Jared Goff tied a team record with five touchdown passes and threw for 465 yards, the third-highest total in team history, leading the Los Angeles Rams to a 38-31 victory over the Minnesota Vikings Thursday evening.
This was the 10th time a Ram quarterback threw five touchdown passes in a game and first since Kurt Warner on Oct.10, 1999, against the San Francisco 49ers.
The only Ram quarterbacks to throw for more yards in a game than Goff were Norm Van Brocklin, who threw for an NFL-record 554 against the defunct New York Yanks in 1951, and Vince Ferragamo, who threw for 509 against the Chicago Bears in 1982.
Goff completed 26 of 33 passes as the Rams (4-0) continued their best start since 2001 when they won their first six games en route to their most recent Super Bowl berth.
The Rams are among the league’s three undefeated teams, along with the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins.
Kirk Cousins completed 36 of 50 passes for 422 yards and three touchdowns for Minnesota (1-2-1) in the first NFL regular-season weekday night game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum since 1985.
Minnesota cut the deficit to 38-31 with three minutes, 46 seconds left in the fourth quarter on Dan Bailey’s 40-yard field goal. The Vikings forced the Rams to punt after three plays on the ensuing possession.
Minnesota got the ball on their own 34-yard line with 2:20 to play following Johnny Hekker’s 32-yard punt.
The Vikings drove to their own 48-yard line when Rams rookie defensive lineman John Franklin hit Cousins’ right arm, forcing a fumble defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh recovered for the Rams at the Minnesota’s 44-yard line for the game’s only turnover.
The Rams ran out the remaining 1:18.
The Rams outgained the Vikings 556 yards to 446. Both teams had 25 first downs. Minnesota led in time of possession, 32:14-27:46.
The Rams led 28-20 at halftime. Their first drive of the second half ended when Hekker’s pass out of punt formation fell incomplete in the end zone.
Sam Ficken kicked a 34-yard field goal on the Rams next possession.
The Vikings responded with Cousins 45-yard touchdown pass to Adam Thielen and Cousins pass to Latavius Murray for a two-point conversion, cutting the deficit to 31-28.
Goff threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Robert Woods on the ensuing possession.
The Rams scored touchdowns on three of their first four second-quarter possessions. Goff threw 70- and 19-yard touchdown passes to Cooper Kupp and a 47-yard touchdown pass to Brandin Cooks.
Bailey kicked a 37-yard field goal and Cousins threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Aldrick Robinson in the second quarter.
Both teams scored touchdowns on their first possessions. Minnesota took the opening kickoff and drove 75 yards on 13 plays, culminating with Cousins’ 16-yard touchdown pass to Robinson.
The Rams responded with a 75-yard, 12-play drive, with Goff throwing an 8-yard pass to Todd Gurley for the touchdown.
The Rams wore their royal blue-and-gold throwback uniforms for the first time in 2018, and will continue to wear them for their four other games at the Coliseum after Thursday’s game.
Teams had been previously limited to wearing throwback uniforms to two home games per season.
“Since returning home to Los Angeles two years ago, we have received a lot of feedback from our fans about their love for these iconic uniforms,” Rams Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff said.
“We appreciate the NFL working with us so we can celebrate even more of the history of Los Angeles Rams football over the next two years as we create our new look that will take us into our new home and the future.”
The Rams are 2-3 in wearing the uniforms they wore from 1973-99 since their return to Southern California in 2016.
The Rams will have a new uniform look in 2020 when their new stadium in Inglewood opens, Demoff said.