Rams starting receivers come up big in victory

Rams starting receivers come up big in victory
Rams receiver Sammy Watkins lunges toward the goal line to score a touchdown against the 49ers during the fourth quarter. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The Rams spent a considerable amount of cash and made a gutsy trade before the season to upgrade their receiving corps.

The transactions paid dividends Thursday night in a 41-39 victory over the San Francisco 49ers, as Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins each finished with more than 100 yards receiving at Levi's Stadium.


It was the first time since 2006 that two Rams players passed the 100-yard receiving mark.

"We were just out there playing," Woods said after the game. "I didn't know numbers, or whatever. We were just going out there making plays, just doing our assignments and the ball was finding us."

Coach Sean McVay said Woods and Watkins are getting more comfortable with quarterback Jared Goff.

"And they're getting more comfortable with what we're trying to get done offensively," McVay said.

Goff passed for 292 yards and three touchdowns as the Rams improved to 2-1 and the 49ers fell to 0-3.

"Those guys have been tremendous since they got here," Goff said about Woods and Watkins. "Getting a chance to see it come alive today was huge."

Woods, a fifth-year pro, signed a five-year, $34-million free-agent contract last March.

On Thursday, he bounced back from a penalty-ridden performance in a loss to the Washington Redskins, and caught six passes for a team-best 108 yards.

Woods made a notable highlight-reel catch down the sideline early in the game, then later managed to pop up after he took a hit short of the goal line.

"It was a whole new week, a short week, which was good," Woods said. "Got a chance to redeem ourselves, get a win and the biggest thing was just to come out here and play fast, put up some points and catch the ball."

Watkins finished the game on the sideline as he was evaluated for a concussion, but it wasn't before he established himself as the deep threat the Rams sought when they acquired him in a trade with Buffalo during training camp.

Watkins, targeted only twice last Sunday, caught six passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns against the 49ers. In the third quarter he made an impressive 47-yard over-the-shoulder catch between two defenders.

"On that deep ball, it's something we've worked on for a long time now and for him to make that play, it's huge," Goff said. "There's a reason we went and got him and that's one of the main reasons."


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