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Robert Woods continues to be key weapon for Rams

Robert Woods continues to be key weapon for Rams
Rams receiver Robert Woods celebrates with teammate Cooper Kupp after scoring a touchdown in the third quarter Sunday. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Robert Woods stood at his locker, appearing exhausted.

Moments earlier, coach Sean McVay had presented the former USC All-American with the game ball after a personal-best performance that sparked the Rams to a 33-7 victory over the Houston Texans at the Coliseum.

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Two dozen reporters surrounded Woods’ locker ...

What was it like to catch two touchdowns for a second consecutive week?

What did you see on your 94-yard touchdown reception?

What’s it like to be 7-2?

Woods had showered before taking questions, but before he knew it he was sweating again.

“It felt good out there,” Woods said, adding, “credit to my teammates.”

Woods caught eight passes for a career-best 171 yards and two touchdowns. It was the second multi-touchdown game of his five-year career, and his second in two weeks.

He scored on pass plays of 94 and 12 yards during a 21-point third quarter that blew open the game.

It was perhaps even more than the Rams expected when they signed the sure-handed Woods to a five-year, $34 million free agent contract in the offseason. They added Sammy Watkins, Woods’ teammate in Buffalo for three seasons, during training camp to provide a deep threat.

But McVay said after the game that Woods could no longer be considered a one-dimensional receiver.

“I don’t think we can talk about Robert Woods as a possession receiver anymore after the last couple of weeks,” he said.

The Rams offense struggled to find its rhythm in the first half against the Texans, and the third quarter also started slowly.

But with 9:36 left in the quarter, Woods took off down the Coliseum field, where he became the Trojans’ all-time receptions leader five years ago.

Jared Goff dropped back into the Rams’ end zone, faked a handoff then threw the ball more than 50 yards to Woods, who sprinted the rest of the way to the end zone for a 16-7 lead.

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“Just heard the play call, looked up, checked the coverage and pretty much saw the matchup and ran my route,” Woods said. “Felt like I beat the guy and took three steps and saw the ball fly out, the ball was on the money.

“Jared put it right in the palm of my hands where I was just able to catch it and run and saw the end zone and just a race to the end zone.”

The catch was the longest of Woods’ NFL, college and, to his knowledge, high-school career.

It also was the third-longest reception in Rams history.

“He’s been as big as anybody on this team,” Goff said, adding, “The way he works, the way he brings guys along, his attitude daily and the way he communicates with me is impressive.”

Watkins, who caught two passes for 41 yards and a touchdown, said Woods was the leader of the receiving corps.

“The way he practices, the way he plays the games, the way he does everything kind of moves this wide receivers group,” Watkins said.

“He’s a pro.”

The Times' Sam Farmer and Lindsey Thiry discuss the Rams' tough road ahead after they defeated the Houston Texans on Sunday to improve to 7-2.
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