The Los Angeles Rams find a way to hang on against the San Francisco 49ers with a thrilling 41-39 win on Thursday Night Football. Not only did the Rams overcome serious special teams miscues (offsides on punt leading to touchdown, muffed punt on own 10, fumble on kickoff return, failed onside kick recovery), but they also find ways to win with weird scoring totals.
Rams have won two games this year, 46-9 and 41-39. Apparently those two scorelines have never previously happened in NFL history (Elias)— Joe Curley (@vcsjoecurley) September 22, 2017
This was the Rams offense game. Todd Gurley and Jared Goff had their arguably best games of their respective young careers. Gurley was a monster from the beginning, scoring his first of three touchdowns of the game within 12 seconds of gametime.
Todd Gurley finishes with 149 yards of total offense, 28 carries for 113 and 5 catches for 36 yards, and three total TDs.— Joe Curley (@vcsjoecurley) September 22, 2017
Gurley so far in this young season has shown remarkable improvement in the passing game, being a dynamic checkdown option for Jared Goff as he continues to grow and develop.
Gurley says on @nflnetwork watching how LeVeon Bell and David Johnson catch the ball has inspired his development as a pass catcher.— Joe Curley (@vcsjoecurley) September 22, 2017
Speaking of Jared Goff, he finished with a 92.3 QBR (50 is average) and a 145.8 rating. In addition, Goff is starting to get more and more comfortable, being able to audible and make decisive reads on RPO (run - pass option) plays.
McVay confirmed double slant was a RPO. Goff confirms it was the same play. After run was stuffed, Watkins told him it was there in huddle.— Joe Curley (@vcsjoecurley) September 22, 2017
Let’s hope for continued performances like last night.
Jared Goff was 22 of 28 for 292 yards, 3 TDs, no interceptions. He was sacked once.” @CVRamsClub— Joe Curley (@vcsjoecurley) September 22, 2017
With Goff slinging the football all over the field and having ample time, you can easily point to the rock at left tackle, veteran Andrew Whitworth. In addition, Austin Blythe stepped in admirably with Jonathan Sullivan getting hurt.
Impact of Rams LT Andrew Whitworth:— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) September 22, 2017
Goff: 84 pass snaps in 3 games.
Per @PFF, Whitworth has allowed: -1 sack
-zero QB hits
Rookie Austin Blythe played 36 snaps after starting center John Sullivan was injured after playing 31.— Joe Curley (@vcsjoecurley) September 22, 2017
(Note: Austin Blythe is not a rookie.)
With all the offensive production in the air and ground, the Rams also saw their pair of former Buffalo Bills receivers have a performance that Rams fans haven’t seen in over a decade.
Rams: Two WR (Robert Woods & Sammy Watkins) with 100 rec yards in the same game for the 1st time since Isaac Bruce & Torry Holt in 2006.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 22, 2017
Who could have the foresight to see the Rams offense score so many peoples, granted against the weak part of their schedule.
On the defensive side. Whoo boy.
Troy Hill came back from his suspension to play a ton of snaps immediately.
In his first game of the season, CB Troy Hill played 35 snaps at cornerback (43%). Also played 17 special teams plays (50%). @thrilll_32— Joe Curley (@vcsjoecurley) September 22, 2017
Oddly, Ethan Westbrooks saw a significant reduction in snaps with Aaron Donald increasing his workload. However, the good news is that it seems that Tanzel Smart is a gem for the Phillips defense, earning more and more snaps.
The Rams played 21 players defensively last night. Ethan Westbrooks only played 13 snaps. Tanzel Smart played 23 and Morgan Fox played 16.— Joe Curley (@vcsjoecurley) September 22, 2017
I won’t continue to hash on the defense as the personnel has been somewhat limited for Wade’s inaugural campaign. Look for the offseason to really focus on getting this defense right, especially in the back seven.
All in all, the Rams are buying into the new regime’s philosophy. Todd Gurley has gone from calling his own team a “middle school” level team to now preaching on buying in.
“Guys are buying in. Everyone is winning their 1 on 1s. In the end, that’s what this league is about, beating the man across from you.” —TG— Joe Curley (@vcsjoecurley) September 22, 2017
Last but not least, this may have been the best Thursday Night Football ever.
Ratings: NFLN pulled a 6.1 overnight rating for Rams-49ers. There's no easy comp, but it is up 20% over NFLN's total average last season.— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) September 22, 2017