HOUSTON – The Rams (7-1) reached a season-best four-game win streak with their 38-22 victory over the Texans (1-7) on Sunday at NRG Stadium.
Making his first NFL start, Rams rookie linebacker Ernest Jones snagged the first interception of his NFL career, a takeaway that set up a Los Angeles touchdown. Defensive lineman Aaron Donald had his first multi-sack game of the season with 1.5, while outside linebacker Leonard Floydhad his second with 2.0.
On offense, quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 21 of 32 pass attempts for 305 yards and three touchdowns – one to running back Darrell Henderson Jr., one to wide receiver Robert Woods and one to wide receiver Cooper Kupp – before being pulled after the third quarter. Kupp posted a team-high seven catches for 115 yards in addition to that touchdown, while Henderson posted 14 carries for 90 yards and one rushing touchdown in addition to his receiving score. Woods collected three catches for 35 yards, and also rushed for a 16-yard touchdown.
Here is the complete game recap:
The Rams got on the board first with a 3-yard touchdown pass from Stafford to Henderson at the end of the game's first possession.
Similar to their first offensive series, the Rams would lean on explosive runs by Henderson, who had carries that went for 16 and 19 yards on the drive. However, it ended with a turnover on downs on 4th and 1 at the Texans 3 after Stafford's pass for Henderson was incomplete.
A 27-yard field goal by kicker Matt Gay extended the Rams' lead to 10-0 midway through the second quarter.
On the ensuing Texans possession, Jones picked off Texans quarterback Davis Mills and returned the interception 19 yards, setting up the Rams at the Texans 12. Five plays later, Stafford connected with Woods for a 2-yard touchdown pass to put the Rams up 17-0 with 6:09 left in the first half.
A 52-yard catch-and-run by Kupp put the Rams at the Texans 12-yard line just before the two-minute mark of the first half. Four plays later, Henderson punched it in from one yard out to put the Rams up 24-0.
The Texans put themselves in position to potentially add three points at the end of the first half, but kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn's 45-yard field goal attempt missed wide right as time expired.
The Rams expanded their lead to 31-0 via an 11-yard touchdown pass from Stafford to Kupp midway through the third quarter, a play set up by a 68-yard completion from Stafford to wide receiver Van Jefferson. Woods' rushing touchdown late in the third quarter made the their lead 38-0.
The Texans did not score their first points of the game until midway through the fourth quarter – after the Rams had pulled most of their starters – on a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Rex Burkhead. They recovered the ensuing onside kick attempt, then scored a second touchdown via a 45-yard pass from Mills to wide receiver Brandin Cooks reduced the Rams' lead to 24 with five minutes remaining. A 9-yard touchdown pass from Mills to tight end Brevin Jordan, then rushing 2-point attempt made it 22 answered in a six-minute span for Houston, cutting Los Angeles' lead to 38-22 with 2:35 remaining.
The Texans attempted a second onside kick following the touchdown from Mills to Jordan, but the Rams recovered with 2:27 remaining. While the Rams were forced to punt on the ensuing possession, punter Johnny Hekker's put was downed by wide receiver Ben Skworonek at the Texans 2. And between the shallow field position and 16-point deficit with two minutes remaining, there wasn't enough time for the Texans to complete a comeback.