Givens Runs to Rookie Record

Posted Oct 28, 2012

LONDON – Whether it’s on United States soil or in a foreign country, it makes little different when it comes to Rams rookie receiver Chris Givens and his propensity for making big plays.

Here, Givens’ long touchdown to give the Rams an early 7-0 lead went for 45.72 meters, a distance that Givens has regularly covered back home and is more commonly known amongst NFL followers as 50 yards.

The scoring strike represented the fifth consecutive week that Givens had made a catch for 50 or more yards, setting an NFL rookie record that he shared with former Bears wideout Willie Gault entering Sunday’s game against the Patriots.

When informed he’d set the rookie record, Givens was appreciative but humbled.

“It means a lot,” Givens said. “It’s definitely something I can smile about, just not today being that we lost. I’m not a big stat guy anyway so I am just going to keep working, trying to get these W’s.”

In fact, Givens found himself more disappointed that he couldn’t add to his hot start than that he broke the record.

On first and 10 from midfield with 12:35 to go in the opening quarter, quarterback Sam Bradford got the call from offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer for a play action pass with Givens running a post route down the middle.

Bradford let it fly as Givens pulled even with the defensive backs dropping deep but Givens turned on his patented speed and flew by the safeties.

“It was a great call by Schotty,” Givens said. “We had been working on that play all week and we just called a good play against a good defense and it just worked out in our favor.”

Givens hauled it in and crossed the goal line to give the Rams an early lead and extend his streak, a streak that has caught the attention of even his defensive teammates.

“We expect that out of him and he’s doing a really good job of delivering,” end Chris Long said. “With a quarterback like Sam back there that can make the throws, I think they are getting a good feel for each other. Hopefully that will continue.”

The chance to build on the quick start vanished for Givens when he aggravated a toe injury that has been plaguing him recently on the team’s second possession.

“It’s just a bruise, something I have been trying to play through,” Givens said. “It’s getting better and better. I just try to get it ready to play. I stomped on it a little bit and it kind of flared up on me, that’s all.”

Givens had to leave the game for the bulk of the first half and finished with three catches for 63 yards after getting 50 on his first one.

It was no coincidence that the offense stalled a bit after Givens left the game but Bradford didn’t believe the two had that much correlation.

“I don’t think that was part of it at all,” Bradford said. “He’s a good receiver and allows us to stretch the field but we’ve got plenty of other guys who can do what he does so him going out of the game early didn’t limit us.”

For his part, Givens regretted not being able to build on the big play.

“It was disappointing definitely because I felt like I let the team down a lot not being able to come back and finish the second half how I wanted to,” Givens said. “It’s just something that I’m the type of guy I don’t like to miss any snaps. It hurt just not being able to be out there but it won’t happen again.”

What Givens and his teammates and coaches hope will happen again is more of the big plays that he continues to provide on a weekly basis.

Givens is well aware of the player Gault was and said he looked into Gault’s history as he got closer to the number he earned Sunday.

“Ever since I had known I was getting close to the record, I had been doing my research on him,” Givens said.

INTERFERED WITH: The Rams defense didn’t have many chances to get off the field on third down Sunday against the Patriots. But when those opportunities did finally arise, there were at least three occasions where they thought they had done it.

And on each of those three occasions, the momentary belief that they’d stopped Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Co. short of the end zone quickly vanished underneath a yellow flag.

Cornerback Bradley Fletcher, who entered Sunday’s game having one of his best seasons, was penalized three times for pass interference. Each one came on third down and gave New England a first down. Each drive ended in a touchdown and each time the call seemed to indicate a closely called game.

“I was playing the routes aggressively and that was the call that was made,” Fletcher said. “I’m not sure (what happened). I’m going to evaluate the film when I get a chance and get ready for next week.”

Safety Quintin Mikell said it was hard to see the Patriots’ talented offense getting additional opportunities to keep drives going.

“It was a little frustrating,” Mikell said. “That’s the stuff you can’t control it and it’s frustrating because when you are playing a good team like that, you need all the help you can get. Some of those calls, I’m not sure I didn’t see them, it’s frustrating because you can’t give a good team like that second and third chances.”

BRIGHT LIGHTS: Wembley Stadium is one of the world’s most famous venues and was filled to the brim with NFL fans on Sunday evening with an announced crowd of a capacity 84,004.

Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis didn’t believe all the hoopla kept his team from focusing on the task at hand despite the outcome.

“I don’t think that at all,” Laurinaitis said. “It’s not the size of the stadium. The last time we were on a big stage like that in a Thursday night game we played extremely well so we just didn’t play well. Against a Hall of Fame quarterback, that’s the kind of stuff that happens. “

INJURY REPORT: The Rams will have a bye week to heal up any minor injuries but there was at least one in Sunday’s game that probably will take much longer to recover.

“We are looking at the possibility right now of losing Matt Daniels for the season with an ACL,” coach Jeff Fisher said. “We’ll confirm that when we get back.”

In addition to Daniels and Givens, tackles Barry Richardson (head) and Joe Barksdale left the game at various points. They both returned though recently signed Chris Williams and Tim Barnes got brief opportunities to step in.

One of the game’s scarier moments came when Bradford was driven into the ground on a short completion to running back Daryl Richardson.

“He just had the wind knocked out of him so I used a timeout and he was able to go back on the field,” Fisher said.