Tyler Higbee had three touchdowns in 15 games last season. On Sunday against the Eagles, the Rams tight end matched the total.
Los Angeles' 37-19 road win at Philadelphia saw Higbee notch his first multi-touchdown game of his career, finishing with three on five receptions for 54 yards.
With the performance, Higbee became the first Rams player since Torry Holt in 2006 to have three touchdown catches in a single game.
"It just happened to work like that," Higbee told reporters during his postgame video conference from Lincoln Financial Field. "Not thinking too much of it, just trying to do my job. Ball found me today and I tried to capitalize on those opportunities. Shoutout Torry Holt, though."
Higbee was targeted a team-high five times by quarterback Jared Goff on Sunday, tied with wide receiver Cooper Kupp for most in the passing game.
Higbee's first target resulted in his first touchdown, a 4-yard completion from Goff which gave the Rams an early 7-0 lead after their first offensive series. Receptions of 13 and 6 yards later in the first half paved the way for a 3-yard touchdown catch, all on the same drive.
The Western Kentucky product's third and final touchdown came on a 28-yard pass deep down the left sideline from Goff, a play which helped extend the Rams' lead to 12 after a 33-yard field goal by Eagles kicker Jake Elliott had cut it to five 81 seconds earlier.
To hear Higbee tell it, he seemed to have an idea that he might have a shot at scoring after McVay made the play call.
"When he made the play call and I heard the play, I said, 'Oh, this might be six,'" said Higbee, who celebrated the score with an opera-like bow to the empty stands. "Then it happened to be number three. You're kind of running out of celebrations there and trying to play off the no crowd, and yeah, it was exciting."
Considering Higbee's strong finish to 2019 – he became the fourth tight end in NFL history to have four consecutive 100-yard receiving games and finished with franchise single-season tight end records for receptions (69) and receiving yards (734) – Sunday's performance in Philadelphia didn't shock McVay.
"Obviously big day for Higbee, having three touchdowns on five targets, but that's kind of what you expect," McVay told reporters in his postgame video conference. "He's done a great job."
Specific to his position, Higbee is the first Rams tight end to haul in three touchdown catches in a single game since Damone Johnson in 1988. The first of those three touchdown catches moved him into sixth all-time in franchise history for receiving touchdowns by a tight end.
After a historic run to conclude the 2019 season, it seems Higbee is carrying over last year's productive finish.
"Higbee's been dominant," Los Angeles wide receiver Robert Woods told reporters in his postgame video conference. "He's gotten opportunities since the end of last season to really showcase his abilities. I think he's just starting where he left off, starting off strong."
The Los Angeles Rams kickoff Week 2 at Lincoln Financial Field to take on the Philadelphia Eagles.