The Los Angeles Rams earned a 27-17 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, October 15. The special teams scored two touchdowns and the defense bottled up the vaunted Jaguars’ rushing attack to carve out the win.
Rams wide receiver Pharoh Cooper returned the opening kickoff 103 yards for a touchdown to take the lead 7-0. The Jaguars responded on their first offensive play from scrimmage. Rookie running back Leonard Fournette rushed for a 75-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7-7 only a minute into the game.
The remainder of the first quarter featured both teams scoring a touchdown, but they eventually settled into a hard-nosed defensive battle. Los Angeles added one more touchdown on a blocked punt return by Malcolm Brown in the second quarter, but that was almost the end of the scoring. Both teams added a second half field goal to reach the final score.
Rams quarterback Jared Goff struggled for much of the day. He completed 11 of 21 passes for 124 and a touchdown. Goff spent much of the afternoon facing pressure from the dynamic Jacksonville defensive line. He suffered three sacks, including two from former Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell.
Running back Todd Gurley picked up the slack by rushing for 116 yards on 23 carries. He proved to be particularly effective late in the fourth quarter as the Rams ran out the clock.
Meanwhile, Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles completed 23 of 35 passes for 241 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The Rams defensive line wreaked havoc on Bortles throughout much of the final three quarters, sacking him five times. Los Angeles also forced him to make numerous short reads to get the ball out before taking a hit.
The Rams also sharpened their run defense after the initial Fournette touchdown run. They held him to 55 yards on 20 carries for the rest of the game.
The Rams head to London next weekend to face division rival Arizona. Jacksonville hits the road to face the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, October 22.