Jared Goff threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns and Todd Gurley ran for two TDs and caught another to help the Los Angeles Rams put up another big offensive performance in a 41-39 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night.
The NFL’s lowest-scoring team last year looks like a completely different outfit this season under first-year coach Sean McVay, thanks to vastly improved play by Goff after a rough rookie season as the No.1 overall pick.
The Rams (2-1) have also been helped by the additions of receivers Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods and the play-calling of McVay as they have scored 107 points through three games.
This win didn’t come easily as the Rams almost blew a 15-point lead, giving up two late touchdowns, fumbling a kickoff return and failing to recover an onside kick.
But Los Angeles managed to stop a potential game-tying two-point conversion and then used an offensive pass interference penalty against Trent Taylor and a fourth-down sack by Aaron Donald to stop the Niners after the onside kick.
The 49ers (0-3) scored five touchdowns after failing to get any the first two weeks but still came up short, in part because a missed extra point by Robbie Gould forced them to try for two on their late touchdown.
This time it was a tired defence that hurt San Francisco.
After facing 79 plays in a 12-9 loss at Seattle on Sunday, the 49ers appeared to run out of gas on the short week as Goff frequently had wide-open receivers, especially on third down.
All three of Goff’s touchdown passes came on third down, including a 13-yard pass to Watkins early in the fourth quarter that gave Los Angeles a 41-26 lead.
The Rams needed all that offence on a night where Brian Hoyer threw for 332 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score.
“We talk about mentally tough, be your best regardless of the circumstance,” McVay said.
“I thought the players did that.
“They found a way in spite of some of the ups and the downs to come away with the win.”