Let’s be real, when you saw that the Rams and Niners were playing each other on Thursday Night Football last night, you probably tried to convince yourself that you weren’t going to watch. And when you saw the Rams’ all yellow Color Rush unis, you probably had a few fresh “spilled mustard” jokes locked and loaded for your friends. And then Hoyer happened on the first play from scrimmage throwing an interception.
And when Brian Hoyer was nearly pick-sixed on the first play of the game, you probably said, “here we go again” and launched in on some rant about Thursday Night Football because ripping on Thursday Night Football is the new hotness.
But the joke is on you, because that wasn’t just a great game, that was the greatest Thursday Night Game in a long, long time. That was the best FOOTBALL GAME in a long, long time. Maybe ever! It had everything. Fumbles. Onside kick. A crucial two-point conversion attempt. Two teams just standing in the center of the ring trading haymakers. It was a damn shootout. And exciting. 80 combined points.
And if I’m the Rams, I’m wearing the all-gold all the time. Because they look like a completely different team from previous Rams teams – they look like an NFL team.
Remember when Mike Martz said that the hiring of Sean McVay made him want to “puke”? Me neither. Three games in, that quote looks worse than ever, because this group is totally different under Sean McVay. For starters, they’ve had two 40-point games this season, they had two 40-point games in the previous 10 seasons. They’ve already scored more points in three games this season than they did in Jared Goff’s seven starts last season.
And speaking of Jared Goff, holy crap. What’s gotten into that guy? He looks like a completely different quarterback, an NFL quarterback. 22 of 28 for 292 yards, 3 touchdowns, and no sacks. He was crisp, clean, and making throws that he’s never made before. And yes, the arrival of guys like Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, and Andrew Whitworth makes a difference, but this is bigger than just having better pieces around him. Goff looks like the guy they expected when they took him first overall and you better believe Sean McVay deserves credit for that.
McVay has a ton of “it,” but he can flat out coach. And Todd Gurley can flat out ball. 149 total yards and not one, not two, but three touchdowns. Good luck beating the guy who has Gurley in your fantasy league this week. Oh, and on defense, check out my man Aaron Donald who rolls in after having no training camp and might be the greatest Ram since Deacon Jones. You know he’s still not even in NFL game shape and he’s still a holy terror, and putting offensive linemen on skates.
I’m not going to get carried away. It’s been three games and not exactly against a murderer’s row, but when you look at what they used to be, it’s an incredible transformation. Sure, they still have issues. The secondary is banged up and nobody’s planning a parade down Figueroa after allowing Brian Hoyer and the Niners to score 39 points and they were dangerously close to blowing that game, but they went on the road, on a short week, and beat a division rival. I’m not going to declare the NorCal-SoCal, battery-chuckers v. water thieves rivalry is back in the NFC West, but it’s closer than it’s ever been. And that’s a damn good thing.
And most of all, the Rams finally look like a freaking NFL team and Jared Goff finally looks like an NFL quarterback.