The Los Angeles Rams defense returned two interceptions for touchdowns and recovered a fumble the offense converted into a touchdown in a 46-9 victory over the Indianapolis Colts Sunday in the season opener for both teams.
Quarterback Jared Goff completed 21 of 29 passes for 306 yards and a touchdown to make Sean McVay a winner in his NFL head coaching debut. The victory was the first for Goff after he lost all seven of his starts as a rookie in 2016.
Under Scott Tolzien, who started at quarterback, the Colts were held to a 20-yard field goal by Adam Vinatierei in the first quarter. A 38-yard field goal attempt by Vinatierei in the third quarter hit the left upright. The attempt came four plays after Jeremiah George recovered a muff by Tavon Austin of a punt by Rigoberto Sanchez.
Tolzien started in place of Andrew Luck who missed the game as he continued to recover from surgery on his right shoulder performed in January. Tolzien completed nine of 18 passes for 128 yards and had two passes intercepted before being replaced by Jacoby Brissett at the start of the fourth quarter. Tolzien is 0-3-1 as a starter in his seven seasons in the NFL.
The Rams outgained Indianapolis, 373 yards to 225, and led 19-10 in first downs and 34:25-25:35 in time of possession at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Tolzien’s first pass was intercepted by Trumaine Johnson and returned 39 yards for a touchdown. Lamarcus Joyner intercepted a short Tolzien pass in the third quarter and returned it 29 yards for touchdown in the third quarter.
Todd Gurley ran five yards for a touchdown nine minutes, 44 seconds before halftime, five plays after Johnson recovered a fumble by Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton at Indianapolis’ 34-yard line.
Goff threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to rookie Cooper Kupp on the Rams next possession, increasing their lead to 24-3 with 5:27 left in the first half.
Indianapolis drove 84 yards on five plays on Brissett’s first series for a touchdown with rookie Marlon Mack running the final three yards for the score. Brissett’s only pass on the series was a 50-yard completion to Donte Moncrief, two plays before the touchdown.
Brissett prevented another touchdown by the Rams defense when he recovered a fumble by Mack in the Colts end zone for a safety in the fourth quarter.
Rams backup running back Malcolm Brown ran three yards for the final touchdown with 4:33 left.
Greg Zuerlein kicked a 50-yard field goal on the game’s opening drive, added a 32-yarder with 22 seconds left in the first half and a 44-yarder in the third quarter, helping the Rams to their second victory in their last three openers.
The Rams reported there were 60,128 tickets sold. The team does not announce the actual attendance. The lowest number of tickets sold for a Rams game at the Coliseum in 2016 was 80,729 for their New Year’s Day season finale against the Arizona Cardinals.
–City News Service