The Rams came out on top in a thrilling matchup with the Minnesota Vikings last Thursday at the Coliseum. With the victory, the Rams established themselves firmly as the team to beat in the NFC at the moment. Here are the stars of the game that made it possible.
QB Jared Goff
As if anyone else would come in as the first star for this game. Goff absolutely diced the Vikings defense, throwing for 465 yards, five touchdowns, and completing the game with a perfect quarterback rating. He was the first player to throw for 400 plus yards and five touchdowns in NFL history.
The Vikings defense is nothing to scoff at, and Goff still tore them apart with ease. It was the best game of his career and a statement game for the third year quarterback. His rookie season was marred by Jeff Fisher’s middle-school offense. His second season was overshadowed by Sean McVay’s offense being the complete opposite of Jeff Fisher’s. But Goff let us know on Thursday night that this would be his season.
Jared Goff threw himself into the MVP conversation with this game. The highlight of the game was this absurdly beautiful touchdown pass. You probably don’t even need to click on it to know which play I’m talking about. Goff is forced out of the pocket immediately, rolls left, tosses a bomb into the back of the end zone fading away off his back foot, and drops it over two Minnesota defenders right into Cooper Kupp’s hands. It was the best throw I’ve seen from a Rams quarterback in ages.
We can end all of this nonsense of Jared Goff being a system quarterback and that we should think about trading him instead of extending him. This guy was the number one overall pick for a reason. He’ll be lighting up the league for years to come.
WR Cooper Kupp
Any of the Rams trio of receivers could be considered a star for this week, but Cooper Kupp stood tall above the rest.
I was wrong about Kupp heading into this season. I thought he’d take somewhat of a back-seat to Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods, not because he would regress, but because the other two were better players who deserved the ball more. If anything, Woods has been the one taking a back-seat, but all three have feasted thus far in 2018.
Kupp has grown as a playmaker in his second year, and it showed in primetime last Thursday. Kupp torched the defense on a 70 yard bomb for a touchdown in addition to catching Goff’s best pass of the night. Cooks may be the best receiver in the Rams offense, but Kupp seems like he might be Goff’s favorite target. I’m just happy to have all three of these guys.
DT Aaron Donald
We can finally end the silly reactions to Aaron Donald not having a sack through three games. Anyone who follows the team knows that Donald’s impact rarely shows up in the box score, but I’ll be the first to admit it’s nice to have something to point to. Donald wreaked havoc in the trenches all night long and came away with his first two sacks of the year. The man was worth every penny the Rams gave him in his contract extension.
Honorable Mentions: RB Todd Gurley, WR Brandin Cooks, WR Robert Woods.