There's something about playing in the Coliseum that bodes well for wide receiver Robert Woods. While at USC, Woods set a program record for most career receptions with 252 in three seasons. He also recorded 2,930 yards from scrimmage with 32 touchdowns — cementing his status as one of the best Trojan receivers of all-time.
On Sunday, Woods looked right at home as the Rams put on a commanding second-half performance to beat the Texans 33-7 in Los Angeles' first true home game in over a month.
"It feels good to be back, making some great plays like that," Woods said. "It just popped this offense off [and] we're happy we were able to do it right here at the Coliseum."
Woods had arguably his best performance as a pro, recording a pair of touchdowns for the second-straight game. He finished the contest with eight catches for a career-high 171 yards in an impressive display that earned him a game ball.
"It feels good to be able to come to a new team, contribute, and be part of a winning team," Woods said. "It's just working hard with these guys, coming out, and seeing it pay off on Sundays. We've worked hard for this."
But in the first half of Sunday's contest, the Rams offense looked uncharacteristically out of sync, recording just 131 yards. Fortunately, it didn't take much time in the second half for L.A. to get back on track.
The Rams nearly matched their first-half yardage on one play early in the third quarter — a 94-yard touchdown to Woods that marked the second-longest reception in the NFL this season. It was also the longest play from scrimmage by the franchise since 1964.
On 2nd-and-8 from the L.A. six-yard line, quarterback Jared Goff came off of play action, dropped back, and delivered a beautiful deep ball to Woods — hitting him in stride on a post route. The ball traveled over 50 yards in the air while Woods took it the rest of the way, giving the Rams a 16-7 lead and effectively shifting the game's momentum.
"The players made a great play," head coach Sean McVay said of the touchdown pass. "Robert was able to get inside of cornerback Johnathan Joseph, run by himself, and finish. That's where you see that 200-meter juice."
"I don't think we can talk about him as a possession receiver anymore after the last couple of weeks, so very pleased with Robert," McVay added.
But Woods wasn't done yet.
With 1:33 left in the third quarter, outside linebacker Samson Ebukam forced the Rams' second strip-sack of the day, hitting quarterback Tom Savage hard enough to knock the ball out. Defensive lineman Tyrunn Walker recovered the fumble at Houston's 12-yard line.
It took the Rams just one play to capitalize on the takeaway when Goff hit Woods on a screen pass behind the
Check out in-game photos of the Rams' Week 10 matchup against the Texans.
line of scrimmage. The wideout forced a missed tackle as he sped his way into the endzone for his second touchdown of the day, extending the Rams lead 30-7.
"I think [in the] second half everybody was paying attention," Woods said of the turnaround. "We were focused on details and I think that's why we were able to click and those plays finally were happening."
Overall this season, Woods has been a standout player on a Rams' offense that is loaded with weapons. Not only has he proved himself as a reliable pass catcher and an effective route-runner, but he has also become a leader in the locker room.
After the game many of his teammates praised the wideout, characterizing him as someone who raises the level of play among all players on the team.
"Robert Woods leads this group," wide receiver Sammy Watkins said. "The way that he practices, the way that he plays the games, the way he does everything — it kind of moves this wide receiver group."
"He's been huge, he's been as big as anybody on this team." Goff echoed. "I think even if you take away everything that he does on Sunday's, it's been truly impressive seeing him day in and day out — the way we he works and brings guys along. His attitude daily and the way he communicates with me is impressive. I'm happy to have him, and I know he's happy to be here."