In what had been billed as the “Fight for L.A”, the first showdown of franchises that relocated to Los Angeles, the Rams led by quarterback Jared Goff defeated the Chargers 35-23 on Sunday at the Coliseum in front of nearly 69,000 fans.
Goff completed 29-of-36 passes for 354 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Todd Gurley ran for 105 yards and another score and wide receiver Robert Woods hauled in 10 receptions for 104 yards and his first touchdown of the season.
Cooper Kupp also caught a touchdown pass from Goff.
The Rams (3-0) outgained the Chargers (1-2) 521 yards to 356 yards to remain one of four unbeaten teams. The Rams ran 72 plays to only 52 for the Chargers.
The news was not all good for the Rams, though. Cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib both left the game because of injuries. Their status for Thursday night’s game against the Vikings is uncertain.
While the Rams dominated the first half, they only led 21-13 at intermission. If not for a Gurley fumble and interception in the end zone and a missed field-goal attempt, the Chargers’ deficit would have been much greater.
Gurley’s fumble came on the first possession of the game as the Rams marched down field. The Chargers were unable to capitalize and went three-and-out.
Goff engineered an 80-yard, 11-play drive that culminated with Gurley’s 7-yard plunge for the first score of the game.
The Chargers answered with Rivers and Williams hooking up on a 42-yard score. The extra-point attempt was wide right.
The Rams extended the lead with Woods’ touchdown and then Cory Littleton blocked a punt in the end zone that was recovered by Blake Countess to make the score 21-6.
Gordon scored at the 3:11 mark of the second quarter to make it 21-13.
Sam Ficken missed a 46-yard field-goal attempt as time expired at the end of the second period.
Twice in the fourth quarter, the Chargers drove deep into Rams territory, but were only able to come up with a Caleb Sturgis 26-yard field goal.
The Rams were unable to breathe easy until they recovered a fumble by Chargers running back Austin Ekeler at the 12-yard line with less than five minutes left.
Goff and the offense were able to run out the clock.
NOTES: Robert Woods now has 19 career touchdowns for the Rams. … Ndamuking Suh recorded his first sack for the Rams and now has 52 1/2 sacks for his career. … The Rams are 7-0 when Goff throws for 300 yards. … The Chargers were without defensive end Joey Bosa, who is out until next month. … Tight end Antonio Gates had three receptions for 45 yards.