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Tight ends get into the act as Rams continue to tilt the scoreboard in rout of Giants

Tyler Higbee
Rams tight end Tyler Higbee catches a pass for a touchdown in font of New York Giants Keenan Robinson.
(Julio Cortez / AP)

Playmaking tight ends were a staple of Sean McVay’s offense as the play-caller for the Washington Redskins.

On Sunday at MetLife Stadium, the first-year coach showcased the tight ends in the Rams’ 51-17 victory over the New York Giants.

Tyler Higbee caught his first touchdown pass of the season and rookie Gerald Everett produced a 44-yard gain.

“We’ve got so many weapons on this offense that you never know whose day it’s going to be,” Higbee said. “So you always have to be prepared and step up when your number is called.”

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On the Rams’ first possession, Higbee caught an eight-yard pass in traffic in the middle of the end zone.

“It was good, exciting,” said Higbee, a second-year pro. “Finally got in there.”

Everett, a second-round pick from South Alabama, slipped past the defense in the second quarter to make his long catch.

“We kind of just caught them off guard,” Everett said. “Showed them a lot on film and coach McVay is a genius with being proactive. … It was good to catch them off balance.”

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Everett caught a 69-yard pass against the Washington Redskins in Week 2. He is the only NFL tight end with two catches for more than 40 yards this season.

The Times’ Gary Klein, Lindsey Thiry and Mike DiGiovanna break down the Rams 51-17 victory over the New York Giants to improve to 6-2 at the halfway point of the season.

Linebacker Cory Littleton made a big play on special teams for the second time in three games. He blocked a punt in the third quarter.

“We’re all doing a good job just helping the other one,” Littleton said. “I can’t get that block by myself. I also got assistance. We practice it and we’re executing.”

The Rams scored a touchdown three plays later.

Littleton, a second-year pro who signed with the Rams as an undrafted free agent last season, also blocked a punt in a victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Malcolm Brown returned that blocked kick for a touchdown.

Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein, the NFC special-teams player of the month for October, added to his league-leading point total by making all three of his field-goal attempts.

Zuerlein made kicks from 27 and 46 yards in the second quarter, and 47 yards in the fourth.

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Zuerlein has scored 99 points. He has made 24 of 25 field-goal attempts.

As Rams left guard Rodger Saffold dressed after the game for the cross-country flight home, he pulled on what he called “compression socks” — which looked very much like pantyhose — all the way up over each thigh before donning a pair of sweat pants.

The 6-foot-5, 325-pound lineman wasn’t the least bit sheepish about wearing the article of clothing. After consecutive games at Jacksonville, London and New York, Saffold was merely trying to ward off any potential health problems.

“At the end of the day, it’s precautionary — I’d say about 50% of the team does it to prevent swelling from being in the air,” Saffold, 29, said. “I get general swelling in my legs, just from being an old guy.

“You swell up, and it can cause a setback on the way home, especially on some of these long flights from like London and New York. Why wouldn’t you do the little things to keep you strong for next week?”

A brutal afternoon for the Giants, who fell to 1-7, extended to the postgame news conference, where the New York media wasted no time pouncing on second-year coach Ben McAdoo.

After McAdoo issued an opening statement, the first question to the coach was, “Did this team quit today?”

McAdoo’s response: “No. The team didn’t quit today.”

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Question: “What did you think of the effort?”

Answer: “They were playing hard.”

Asked what he said to the team at halftime, McAdoo said, “Um.”

And so it went.

McAdoo was asked whether he was worried about his situation.

“Not at all,” he said.

Does McAdoo think anyone is embarrassed?

“Embarrassing isn’t a word I’d use,” he said. “We’re disappointed.”

Question: “You’re 1-7 and you’re not scoring many points. Why do you say you’re not worried about your own situation?”

Answer: “My situation doesn’t have anything to do with it. We have to get ready to play a ballgame next week. That’s counterproductive.”

Question: “It does reflect on you, though, correct?”

Answer: “Everything falls back on my shoulders.”

With a 37-yard pass to Sterling Shepard early in the fourth quarter, New York’s Eli Manning became the seventh quarterback to pass for 50,000 yards in a career, joining Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Dan Marino and John Elway.

lindsey.thiry@latimes.com

Follow Lindsey Thiry on Facebook and Twitter @LindseyThiry

gary.klein@latimes.com

Follow Gary Klein on Twitter @latimesklein

mike.digiovanna@latimes.com

Follower Mike DiGiovanna on Twitter @MikeDiGiovanna


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