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Giants-Rams final score: Defensive strength not enough as Giants fall, 17-9

The Giants touchdown drought continues another week

NFL: New York Giants at Los Angeles Rams Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time since 1994, the Rams hosted the New York Giants Sunday, albeit this time in the brand new SoFi Stadium. Despite a strong defensive showing, the Giants lost, 17-9, to the Rams Sunday afternoon. New York dropped to 0-4 on the season and Los Angeles improved to 3-1.

Down 17-9, New York got the ball back with just over two minutes left to play in the game and Daniel Jones opened the drive with a 33-yard pass to Darius Slayton. Jones’ scrambles kept the drive alive as he converted one first down with a 13-yard rush and another for 11 yards to give the Giants the ball on the Rams’ 34-yard line. The potential comeback drive ended when Jones threw an interception to Darius Williams, solidifying the victory for the Rams.

On the Rams’ opening 12-play, 65-yard scoring drive, the Rams converted six first downs to easily take a quick 7-0 lead. Thanks in large part to the Giants defense though, New York headed into the locker room at halftime trailing just 10-6.

On third-and-3 with seven minutes to play in the game and the score at 10-9, the Rams broke through the Giants defense for the first time since the first quarter. Jared Goff connected with Cooper Kupp up the middle for a 55-yard touchdown. This extended the Rams’ lead to 17-9, an advantage they would hold for the remainder of the game.

Facing the pressure

The Giants knew that defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who entered Sunday’s game with three sacks and eight quarterback hits, would provide plenty of pressure to Daniel Jones and the offensive line.

Donald and linebacker Leonard Floyd provided immediate pressure from the Giants’ first drive of the game, resulting in one sack and a tackle for loss to force a quick three-and-out to start the game.

Then in the second quarter, the Giants defense had its strongest showing of the game thus far when it forced the Rams into a three-and-out to keep the momentum going and give the offense back the ball.

But on the ensuing drive, Jones was sacked at his own 32-yard line by Jalen Ramsey and lost seven yards to make it third-down-and-13. On the next play, Jones was sacked again, this time by Michael Brockers, for a loss of six yards.

This brought the Rams’ sack total to four at 11 minutes to play in the second quarter.

Field goals only

On the Giants’ first scoring drive of the game, the field goals continued. After scoring just three field goals last week to put together nine points in the game, Big Blue still could not find the end zone.

The Rams’ second possession of the game ended well for the Giants as James Bradberry recovered a fumble to give the Giants possession of the ball (New York entered the game with a -4 turnover differential). With just over two minutes left to play in the first quarter, Jones connected over the middle with Damion Ratley for 17 yards. This conversion put the Giants back in the red zone for the first time since playing the Chicago Bears in Week 2.

But then a false start by Kevin Zeitler made it third-and-13 to start the second quarter and New York ultimately walked away with just a field goal yet again.

With a field goal to close out the first half and another to start the fourth quarter, the Giants have recorded six goals in the past eight quarters.

Closer than it felt

After the Rams put together a few shaky drives that did not amount to much, Los Angeles appeared to get its momentum back when it had the ball on the five yard line with just under six minutes to play in the second quarter.

Yet, the Giants defense stepped up in a big way.

On first down, Austin Johnson sacked a defenseless Jared Goff for a loss of eight yards. On second down, Dalvin Tomlinson batted down a pass intended for Michael Brown. Finally on third down, Goff completed a short pass to the Giants 14-yard line for no gain.

Together, the New York defense held the Rams to a 32-yard field goal. Somehow, the score stood at 10-3 with 3:56 left in the half, though it felt like the Giants should have been trailing by much more.

For a Giants teams that has given up two scores at the end of the first half in the last two weeks, this was an important stop.

Touchdown drought continues

The Giants got the ball with 5:25 left in the third quarter and they would maintain possession heading into the fourth.

With the ball on the Rams’ 9-yard line, the Giants were poised to score a touchdown, but remained unable to find the end zone.

Instead, they settled for a 27-yard field goal from Gano. The touchdown drought continues as New York hasn’t found the end zone since the fourth quarter of Week 2 against the Bears.

Stat stuff

On the Giants’ second drive of the game, Jones surpassed 100 rushing yards on the season. He entered the game as the team’s leading rusher with the longest rush of the season at 23 yards last week. He managed to pick up the Giants’ first first down on the day when he scrambled for eight yards. Jones finished the game with 45 rushing yards and 23 completions for 190 receiving yards.

The Giants’ rushing game finally seemed to catch a spark Sunday as Wayne Gallman and Devonta Freeman pieced together some big carries. Gallaman rushed for 45 yards, with a long run of 26. New York out-rushed the Rams 136-58 in the game.

Let’s turn our attention to the stellar Giants defense. As a unit, New York recorded two sacks, seven tackles for loss and five quarterback hits in the game. Blake Martinez led the team with 13 combined tackles on the day, including eight solo.

Injury info

Linebacker Oshane Ximines left the game in the third quarter with a shoulder injury. The Giants also lost safety Adrian Colbert with a neck injury.

What’s next?

The Giants will travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium at 4:25 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on CBS.