BAGSHOT, England (AP) — Rams coach Jeff Fisher has often stressed the importance of a quick emotional turnaround.
Dwell on the result of a game for a day, then move on.
And while the Los Angeles Rams had to endure a seven-hour flight after a 31-28 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday, coping with the outcome didn’t last much longer.
“That 24-hour rule is serious,” left tackle Rodger Saffold said. “For us, we moved eight hours ahead, so our 24-hour rule was a lot shorter.”
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Avoiding any type of panic could be fortunate for the Rams (3-3), who dropped their past two games after winning three of their first four for the first time since 2006.
As they regrouped on Wednesday for practice, beginning their on-field preparations for a game on Sunday against the New York Giants at Twickenham Stadium, they did so believing that a week in London could spur them out of their skid.
“It was a good day to get back out here,” strong safety T.J. McDonald said. “We got back into the feel of things, and to be back here on the grass feels good.”
Rather than return to Los Angeles following the loss to the Lions, the Rams crossed the Atlantic, arriving just before 9 a.m. local time on Monday.
To give his players ample opportunity to rest and get acclimated to the time change, Fisher reworked the team’s practice schedule, granting players the rest of Monday and all of Tuesday off.
A handful of players represented the team at a community event in nearby Guildford on Tuesday, while others, including McDonald, ventured into downtown London — roughly 30 miles, or an hour’s drive, away.
“I think you shortchange the players if, you know, we wake up in the morning and we go out and practice and we come in and we go to meetings and that’s it,” Fisher said, before recalling a conversation he had with one player.
“I said, ‘How was your day?’ He goes, ‘I went to London. It was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. I’m calling Mom and Dad to tell them this is a really cool place.’ You want to give them some time to do that.”
On the field, significant attention will be paid to the matchup against the Giants’ offense, which enters Sunday ranked third in the league with 288.2 passing yards per game.
That’s of particular concern to Los Angeles, which had a three-game winning streak earlier this season because of a stout defense, but that group has struggled each of the past two weeks.
The Rams allowed 30 points at home to the Buffalo Bills on Oct. 9 and then squandered a seven-point lead over the Lions late on Sunday.
“You definitely have to learn how to finish games,” linebacker Alec Ogletree said. “When you don’t know how to finish games, you tend to lose a lot of games. Most games are settled pretty much by three points or less, so if you’re not able to finish games, it’s tough to win in this league.”
Should the Rams be unable to do so on Sunday, they’ll face another long flight — this one approximately 10 hours — and will enter their bye week with a three-game losing streak and, for the first time this season, a losing record.
“We’ve taken the approach that it doesn’t matter where you play or what time or who you play,” Fisher said. “You’ve just got to go out and play. That’s what they’ve bought into.”
NOTES: DT Michael Brockers (thigh) and CB Trumaine Johnson (high ankle sprain) did not practice, while DE Robert Quinn (shoulder) and DE William Hayes (ankle) were limited. … Not only will the Rams be playing at Twickenham, the home of England’s national rugby team, but they’re also practicing this week at Pennyhill Park, a resort and spa where the English team has trained since 2003. … Wide receiver Brian Quick embraced the local sporting culture, donning a cricket helmet and taking swings with England players Liam Plunkett and Sam Billings for a local TV station.
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