Article Credit Vinny Bonsignore (Daily News)
LONDON — It seems almost fitting the Rams ended up at the sprawling 123-acre Penny Hill Hotel during their weeklong stay in England in preparation for their game Sunday against the New York Giants.
Nestled in a perfectly British park side about an hour outside of London, the elegant, ivy-clad hotel sits amid a thick, woodsy area that provides seclusion and serenity.
Its origins trace to the early 1600s. And over the years, British dignitaries like Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Sir Lyndsey Byron Peters KBE have called the impressive main quarters home.
These days, it’s a popular holiday destination as a plush spa and resort to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
In other words, it’s the perfect place for the Rams for the next few days to rid themselves of the anger and frustration of a two-game losing streak that threatens to change their season from contender to pretender.
“Being here at Penny Hill has been a great experience for us,” safety T.J. McDonald said.
Maybe even therapeutic.
“We didn’t like the way we played last week,” linebacker Alec Ogletree said. “This week is about putting that behind us and playing better.”
And perhaps in the process, rediscover the mojo that served them so well through a three-game winning streak and their best start to a season in more than a decade.
“Going out there and finishing games,” is how Ogletree summed it up.
The Rams weren’t dominant during their early surge, just well timed. Where consistency eluded them, bursts of brilliance saved them. They preserved three consecutive victories with closing-second heroics, and in doing so created a vibe and positivity that eluded them for years.
“When you don’t know how to finish games, you tend to lose a lot of games,” Ogletree said. “Most games are settled by three points or less. If you’re not able to finish games, it’s tough to win in this league.
As quickly as the Rams found that ability, it seemingly escaped them.
The tables now turned, they suffered bitter back-to-back losses to the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions.
They played well offensively against the Lions, with career games from Case Keenum and Kenny Britt and more running-game efficiency then at any point this year.
But when it counted most, the Rams offense couldn’t mount a drive to put the Lions away and the defense wasn’t able to protect a 10-point lead.
And they lost a game they played well enough to win.
Pictures from Vinny Bonsignore