LA Rams rookie Ernest Jones earns his first NFL start and a game ball.

Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

As long as you watched only the first three-quarters of the LA Rams game against the Houston Texans, you likely ended Week 8 with a euphoric feeling about this team. If you only saw the last quarter of the game, you likely ended Week 8 with deep despair. If you dared to watch the entire game, you undoubtedly are experiencing a mixture of hopeful melancholy.

Well, let’s put you back on the positive. Ignore the insignificant details. Make every attempt to avoid the minutiae. There were three things that had to happen in Week 8. First of all, the LA Rams needed a win, which the team got handily. Second of all, the team needed to emerge healthily, and for all intents and purposes, the team managed to avoid injuries with the exception of a shoulder injury to rookie Tutu Atwell.

Thirdly, the Rams needed to see how well the backup starters would handle the pressure of being promoted to a starting role. Ernest Jones, Greg Gaines, Joseph Noteboom, and Ben Skowronek were all placed into much larger roles for Week 8. They all performed above expectations, with Ernest Jones putting on quite a display, good enough to earn a game ball after his first NFL start.

Here’s the video from the LA Rams locker room after the game:

This was an excellent warm-up for the Rams defense, as the team will take on a far more dangerous Tennessee Titans at SoFi Stadium in Week 9. The Titans successfully defeated their AFC South rival Indianapolis Colts in overtime to get to a record of 6-2. The loss drops the Colts to a 3-5 record.

The Rams were in complete control of the game as they entered the fourth quarter with a wide 38-0 margin. The lead was so out-of-control that head coach Sean McVay pulled almost all of his starters off the football field. Facing the LA Rams backups, the Houston Texans were able to put up 22 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to make this game appear far closer than it was.

Ernest Jones was the star on defense, getting nine tackles, a sack, two quarterback hits, an interception, and a tackle for a loss. Greg Gaines got four tackles and a sack. Joseph Noteboom had a great game, not only not allowing no sacks on quarterback Matthew Stafford but contributing to a solid day for the Rams rushing attack. And even rookie Ben Skowronek had a great day catching three of three passes for 30 yards today.

Hopefully, this is an indication of things to come.

LA Rams Darrell Henderson stretching legs courtesy of Texans in Week 8. light. Trending

We’ll break down some things that need to be cleaned up soon. But for today? Enjoy the fact that the LA Rams have now tied for the best record in the NFL. Relish the fact that the Rams are winning games that they are supposed to win. The LA Rams magic number (estimated) for a playoff berth in the 2021 NFL Playoffs is now five. And the Rams have nine games remaining to play.