What we learned in the Rams’ 33-13 victory over the Oakland Raiders

Rams running back Todd Gurley leaps over the Oakland Raiders defense on Monday night.
Rams running back Todd Gurley leaps over the Oakland Raiders defense on Monday night.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Sean McVay is adding wrinkles to the offense

The reigning NFL coach of the year showed he is not going to stand pat after orchestrating a team that led the league in scoring last season.

In 2017, running back Todd Gurley amassed much of his receiving yardage on screen passes and an occasional wheel route.

Against the Raiders, McVay put him in motion, and quarterback Jared Goff pitched him a shovel pass. Gurley did the rest on his way to a 19-yard touchdown.


Receivers Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp all carried the ball on reverses, gaining a combined 28 yards in four carries.

And McVay directed Goff to take numerous deep shots to Cooks and Woods.

Brandin Cooks is an effective deep threat — even when he does not catch the ball

The speedy Cooks forced the Raiders to commit several pass-interference penalties on long routes.

Both set up field-goal attempts.

Cooks caught five passes for 87 yards, including one for 30 yards.

Marcus Peters knows how to jump a route

Peters did it plenty of times while amassing 19 interceptions in three seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.


Against the Raiders, in front of fans in his hometown, Peters iced the game with a 50-yard interception return for a touchdown.

He paid homage to fellow Oakland native Marshawn Lynch with his touchdown celebration.

“Oh!” Peters said. “I did the Beastmode.”

John Johnson is a playmaker


During training camp, Peters said second-year safety John Johnson was on his way to becoming an All-Pro.

Johnson showed why when he leaped to intercept a pass in the end zone.

The play, the first of three Rams interceptions, took away the Raiders’ momentum and led to a field goal.

Cory Littleton can find the ball


Littleton started at middle linebacker and called defensive signals for the first time — and he did so without veteran Mark Barron on the field.

Barron sat out because of an Achilles issue, leaving Ramik Wilson to start at inside linebacker alongside Littleton.

Littleton and Wilson struggled to contain tight end Jared Cook, who got behind them for a 45-yard gain on the first possession.

But Littleton intercepted a pass later in the game. He finished with 13 tackles.


Greg Zuerlein is really back

We knew that, or thought we did, because Zuerlein made some long field-goal attempts during training camp and short-to-midrange attempts during the preseason.

But when Mr. Automatic missed his first field-goal attempt of the season against the Raiders …

Zuerlein came back and made four attempts, including one off the baseball infield dirt from 55 yards.