Saturday 26th May, 2018
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Rams feast on overwhelmed Colts

Sports Xchange - Tuesday 12th September, 2017

AGOURA HILLS, Calif. -- As season openers for a struggling franchise, a second-year quarterback and a first-year head coach go, the Los Angeles Rams could not have gotten off on a better foot than they did in their blowout win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

Quarterback Jared Goff was poised, efficient and accurate while completing 21 of 29 passes for 306 yards and a touchdown.

The offense amassed 373 yards and scored 32 points.

The defense added 14 points on two pick-six interceptions.

It was exactly what the Rams needed after finishing 4-12 last year.

In particular, the performance of Goff was enlightening considering his struggles over seven dreadful starts as a rookie.

"I thought he did a great job making good decisions, getting the ball out in the timing and rhythm of the play," said Rams head coach Sean McVay. "We were able to avoid sacks for the most part. We took the one on third down where they ended up bringing a zone pressure on us and did a good job getting home. I thought he took good care of the football, made good decisions and he did seem to have good command of it. Offensively as a whole though, we have to avoid those penalties. We can't beat ourselves with the pre-snap false starts, different things like that. That will get you beat and we've got to get that cleaned up. But, just from Jared as a whole, I'm very proud of him, thought he did a great job and it was awesome for him to get his first win."

Goff threw to nine different receivers, taking advantage of the handful of personnel changes the Rams made from last year to this year.

"Yeah, I think where I've played and my whole career a lot of the times it's been if we don't score however many, it's not going to work," he said. "I think that's something I've learned in the NFL is you don't need to do everything yourself. Those guys get paid to and there's a reason those guys are on your team and there's a reason that they are who they are and are drafted and all that. So, continuing to get the ball to guys like Sammy (Watkins), guys like (Robert (Woods), guys like Tavon (Austin), guys like Cooper (Kupp), guys like Todd (Gurley). I mean stuff like that is huge and I know I'm not going to be the one picking up the yards. It's going to be those guys."

It was the exact start the Rams needed after last year. But one they have to build on.

"I think it's a step in the right direction, but it's all about those players and I can't say enough about the way that these guys have bought into what we're trying to do," McVay said. "We know it's one win and now, the true measure of performance, is consistency. Let's see if we can have a great week of preparation and see if we can give ourselves a chance to have a good performance against a tough Washington team next week."

--Defensive tackle Aaron Donald ended his 37-day contract holdout and reported to the Rams on Saturday. Donald did not play, but he did collect his full pay for Week 1.

Now the Rams must figure out when Donald will make his debut.

"You know I'm optimistic," Rams head coach Sean McVay said. "I'm optimistic that he's here. Here's the thing that you like about Aaron though, you sit down with Aaron, you talk to him - Aaron loves football. He wants to get this thing figured out. When you talk to him about, 'What do you think the best way to handle this is?' The first thing he says is, 'I don't at all want to be a distraction to my teammates, so I'll reconvene with the team on Monday and we'll figure this thing out moving forward.'

So that's why you appreciate Aaron because he is all about the right things. We're trying to work to come to a solution. He's a special player. In my interaction with Aaron, I have nothing but the utmost respect and hopefully come to a conclusion where we can get him on the field with his teammates and we know that he'll certainly help our defense."

Donald was with the team on Monday and is expected to take part in practice this week. The goal is for him to play on Sunday against the Redskins.

--Wide receiver Cooper Kupp was impressive in the first start of his career against the Colts with four catches for 76 yards and a touchdown.

"Yeah, it was a lot of fun," Kupp said. "Anytime the team can put together a 'W' like this, collectively - offense, defense, special teams. Everyone just played lights out and it helps on offense when defense puts up 16 points for you, that's huge. Offensively, there's a lot of stuff that we did well, but there's a lot of stuff we've got to fix. Like, I've got to catch that ball on third down or second down. When we're wide open, like that thing's open, I've got to make those plays. So, we're going to go back and watch the film and learn from it, see what we can improve on."

NOTES: CB Kavon Austin left Sunday's game against the Colts with a shoulder injury. ... CB Dominique Hatfield left Sunday's game and was checked out for a concussion. ... DT Ethan Werstbrooks signed a ONE-year contract extension that cuts what was a $1.79 million salary this year to $1.25 million while locking him into a $1.75 million salary for next season. ... P Johnny Hekker and the Rams worked out a two-year contract extension that guarantees him $10 million and will keep him with the club through the 2022 season.

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