By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
The Rams were anxious and all business for their home opener with fans in the stands for an NFL game that counts.
There was high level of excitement in So-Fi Stadium. On the third play from scrimmage Matthew Stafford rolled left with plenty of time the veteran planted his feet and threw back across field then hit Van Jefferson. After making the catch he went to the ground untouched by Bears defensive backs Eddie Jackson and Tashuan Gibson. Once he realized that he popped up and headed to endzone finalizing a 67 yard pass-play for his first touchdown of the season.
They were on their way to a 34-14 win. Stafford looked right at home as he completed his first five passes and went on to complete 20 of 26 passes for 321 yards and three touchdowns to three different receivers.
“That’s exactly what we wanted,” said Head coach said head coach Sean McVay. “It was from a bunch of different guys, get off to a fast start and have everybody involved.”
He finished the night with a 156.5 passer rating. According to the Elias Sports bureau is that’s the highest for any player starting with a new team. Stafford also was the lone captain to go out for the coin toss.
Cooper Kupp led the team in catches with seven for 108 yards including a 57-yard scoring pass from Stafford.
Jefferson finished the day with two catches for 80 yards. Tyler Higbee had five for 27 yards as the Rams had four scoring drives of seventy yards or more. The Rams are 5-0 in openers under McVay.
Justin Hollins who recently solidified himself as a starter had a big game as well. On a fourth and five Hollins came off the edge and beat Bears left tackle Jason Peters knocking the ball away from Dalton the ball was recovered by Rams.
The four-year man had a career day with eight tackles, six solo two sacks and a QB hit. He has truly stepped up his game early in the season.
Jalen Ramsey and Darious Williams played their part in not allowing the Bears the big play. There was never a reception longer than 10 yards on the night.
Jordan Fuller led all tacklers with 11 while Taylor Rapp and Kenny Young had 10 a piece.
Kenny Young had a tipped pass that led to a David Long interception that completely stopped a Bear drive. It was longs first career interception.
“He (Young) did a great job and that’s going back to last year” added McVay. “I thought he picked off where he left off, he’s had a great training camp.”
RAM NOTES: For his efforts Stafford was named NFC Player of the Week. Its the second time in his career he’s won the award… The Rams are on the road this week at Indy.