The Rams were staring at the impossible, third-and-33 from their own 48. But with the Giants on the other side of the line of scrimmage Sunday at MetLife Stadium, it wasn’t all that impossible.
Jared Goff threw to the left, hitting Robert Woods a yard behind the line, and Woods was off behind his blockers on a wide receiver screen. He hung a right just inside the Giants’ 45, then cut upfield approaching the 35 and floored it, splitting Landon Collins and Eli Apple on a sprint to a 52-yard score.
Third-and-33 ended up as a TD.
No NFL team had scored a touchdown on a play needing at least 33 yards for a first down since 2001, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
“It’s crazy,” Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie said.
The Rams were on the way to embarrassing the Giants, 51-17, scoring on eight of their first nine possessions, including six touchdowns.
“It’s hurtful,” Collins said of yielding so many points. “Definitely hurtful.”
It was the most points allowed by the Giants (1-7) in a home game since 1964 and the most points they have ever allowed at MetLife Stadium. They gave up 473 yards, 162 of them on the ground. But the pass defense stood out, allowing too many big plays.
Goff went 14-for-22 for 311 yards and four touchdowns, with no interceptions or sacks. The Giants were singed for five pass plays of at least 35 yards.
“Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes,” Jason Pierre-Paul said. “Mistakes cost us the game.”
The 52-yard connection resulted in a 17-7 lead in the second quarter.
“That’s all us,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “Everybody’s got to get to the ball with the mindset of ‘I’m going to make the tackle.’ When he cut it back . . . he hit another gear. Credit to him.”
And discredit to the Giants. “It’s pursuit, pursuit angles,” Ben McAdoo said.
That wasn’t even the longest pass play that went wrong for the defense.
On the next possession, Sammy Watkins lined up wide left on second-and-6 from the Rams’ 33. With Rodgers-Cromartie playing off him, Watkins used a double move to leave the cornerback behind, then blew past Collins coming over with safety help. Goff hit Watkins in stride inside the 15, and it went for a 67-yard touchdown.
“Everybody’s eyes were just in a bad spot, and he just got behind the defense,” Rodgers-Cromartie said.
In the third quarter, no one covered Woods on a 4-yard scoring pass.
Cornerback Janoris Jenkins was suspended for at least this game. Is this a secondary in shambles?
“Oh, no, we’re good,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. ”We’re on the same page. It comes down to eyes and discipline. You see something else and you want to do something else, you’ve got to do your job first.”