The Los Angeles Rams opened the regular season with a stunning 46-9 week one win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. Tom Green gives us his thoughts on the game…
Goff starts his second year with a flyer
Jared Goff had his best game under centre since his 467-yard Armed Forces Bowl performance for the California Golden Bears in 2015. Goff threw for 306 yards against the Colts and scored his first touchdown of the season in the standout game of his career so far.
To put this into perspective, Goff was only able to throw for 1089-yards all season in his rookie season under coach Jeff Fisher. Hopefully for the Rams, this performance is a sign of things to come for a franchise that hasn’t been to the NFL playoffs since 2004 (when the Atlanta Falcons defeated them in the NFC Divisional round).
The Rams receiving group was bolstered in the offseason with the drafting of promising wide receiver Cooper Kupp and the Sammy Watkins trade. The additions to the offensive line have also made an enormous impact on Goff’s performance as he was only sacked once during the game. This gave the young QB more time to make smarter reads and complete more passes that he wouldn’t have been able to last season.
No Aaron Donald but the Mob Squad still dominate
The biggest story heading into the regular season was Aaron Donald’s future (which still isn’t clear at the time of writing this article) and whether it would have a negative impact on the Rams defense. Donald reported for practice on the Monday before the game but was left out of the squad for week one by Sean McVay.
Despite missing their most valuable player, The Mob Squad dominated a hapless Colts offense with backup Scott Tolzein under centre. The defense restricted the Colts to only 254 yards throughout the game which is their worst performance since their 34-20 defeat at the hands of the Denver Broncos in week 3 of 2016. This game was also the Colts worst defeat since they lost 51-16 to the Jacksonville Jaguars in week 14 of the 2015 season.
A big part of this victory was the contribution of the secondary who dominated the proceedings. They restricted Tolzein to a 50% pass completion rate. Trumaine Johnson and LaMarcus Joyner were also fortunate enough to get a pick six each which helped the Rams run away with the game.
The secondary’s domination got so bad that the Colts resorted to bringing on their third string quarterback Jacoby Brissett as it was clear that Tolzein was having a difficult day under centre.
Todd Gurley III has a strong all round performance
Todd Gurley III didn’t have big rushing numbers on Sunday, but his presence was felt throughout the game. Gurley III rushed for 40 yards and scored his first touchdown of the season on the ground. However, he was also used in the passing game as an effective hot route runner for Goff. By the end of the game, Gurley received five passes and accumulated 56 receiving yards.