Jared Goff can’t be stopped as Rams topple Carson Wentz and Eagles
He rolled to his right. He rolled to his left. He faked a handoff and casually dished the ball on a reverse. Or he kept the ball on read-option plays and tried to reach the end zone.
“I’ve done a good job on the move up to this point, but you know my game is a drop-back passer,” Goff said. “It’s what I’ve always been my whole life.
“We’ve been on the move quite a bit early on. I think just continuing to get good at stuff I’m not good at. Early on in my career, I wasn’t very good at it. I worked on it this offseason and many previous offseasons to get better.”
The trip to the East Coast and the early kickoff could not slow down the Rams (2-0).
Wide receiver Robert Woods and running back Darrell Henderson rushed for touchdowns. Linebacker Micah Kiser forced a fumble and cornerbacks Darious Williams and Troy Hill intercepted passes to help the Rams maintain the momentum they gained from a season-opening victory over the Dallas Cowboys.
With no fans allowed in the stadium because of COVID-19 protocols, the Rams did not have to endure one of the NFL’s most hostile crowds.
Philadelphia city officials this past week announced that no tailgating was allowed, and most streets around the stadium were blocked. The closest fans could come was by sitting in the cars while making their way through the “Jurassic Quest” drive-through dinosaur exhibit in the parking lot of the nearby Wells Fargo Center. Fan cutouts and cheerleaders were stationed in the stands behind the Rams’ bench.
Tyler Higbee had a monster game for the Rams in their 37-19 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, scoring three touchdowns to spearhead the high-powered offense.
But the Rams were not distracted and showed they could adjust to quick turnarounds. Long trips to the East typically would begin on Fridays, giving players a chance to acclimate to the time change. But because of COVID-19 concerns, the Rams are traveling on Saturdays and then facing 1 p.m. kickoffs, which translate to 10 a.m. Pacific time on their body clocks.
No problem, according to Kiser.
“Honestly, I like playing early,” said Kiser, who had a team-best 16 total tackles. “You just get up and go play.
“It’s harder, in my opinion, as an athlete just to sit around thinking about the game all day. … We just got up and played. No excuse.”
The Rams will try to repeat their success next Sunday when they travel to play the Buffalo Bills. They will need another good performance from Goff, who completed 20 of 27 passes for 267 yards and the three touchdown throws to Higbee.
“He got into a rhythm, and guys made plays,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. “But it starts with him.”
Goff started quickly, completing his first 13 pass attempts, including two short ones to Higbee for touchdowns.
Rams rookie running back Cam Akers had to leave the game against the Eagles because of a rib injury, but Darrell Henderson came off the bench to rush for 81 yards.
“They were kind of like joking around with me,” Goff said of teammates. “ ‘Hey, we’re not going to talk to you,’ like when a pitcher’s throwing a perfect game.”
Goff and Higbee’s last touchdown connection early in the fourth quarter covered 28 yards.
“When he made the play call and I heard the play, I thought, ‘Oh, this might be six,’ ” Higbee said.
Goff’s performance was not flawless, but it was good enough for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft to come out ahead of Wentz, who was chosen No. 2.
Wentz completed 26 of 43 pass attempts for 242 yards with two interceptions. He rushed for a touchdown, but the Eagles (0-2) could not bounce back from the previous Sunday’s loss at Washington.
The Rams mostly neutralized tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert and prevented wide receiver DeSean Jackson from making a huge play.
“They try to warm him up by getting screens and everything else,” Williams said of Wentz, “but for the most part we did our jobs.”
The Eagles were threatening to erase the Rams’ 21-16 halftime lead midway through the third quarter when Williams intercepted a pass by Wentz in the end zone.
A look at the notable numbers behind the Rams’ 37-19 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
The Eagles pulled to within 24-19 early in the fourth quarter, but Henderson’s 40-yard run set up Goff’s third touchdown pass to Higbee, all but sealing the victory. Henderson capped the rout with a short touchdown run, his first in the NFL.
Henderson’s role grew after rookie starter Cam Akers suffered a rib injury in the first quarter. Henderson rushed for 81 yards and a touchdown in 12 carries. He also caught two passes for 40 yards. Malcolm Brown rushed for 47 yards in 11 carries, and the Rams finished with 191 yards rushing.
“We’re dangerous right now when we’re able to run the ball,” Goff said.
And when Goff is on the move.
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