Quarterback Jared Goff has been dropping dimes — completing pass after pass in the first half to put the Rams ahead 28-20. Here are a few notes from the first 30 minutes of Thursday Night Football.
A GOOD RESPONSE
The first quarter of Thursday's game went quickly with the two offenses connecting on just about everything.
The Vikings converted all three of their third-down opportunities on the game's opening possession — including a 16-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kirk Cousins to wide receiver Aldrick Robinson on the right side.
But the Rams responded well, using a 12-play, 75-yard drive of their own to get on the board and tie the game. Quarterback Jared Goff connected on seven of his nine passes on the first possession, including an eight-yard touchdown pass to running back Todd Gurley on the left seam. Lining up beside Goff in a shotgun formation, Gurley outran Vikings star linebacker Anthony Barr to the end zone for the play.
GOFF TO KUPP FOR SIX
Last Sunday, Goff hit wide receiver Cooper Kupp for a touchdown on an off-schedule play on the right side. On Thursday, the play from Goff to Kupp looked like it was exactly as head coach Sean McVay drew it up.
With the Rams going no-huddle on 2nd-and-5 from their on 30, Goff dropped back and fired a perfect strike down the right side to a wide open Kupp. The Vikings had linebacker Anthony Barr lined up against Kupp, and the wideout outran him down the seam on what looked like a wheel route. The touchdown put L.A. back on top, 14-10.
AND ANOTHER ONE
After the Rams and Vikings traded punts for the first time, Goff made quite possibly the best throw of his career for another touchdown to Kupp.
First, Goff completed a 36-yard strike over the middle to wide receiver Robert Woods, setting up 1st-and-10 at the Minnesota 19. From there, Goff started the next play with PA fakes to both Gurley and wide receiver Brandin Cooks, before being forced out of the pocket to the right. On the run, Goff fired to the end zone for Kupp and the ball landed right in his hands for a touchdown.
The completion gave L.A. a 21-17 lead.
TWO-PLAY DRIVES ARE A THING NOW
Getting the ball back with 1:41 left on the clock and just one timeout, the Rams got down the field with ease for their second two-play touchdown drive of the game.
Goff connected with Kupp for an 11-yard completion in the middle of the field, and L.A. got 15 extra yards from an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
With 1st-and-10 from the Minnesota 47, Goff loaded up and fired deep to Brandin Cooks on a post route. The wide receiver had a step on cornerback Trae Waynes and caught the ball in stride as he crossed the goalline for a touchdown — Goff's fourth scoring strike of the first half.
GOFF'S RIDICULOUS FIRST HALF
Per NFL Research, here's one way to sum up Goff's outstanding first half of football.
• Most pass touchdowns (four) by a Rams QB in a half since Kurt Warner in 1999
• Matches Goff's career high for passing touchdowns (Weeks 9 & 16, 2017)
• First quarterback with 250 pass yards and four passing touchdowns in a first half since Drew Brees in 2015