When quarterback Case Keenum found wide-receiver Brian Quick for a 44-yard pass in the first quarter, the Los Angeles Rams ended a 22-year drought and scored the team's first touchdown since Dec. 24, 1994.
Yes, the LA Rams finally scored a touchdown, but more importantly, they beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and collected an important road victory to improve to 2-1 on the season.
In an exciting contest, Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers played their part in a back-and-forth game that was probably best categorized by the Rams' second possession, as much as it was defined by Keenum's 44-yard bomb on the opening drive.
Attempting to force a ball to Tavon Austin, Keenum threw an interception that was immediately returned for a touchdown.
By the time time ran out on the game clock, LA had scored four touchdowns, including one by the defense. Just as Keenum made history on his opening drive, he also made history with the interception for a touchdown, which was the first time that had happened to the LA Rams since Nov. 27, 1994.
After Gregg Zuerlain hit a field goal, Winston and the Buccaneers responded by putting together a 75-yard drive to take the lead. Then, the home team added to its points off turnovers after Rams wide-receiver Kenny Britt coughed up the football early in the second quarter. Winston led another impressive drive for a touchdown that gave the Buccaneers a 20-10 lead.
That score should have held for the half, but Tampa Bay threw an interception and set up the Rams on Tampa Bay's 22-yard line just shy of the two-minute warning. LA would hand the ball off to Todd Gurley III, and the talented running back scored his first touchdown of the season to bring LA within three points at the intermission.
The second half started with a series of punts before the game continued being anything but ordinary. Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo missed a 41-yard field goal attempt, after having missed an extra point earlier in the game. Seemingly, the miss spurred the Rams forward, and the ensuing drive finished with Gurley claiming his second touchdown of the day.
As the game rounded into the fourth quarter, the Rams' defense got into the scoring act, too. Defensive-end Robert Quinn stripped Winston and defensive tackle Ethan Westbrooks picked up the football and ran it in for a touchdown and gave LA a 31-20 lead early in the fourth quarter.
However, Winston and the Buccaneers simply refused to go gently. Less than three minutes later, the Bucs had scored anothe touchdown, as Winston found tight-end Cameron Brate for the score. Tampa tried for a two-point conversion and failed, so the score stuck at 31-26.
Thankfully for the visitors, they did not close the playbook and focus on simply running the clock out. Instead, Keenum found speedy receiver Tavor Austin, who did a quick move and waltzed in for a 43-yard touchdown. LA attempted a two-point conversion and also failed, but the scoreboard read 37-26 with 4:38 remaining in the game.
While fans around LA began prematurely celebrating, Winston and Tampa Bay responded with yet another touchdown to draw the home team within five points. Again, the Buccaneers went for two-points and, again, the Buccaneers failed to commandeer any points.
If Tampa Bay had only hit the extra point after every touchdown and also hit the missed field goal, the home team would have been ahead.
Instead, the Rams got the ball back leading 37-32 with 2:23 remaining in the game, and Austin made a poor decision to return the kickoff to only the six-yard line. Backed up deep into their own end of the field and facing 3rd and long, a lightning storm forced a stoppage at the two-minute warning.
After about 70 minutes of waiting for the weather to approve, the Rams and Bucs finally got back onto the field for two vital minutes of football. Predictably, the Rams did not get the first down and had to punt.
So, Winston and the Buccaneers started in good field position at their own 45-yard line with 1:42 to play in the game. Immediately, Winston found Vincent Jackson for a 16-yard gain into Rams' territory. From there, Winston led the Bucs to the 20-yard line.
However, poor clock management and dropped balls led to Tampa Bay running out of time. As Winston was pummelled on the final play, the Rams jumped in celebration as the final score read "37-32."
LA improved to 2-1 on the season and is now tied for first place in the NFC West with the Seattle Seahawks.
Notes: (LA) Keenum threw for 190 yards with two touchdowns and one interception on 14/26 passing. Gurley rushed for 85 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries. Austin led the team with five receptions for 82 yards and one touchdown. (TB) Winston threw for 405 yards with three touchdowns and one interception on 36/58 passing. Charles Sims rushed for 55 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries. Mike Evans led the team with 10 receptions for 132 yards and one touchdown.