1 of 5New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate, right, is tackled by Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, center, during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Until Jalen Ramsey and Golden Tate traded postgame punches in the culmination of an estranged family’s feud, there wasn’t much drama in the New York Giants’ visit to Los Angeles.
The Rams hung on to win a mostly dismal game with just enough big plays on offense and a redemptive interception by Darious Williams.
Jared Goff hit Cooper Kupp for a 55-yard touchdown with 6:56 to play, and the Rams grinded out a 17-9 victory over New York on Sunday before the wild fight between Ramsey and Tate.
Williams made a diving pick at the Los Angeles 7 with 52 seconds to play as the Rams (3-1) barely stayed unbeaten at new SoFi Stadium and kept first-year Giants coach Joe Judge winless. Los Angeles managed 240 total yards and went nearly 45 minutes between its two touchdowns, but it was enough.
“Being 3-1, it’s still a good start,” Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald said. “Definitely made mistakes here and there, but I’d rather fix things off of winning instead of off a loss.”
Daniel Jones passed for 190 yards and rushed for 45 for the Giants (0-4), who haven’t scored a touchdown in their last two games. New York had two chances with the ball after Kupp’s TD, but the Giants turned it over on downs before Jones drove them deep into Rams territory.
That’s when Williams stepped up. The fourth-year cornerback was whistled for a debatable pass interference penalty on fourth down in the final minute of the Rams’ 35-32 loss at Buffalo last week, and the Bills scored the winning TD on the next play.
One week later, Williams came up huge on a pass by Jones intended for Damion Ratley, diving to get both hands on the ball just above the turf. Williams said he recognized the Giants’ play call from earlier in the game, allowing him to anticipate the throw.
“I felt like they were going to come back to it,” Williams said. “Basically just seeing that play, seeing him, everything, I knew that was kind of his play. Luckily I just made a play on it.”
After the kneeldown, even more action happened: Ramsey and Tate scuffled at midfield after a game filled with trash-talking between the two Nashville-area natives. Ramsey has two young children with Tate’s sister, and Tate was publicly upset last year when the couple went through a nasty breakup.
Ramsey and Tate both walked toward midfield when the game ended, and they immediately took swings at each other, eventually going to the turf in a heap. The veterans’ teammates pulled them apart, but no players professed knowledge of what happened.
New York’s defense gave an admirable effort against the NFL’s third-ranked offense entering Week 4, but the Giants’ offense stalled three times in the red zone before its late misadventures. Graham Gano kicked three field goals in the Giants’ first game in the Los Angeles area since 1994.
“That’s the type of team we want to be,” Giants linebacker Blake Martinez said. “But at the end of the day, it’s a production league, and getting wins is what we want. We are not going to be satisfied until that happens.”
Tight end Gerald Everett had his first career rushing touchdown for the Rams on their opening drive, but they managed just three points from their next six drives before Kupp took off through New York’s defense to cap a 91-yard march.
“It was frustrating when we gave that deep touchdown pass to Coop and I wasn’t able to get him on the ground,” Giants cornerback James Bradberry said. “I was frustrated with that. There are going to be points in the game where you’re frustrated, but you have to keep going on.”
Everett’s early fumble allowed the Giants to kick their first field goal, but the Rams battered Jones with four sacks in the first four drives. The Giants trailed only 10-6 at halftime despite gaining 67 total yards.
“I thought their defense played really well and should get a lot more credit than they have been,” Goff said on his postgame Zoom with reporters. “You guys seem awfully upset about us winning, so I’m trying to keep the mood up in here.”
Before their fight, Ramsey and Tate clashed several times on the field. They visibly trash-talked each other before and after whistles, and Ramsey made a spectacular hit on Tate early in the fourth quarter to force a fourth down.
Tate has spoken publicly in the last year about his disappointment with Ramsey. Tate’s sister, Breanna, was a track star at Ole Miss.
THAT WAS OFFENSIVE
Kupp’s catch and run behind the New York linebackers was the only TD pass for Goff, who went 25 of 32 for 200 yards. Los Angeles had racked up at least 400 total yards in each of its first three games.
“We just couldn’t get into a rhythm offensively, but the defense did a great job,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. “We were probably a little bit more conservative than I would have liked to have been offensively, but we couldn’t get anything going in the run game.”
The Rams improved to 28-0 when leading at halftime under McVay.
Giants: LBs Oshane Ximines (shoulder) and Kyler Fackrell (neck) got hurt in the third quarter. ... DB Adrian Colbert injured his neck in the fourth quarter.
Rams: Rookie S Jordan Fuller didn’t suit up due to a shoulder injury incurred last week. ... LB Micah Kiser (groin) got hurt in the third quarter.
Giants: Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett returns to Dallas when New York faces the Cowboys on Sunday.
Rams: Their third cross-country trip in four weeks, this time to face Washington on Sunday.