LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jared Goff passed for a career-high 306 yards and a touchdown in his first victory as an NFL starter, and the Los Angeles Rams routed the Indianapolis Colts 46-9 Sunday in Sean McVay’s impressive debut as the youngest head coach in modern league history.
Todd Gurley had 40 yards rushing and 56 yards receiving while the Rams roared to a 37-3 lead in the third quarter. Los Angeles snapped a six-game skid at the Coliseum with its most impressive performance since returning home from St. Louis last year.
Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree celebrated the win with a Gatorade shower for McVay on the sideline in the final minutes.
Los Angeles’ defense also excelled against fill-in Colts quarterback Scott Tolzien. Trumaine Johnson intercepted Tolzien’s first pass and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown, while Lamarcus Joyner returned another pick 29 yards for another score in the third quarter.
Sean McVay’s Post-Game Press Conference
Tolzien passed for 128 yards in his fourth career NFL start in place of Andrew Luck, who wasn’t ready to return from a right shoulder injury.
Indianapolis also played without center Ryan Kelly and top cornerback Vontae Davis, and the Rams thoroughly exploited every absence with an aggressive, exciting performance for a team that finished last season with 11 losses in 12 games.
Goff went 0-7 as a starter last year, but the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft looked much sharper after an offseason of study under the 31-year-old McVay. Goff went 21 for 29.
The Rams produced their highest-scoring performance since November 2014 in their first game since McVay took over a franchise that went 4-12 in its 13th straight non-winning season and 12th straight non-playoff season.
Rookie Cooper Kupp’s first NFL touchdown catch put the Rams up 24-3 in the second quarter. That’s a bigger lead than the Rams held at any point over the past two seasons in St. Louis and Los Angeles, when they had the NFL’s worst offense.
BAD TO WORSE
Jacoby Brissett replaced Tolzien for the fourth quarter and led Indy’s only touchdown drive — but Adam Vinatieri, who missed a field goal earlier, missed his first extra point since 2014. Brissett attempted three passes.
New Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ unit also had a memorable debut, throttling the Colts’ offense and adding a fourth-quarter safety to its two interception returns for TDs.
AD 99 RETURNS
All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald missed the first game of his four-year NFL career for the Rams, but he reported to the team Saturday after ending his four-month contract holdout. Donald could play next week if he is physically ready.
Colts: Rookie LB Anthony Walker was ruled out in the first half with a hamstring injury.
Rams: Starting CB Kayvon Webster didn’t return after injuring his right shoulder in the second quarter. Rookie CB Dominique Hatfield went to the locker room in the second quarter to be evaluated for a concussion.
Colts: Host Arizona. Luck might not be ready to return until October.
Rams: Host Washington. McVay was Jay Gruden’s offensive coordinator with the Redskins for the past three seasons.