Gi­ants de­fense roars to life in win over Rams

Four in­ter­cep­tions help power New York to 17-10 vic­tory over Rams

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Shawn Pogatchnik

Af­ter six frus­trat­ing weeks, the Gi­ants de­fense snared four in­ter­cep­tions in the team's 17-10 win in Lon­don.

LON­DON >> For six frus­trat­ing weeks, the New York Gi­ants de­fense won­dered why they couldn’t get their hands on the ball. They fi­nally found it in Lon­don — and hope to bring that turnover mojo back home.

The Gi­ants had four in­ter­cep­tions Sun­day against the Los An­ge­les Rams, tripling their sea­son to­tal, as turnovers and pressure up front proved de­ci­sive in a 1710 win .

Lan­don Collins re­turned the first pick 44 yards for a touch­down, the se­cond 18 yards into Rams ter­ri­tory to set up his team’s only touch­down on of­fense. He’d man­aged only one in­ter­cep­tion in his pre­vi­ous 22 games. Do­minique An­to­nio-Cro­mar­tie bat­ted cleanup, catch­ing two ill-ad­vised Case Keenum lobs into the end zone to kill the Rams’ fi­nal bids for a come­back.

And all af­ter­noon, a swarm­ing front four and line­backer corps kept Todd Gur­ley un­der con­trol

and Keenum scram­bling for space.

Keenum said he was sur­prised at the ag­gres­sive­ness of the Gi­ants’ pass rush, with ‘back­ers and safeties com­ing more fre­quently on blitzes than the Rams had ex­pected based on game tape. He was sacked three times and fum­bled twice, re­cov­er­ing both.

“They came af­ter us numer­ous times (with) zero cov­er­age be­hind it,” Keenum said. “I thought our line did a good job of see­ing some of that stuff, but when they bring more than we can block, there’s noth­ing that we can do.”

McA­doo said quar­ter­back pres­sures, hur­ries and sacks “usu­ally come in bunches ... and to­day was the day.”

De­fen­sive end Olivier Ver­non said cre­at­ing turnovers “was just some­thing that we had to work on. Things have started to come to fruition now.”

Cor­ner­back Eli Ap­ple said the de­fense was “def­i­nitely hot right now, and we just have to keep it go­ing.”

Collins had the game of his two-year ca­reer. The former se­cond-round pick out of Alabama led the team with eight solo tack­les and knocked down two other passes along­side his two cru­cial picks.

On his 44-yard touch­down re­turn, Collins fielded Tavon Austin’s high-tipped pass, darted to the right and cut back. Rams tight end Lance Ken­dricks lunged at his legs, but Collins kept his feet and turned up­field, bar­rel­ing over cen­ter Tim Barnes at the 2-yard line.

Collins “looked like a run­ning back. For him to be able to tuck the ball away and push the pile through the end zone shows a lot,” McA­doo said.

“I was look­ing for a block for him,” said de­fen­sive end Ja­son Pierre-Paul, “but he did it on his own.”

Other take­aways from Sun­day’s Lon­don game:

GI­ANTS STRIKE GOULD

Sit­ting alone at his locker, Rob­bie Gould re­flected on his first points as a Gi­ant — and his un­ex­pected op­por­tu­nity out of the Big Blue.

“It’s re­ally an un­be­liev­able place, and it’s great to come over­seas and get a win,” said Gould, who set Chicago’s all­time scor­ing record in 11 sea­sons as a Bear be­fore this year’s pre­sea­son cut in a salary-cap move.

Six weeks later, he was tak­ing his 3-year-old son to the swim­ming pool when the Gi­ants came call­ing in search of a veteran re­place­ment for Josh Brown . Three days and a transat­lantic flight later, Gould kicked two ex­tra points and a 29-yard field goal in Sun­day’s win.

Gould has no idea how long the Gi­ants will want him to stay as the NFL in­ves­ti­gates new ev­i­dence of Brown’s abu­sive treat­ment of his then-wife.

“It’s a great op­por­tu­nity, whether it lasts one game or an­other 11 years,” said the 34-year-old Gould. “It’s a pretty spe­cial week­end.”

RAMS EYE OF­FEN­SIVE CHANGES

Af­ter a four-in­ter­cep­tion per­for­mance, Rams coach Jeff Fisher is un­der pressure to make a dra­matic change to the Rams’ sput­ter­ing of­fense — per­haps to give No. 1 over­all pick Jared Goff a try at quar­ter­back.

But Fisher is adamant:

The last per­son on of­fense he might con­sider bench­ing right now is Keenum. As far as he’s con­cerned, oth­ers be­long on the hot seat.

“Jared is go­ing to play when we feel Jared is ready,” Fisher said, dis­miss­ing calls for Goff to re­place Keenum as a knee­jerk re­ac­tion to a close loss.

“But we didn’t lose this game be­cause of quar­ter­back play to­day. We lost at some other po­si­tions,” Fisher said, list­ing the rea­sons for the four picks, in­clud­ing Tavon Austin’s two-handed tip on the first pick and two other re­ceivers’ blown au­di­ble ad­just­ments on the fi­nal turnover. “I’ll make changes at re­ceiver be­fore I make a change at quar­ter­back,” he said.

PHO­TOS BY MATT DUNHAM — AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Gi­ants wide re­ceiver Vic­tor Cruz runs with the ball dur­ing Sun­day’s game against the Rams at Twick­en­ham Sta­dium in Lon­don.

Gi­ants de­fen­sive tackle Da­mon Har­ri­son tack­les Rams quar­ter­back Case Keenum.

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