EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – They worked out together over the summer, third-year pro Taylor Rapp taking rookie Robert Rochell under his wing.
On Sunday, they teamed up again to combine for three of the four takeaways created by the Rams defense in a 38-11 win over the Giants at MetLife Stadium.
Rapp accounted for two of them, both interceptions that directly led to 14 Rams points – a 2-yard touchdown run by running back Darrell Henderson Jr., and later a 13-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matthew Stafford to wide receiver Cooper Kupp.
"I thought he did a great job, made his plays," Rams head coach Sean McVay said of Rapp. "He's such an instinctual player, he's got great short space quickness, got a nose for the football, whether we're sending him forward, whether it's in some of those underneath zones, and then be able to come away with those two interceptions was big. (He) got a game ball. Really happy for Taylor. He did a great job. He was one of the stars in the game for sure."
Rochell, meanwhile, snagged the first interception of his NFL career. While it didn't lead to points, it still prevented the Giants from eating into the Rams' eventual 25-point halftime lead.
"Just making a play for my team, just such a great feeling," Rochell said.
Regardless of the subsequent outcome after each interception, all three had a measurable impact on the game and, points or no points, gave the Rams offense a short field to work with on three ensuing possessions.
Given the aforementioned connection, it made each player's performance all the more meaningful.
"I've seen him grow so much in front of my eyes," Rapp said. "Him coming in as a rookie, I got to work out with him all summer, kind of took him under my wing and tried to push him as much as I could, and he's really answered the bell. So it's just amazing to see all those guys really answer the bell, step up when we needed them."
The feeling was mutual for Rochell seeing Rapp have the game he had.
"Oh yeah, that's my brother right there," Rochell said. "When I came in, he was the first guy to come to me, and he just worked everyday, everyday, consistently. Today, just to see him play how he did and make the plays that he did, it was great. I was happy for him. Just happy to see him do things that he works day in and day out on."