Five Takeaways: Rams Improve to 4-0 with Victory over Vikings

After starting 3-1 in 2016 and 2017, the Rams have finished the first quarter of the season undefeated for the first time since 2001. 

Here are five takeaways from Los Angeles' 38-31 victory over Minnesota on Thursday Night Football.

donald5take

1) GOFF HAS OUTSTANDING NIGHT

When it comes to passer rating, it doesn't get any better that 158.3. Goff became the 28th quarterback in the NFL since 1950 to put together a "perfect" game, with a minus of 20 attempts. Goff completed 26 of his 33 passes for 465 yards with five touchdowns and zero interceptions. 

"Can't say enough about the performance of Jared Goff tonight," head coach Sean McVay said. "It was just great command by him."

Goff's 465 yards ranks No. 3 on the franchise's all-time list for a single game. He threw four touchdowns in the first half of a game since Hall of Famer Kurt Warner did it back in 1999. He threw five touchdowns in a single game for the first time since 1999. He completed at least 75 percent of his passes for at least 350 yards for the third consecutive game — the first in NFL history to accomplish such a feat. 

Through the season's first quarter, Goff has completed 72.4 percent of his passes for 1,406 yards with 11 touchdowns and two interceptions — averaging an outrageous 10.5 yards per attempt. 

Sure, it's only been four games. But Goff is playing like one of the top quarterbacks in the league in 2018. 

2) DONALD FINDS A WAY TO AVOID A FLAG

One of the most prevalent storylines through Week 4 has been the uptick in roughing the passer fouls called throughout the league. 

Well, defensive tackle Aaron Donald seemed to find a pretty good way to avoid putting his full bodyweight on the quarterback late in the fourth quarter on Thursday. 

On 1st-and-10 from the Minnesota 26, Donald beat the left guard in a one-on-one, got into the backfield, wrapped up quarterback Kirk Cousins and spun him to the ground. 

Donald never left his feet on the eight-yard sack — in a way, tossing Cousins aside like a superhero.

Can't land with all your body weight on the quarterback if you never go down to the ground with him at all, I suppose. 

3) BIG-TIME SACKS WHEN RAMS NEEDED THEM MOST

Donald's sack on the Vikings' final possession was one of four that the Rams' defense records as a unit during the fourth quarter. Donald got the period started with a sack on 2nd-and-8 for a 10-yard loss — his first sack of the season. 

Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh also got the defense off the field with a third-down sack while rushing from the left end to force Minnesota into a field-goal try. And after Donald began the Vikings' final drive with a sack, rookie defensive end John Franklin-Myers knocked the ball out of Cousins' hand for a strip-sack, with Suh recovering the pigskin for a game-clinching takeaway. 

"We have opportunities to make plays, and we understand that if we continue to rush together, we're going to be very successful," Suh said. "And that's what's expected of us and we've got to continue to push and get that done."

Check out in-game photos from the Rams' Week 4 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday Night Football.