Jared Goff threw his first NFL touchdown pass and Todd Gurley ran for his first touchdown as a Los Angeles Ram as L.A.'s newest team defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, 21-20.
Gurley dominated the first drive of the game, which was aided by a 41-yard pass interference penalty on the Chiefs. Gurley capped off the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run. His first action of the 2016 season and first ever exhibition game at the NFL level.
"It felt good just being out there and getting a couple of plays," Gurley said at halftime. "I was a little sluggish. I felt like I could've done better, but being back on the field, back in LA, it felt good. It was a good drive and we scored."
Gurley did not return for the second drive and sat out the remainder of the game. He finished with four carries for 20 yards and a touchdown.
Case Keenum started at quarterback for the Rams and was 4-for-5 for 53 yards and a touchdown as he found rookie Pharoh Cooper who scrambled into the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter.
"I love playing football. Whether it's preseason and it counts or doesn't," said Keenum about wanting to get more reps. "There's a lot of things out of my control. I can only control when I'm in there."
Speaking of rookies, No. 1 overall draft pick Jared Goff entered the game in the second quarter, but his growing pains continued as he fumbled the ball in the third offensive possession of the game.
"I was stepping up and going to run, but I tripped over my lineman and fell and the ball came out," Goff said of the fumble. "I can't do that. It's dumb. I got to hold on to the ball there, but that's what the preseason is for and that's what these reps are for: to make mistakes that hopefully I'll learn from."
Goff tripped over his own lineman's feet and fumbled the ball as he fell to the ground, allowing Kansas City defensive end, Dontari Poe, to recover the ball inside the red zone at the Rams 16-yard line.
"He lost the ball there, the three-step he took and they took it away. It's something to learn from," LA Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said.
Goff started in the second half and put the Rams in the lead early in the fourth quarter when he threw is first career NFL touchdown pass to running back Malcolm Brown for a 10-yard score.
"It felt really good. I felt a lot more comfortable," Goff said of his first TD in the NFL. "There was a couple big runs by Malcolm and he finished it off with a great catch."
Brown caught two passes for 17 yards and rushed for a team-high 68 yards on 12 carries. The Rams rode the running back in the second half repeatedly as they gave him the ball on three straight possessions to cap off the touchdown drive.
"Jared put it where nobody else could get it, and it was my job to make the catch," Brown said of the score. "It was a great play call by our coaches and it just worked for us."
Running-back Benny Cunningham continued to impress as he rushed for 38 yards on four carries, averaging a whopping 9.5 yards per attempt.
Alex Smith looked locked in as the Chiefs starter, completing 9 of 12 for 137 yards and a touchdown. Former Rams quarterback, Nick Foles, played most of the second half and was 18-for-22 for 133 yards.
"It's preseason, so it's never as good as you think it is or as bad as you think it is," said Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson after the game. "The Rams didn't do anything special or tricky, but we got to get better. It's not a panicky thing. It's just disappointing to have a couple plays scoot through."
Last week's hero, Nelson Spruce was held out with a knee sprain. Defensive end, Robert Quinn, missed his second straight game after he returned from the Olympics earlier this week to watch his sister, Jasmine, compete in the 110-meter hurdles. Second-year offensive tackle Isaiah Battle also missed the game with a knee injury.
Chiefs star running back, Jamal Charles, was back at practice earlier in the week after a torn ACL, but did not play in the game for Kansas City.
Andy Reid—a Los Angeles native—returned to the LA Coliseum where he participated in the Punt, Pass and Kick contest in 1971 as a 13-year-old wearing a No. 34 LA Rams jersey.
Players of the Game:
Jared Goff: 8-for-12 for 82 yards and a TD.
Malcolm Brown: 12 carries for 68 yards. 2 catches for 17 yards a TD.
Jabriel Washington: Game-winning fumble recovery.
1. The Game is On: Rapper and actor, "The Game," was on the sidelines for the game and took pictures with fans in the front row. The Game was shown on the videoboard in the second quarter and received a warm welcome from fans.
Let us put you on The Game pic.twitter.com/Xd2Rom1ky4
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) August 21, 2016
2. Ejected: It's abnormal to see starters get ejected from a game in the NFL, let alone a preseason game, but Kansas City wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and Rams cornerback LaMarcus Joyner were both tossed from the game in the second quarter for fighting.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 21, 2016
3. Flex: Actor Terry Crews flexed his muscles in the seats as did the L.A. Rams as they moved to 2-0 in the preseason after their come-from-behind victory over the Kanas City Chiefs.
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) August 21, 2016
Chiefs (0-2): Kansas City heads to Chi-town where they will play the Bears next Saturday at 10:00 AM PST.
Rams (2-0): After the first two home games at the L.A. Coliseum in over two decades, the Rams head on the road to face the reigning Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos on Saturday at 6:00 PM PST.