L.A. Football Weekly Roundup: Rams show potential in season-opener

The Los Angeles Rams brought in the Sean McVay era with a bang last weekend defeating the Colts at home, 46-9. 

Sean McVay will face his former team this Sunday. Photo by Keith Allison, creative commons license

Sean McVay will face his former team this Sunday. Photo by Keith Allison, creative commons license

Indianapolis limped into the Coliseum without their star QB Andrew Luck and the Rams capitalized. They made a statement with the decisive victory to kick off the new season. 

The Rams’ stout defense scored more points than they allowed. The Rams defense scored 16 of their 46 points, including two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns and a safety.

Jared Goff was sensational in his first NFL win, throwing for over 300 yards and a touchdown. More importantly, he didn’t throw an interception in the game. He looked composed in the pocket and was accurate throwing downfield, connecting on 21-of-29 attempts. 

Goff looked in midseason form as he utilized his new weapons on the outside and made smart reads. Coach McVay has already earned a reputation of molding young raw talent into formidable QBs and looks like he has already made an impact on his second year QB.

As the season continues, the chemistry between Goff and his new weapons will continue to improve. Sammy Watkins, rookie Cooper Kupp, and Robert Woods will help Tavon Austin stretch defenses, which will inevitably open up some holes in the running game for Todd Gurley to exploit.

Every other team in the NFC West lost last weekend, so the Rams are in first place and look to continue their winning ways this Sunday against McVay’s old squad, the Washington Redskins.
McVay is at least partially responsible for Kirk Cousin’s success in Washington. If anyone knows Cousin’s weaknesses, it is McVay. He will be scheming with Rams’ defensive coordinator Wade Phillips to insure their stingy defense can put them in position to string together their second win of the season.

The Chargers:
The Los Angeles Chargers were dominated through three quarters at Mile High Stadium last Monday night by the Denver Broncos, but in true Philip Rivers fashion, it came down to a tipped fourth quarter field goal. 

Photo by SD Dirk, creative commons license.

Photo by SD Dirk, creative commons license.

The Broncos have arguably the best defense in the league, but Rivers is one of the most competitive QBs in the history of the league and loves to show out in inner divisional matchups.

Broncos QB Trevor Siemian suddenly seemed to be constantly under fire in the fourth quarter, and his wideouts well covered. 

The Chargers defense forced two late turnovers that led to a couple of quick touchdowns. 

Chargers’ standout defensive end, Joey Bosa, managed to get better and better penetration as the game wore on, creating havoc in the backfield.

On the other side of the ball, the Chargers’ Keenan Allen was ready to make an impact after being hurt last year and being relatively quiet all game. Allen caught a touchdown making the game interesting late in the fourth.

But the Chargers’ hope of a comeback win was deflected by Denver’s defensive end, Shelby Harris, when he managed to tip rookie kicker, Younghoe Koo’s second attempt to force the game into overtime. 

Bronco’s first year head coach Vance Joseph attempted to ice Koo by calling a timeout a split-second before Koo booted his first try through the uprights, wiping off the tying three points from the board and forcing the South Korean kicker to make the biggest kick of his life, twice.
This time Harris got a better push and put an end to the Chargers’ courageous comeback attempt.

It was a tough loss that will sting for a while and could haunt them later down the road.
The loss puts them in last place in the AFC West as the rest of the division won their respective games.

Next game is Sunday at home against the Miami Dolphins at the StubHub Center in Carson. The Dolphins game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was postponed last week due to Hurricane Irma that ripped through the entire Sunshine State.