The consensus opinion on the Los Angeles Rams going into this season was that they had intriguing pieces, but they’re unproven, still bad, and most damning... they’re boring.
Since it’s only week one and they played against an injury-riddled Indianapolis Colts team, I won’t try to argue that they proved that they’re a great team. However, for one game at least, they were far from boring. They were fun, dynamic, and above all, entertaining. Who needs prime time football games? Not the Rams.
Let’s take a look at what was unexpected and expected in the Rams’ exhilarating victory over the Colts.
Unexpected: The LA Rams puts 46 points on the board
This isn’t last year’s team. At all. They delivered a pick 6. And then another one. A 50 yard field goal? Sure, and two more just for fun. Two rushing touchdowns. A beautiful rope of a throw from QB Jared Goff to WR Cooper Kupp for a TD. There was also a safety. 46 points in all.
They Rams scored 89 points in the Coliseum last year, in seven games. They scored 46 today.— Rich Hammond (@Rich_Hammond) September 11, 2017
Expected: The run game was the weak spot
There was nothing in the preseason to indicate that RB Todd Gurley was back to 2015 Gurley, so his 2.1 yards per carry wasn’t a shock. It’s troubling, but hopefully just a glitch in an otherwise dominating performance by the team.
Unexpected: The Defensive Was Absolutely Dominating
Yes, the Rams defense was always their strong suit, but they were never ranked in the top ten and with all the talk about DT Aaron Donald sitting out and many key players completely absent in the preseason games, it seemed like they had the excuse of playing with a little bit of rust. But this feels like a team that doesn’t want excuses. DT Tyrunn Walker was a disruptive force, CB Trumaine Johnson played like he was starving for a contract and OLB Robert Quinn looked like a Pro-Bowler again. No rust. Just 4 sacks, 7 tackles for a loss, 3 turnovers, and 1 safety. It was awesome.
Expected: Johnny Hekker Kept the Colts on Their Heels
The special teams unit for the Rams was one of the few consistent bright spots for the Rams last season and they kept that going in week 1. Hekker is a treasure and he must be appreciated.
Unexpected: QB Jared Goff threw for over 300 yards with No INTs
Cool and measured, Goff got the ball out fast to his new stable of pass catchers. He wasn’t throwing deep dimes as much as I’d like, but when he needed to, Goff threw some clutch completions. And he wasn’t just a game manager. Goff didn’t play like 2016 QB Alex Smith. He played like 2017 Alex Smith against the New England Patriots. Well, with only one TD pass, but you get my point.
Expected: They won the game
I’ll admit that my hopes were pretty high this week. I expected the Rams to come out and score some points while keeping the Colts to only field goals. Even Vegas favored the Rams. They were supposed to win this game.
What’s most surprising about this win is the idea that the Los Angeles Rams are exciting again so soon. They have a confidence. A bravado. And it’s entertaining to watch. That’s what a LA team sports needs to be to get the attention in this climate — in a city filled with entertainers, it looks like the Rams have decided to join in the fun.