown apparently injured his MCL in the second half of the game so look out for Gurley to have a heavy workload come Sunday. Also keep an eye out for those jet-sweeps from Tavon Austin this Sunday as the Rams host the (3-5)Houston Texans. The Rams are .500 at the Coliseum with a record of 2-2 but are perfect on the road.
The Texans are another team reeling from devastating injuries, much like the Giants, though they had playoff hopes as recent as a couple weeks ago. That was of course before their franchise rookie sensation went down with a non-contact ACL tear that cut his standout season short.
Chargers: ReCharged and Ready
The (3-5) Chargers enjoyed a much-needed bye last week, and will travel across the country to face the (5-3) Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday at EverBank Field.
The Jaguars are coming off a 23-7 win over Cincinnati and a 27-0 rout of the Indianapolis Colts, a divisional rival.
The Jags are averaging over 25 points a game and are tied for first in the AFC South with the (5-3)Tennessee Titans. The division is still very much up for grabs since no team has proven to be a true playoff contender as of yet, but out of the four teams, Jacksonville looks like the team who will represent the south in the playoffs turning the midpoint in the season.
Jacksonville has scored 89 more points than it has allowed this year whereas the Titans are minus 12. Both the Titans and Jags have 2-1 divisional records yet statistically, Jacksonville look far superior.
The Chargers are averaging 18.8 points per game but have allowed an average of 19 points per game. The minus 2 points differential shows how close the Chargers are from being 5-3 or even 6-2. The couple of heartbreaking losses to begin the season are still haunting the transplants who find themselves tied with the (3-5)Broncos for last place in the AFC West.
The AFC West is also up for grabs with the division-leading (6-3) Kansas City Chiefs slowing down and the (4-5)Raiders unable to string together solid team efforts in consecutive outings.