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Los Angeles Rams-Indianapolis Colts: 3 Things We Learned From The 46-9 Victory

The Rams showed they can convincingly win a football game, but what else did Sunday teach us about this team?

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Los Angeles Rams Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams began the Sean McVay era with a dominating victory against the Indianapolis Colts, and Monday has never been brighter.

The Rams official team Twitter account has also never been busier. Have you seen their timeline? It’s buzzing about players who aren’t the punter.

With the hype of Sunday now over, we have time to take a look at the game without the rose-colored glasses and take a look at what we learned.

We should take the Week One victory with a grain of salt

One question that kept bouncing around in my head on Sunday afternoon: Are the Rams really this good or the Colts really this bad? Well, it’s a bit of both, in my opinion.

There’s no denying the Rams are a better team, both offensively and defensively. They came out and played four quarters of an NFL game, which is something that didn’t happen all that often in the past with the Jeff Fisher-era. The offense stuck with their plan of making the passing offense competent and the defense showed it can handle a game without DT Aaron Donald on the line.

But the Colts were downright awful on Sunday on both sides of the ball. Indy’s passing game completed 11 passes with two quarterbacks and the ground game finished with 75 yards, which is 12 more than the Rams. The defense had no answers against QB Jared Goff and his receivers.

The Colts seemed clueless, even after the game when Chuck Pagano gave credit to the San Francisco 49ers for kicking their ass.

This game was essentially a fifth preseason game. While the Rams dominated, as they should have, their real test doesn’t come until October 1 against the Dallas Cowboys. The defense might have an earlier test against QB Kirk Cousins and the Washington offense, but the team as a whole will face a big battle next month.

Though dominant, the offense still needs work

Jared Goff and the passing game balled out on Sunday. There were three receivers with three catches or more, and eight different receivers caught a pass from Goff, who went on to finish with more than 300 yards passing and a touchdown. A great day for a kid who used to think the sun rose in the West.

Now, for the rest of the offense.

There was a night-and-day difference between the pass-blocking of 2017 vs. 2016. The new offensive line handled the pressure convincingly and gave Goff time to look for the big throws. But the running game finished under 65 yards on Sunday, which is unacceptable.

Even against a hapless group like the Colts front-seven, RB Todd Gurley was met with pressure almost immediately on numerous touches and finished the day with a little over 2-yards-a-carry.

On a smaller note, the penalties need to be curbed. Seven penalties is Fisher-worthy.

On a much smaller note, does Tavon Austin know he’s expendable? The ink from his ridiculous extension isn’t even dry and he’s pulling crap like this:

Way to sell it, Tavon. Days before this game, Austin posted a video on Instagram of Jay Z talking about how Kobe Bryant and Floyd Mayweather are relentless workers and consistently honing on their craft. Austin is only consistent in writing vague tweets and posting a snippet of his parking lot/sidewalk fashion shows.

The defense has other players not named Aaron Donald

On Friday, Donald ended his holdout and came back to the team. Everyone subsequently lost their minds with glee and everyone began taking the Rams defense seriously again.

But if Sunday proved anything, its that the Rams would have been okay if the holdout continued. That doesn’t mean Donald shouldn’t get a new deal. It just means the defense can survive.

The Rams played a Colts team that will eventually get Chuck Pagano fired, but four sacks is still impressive. Two Pick-6’s are still impressive. Holding an offense to 75 rushing yards is still impressive. The Rams did all that without Aaron Donald on the line to absorb the double-teams and extra attention.

CB Trumaine Johnson and CB Lamarcus Joyner had remarkable games. Both have contracts up in 2018. Let that ruin your Monday.

But then bounce back after realizing that DE Robert Quinn is back and he’s doing just fine.

That was against the Colts’ best offensive lineman, LT Anthony Castonzo.