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Jared Goff throws 5 TDs in Rams’ 38-31 win over Vikings on ‘Thursday Night Football’

The Rams and Vikings played an excellent game, but a huge performance from Goff helped Los Angeles to a 4-0 start to their season.

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Minnesota Vikings v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Jared Goff played an incredible game under the bright lights of Thursday Night Football, leading the Los Angeles Rams to five touchdown passes in a close win over the Minnesota Vikings, 38-31.

Goff finished the game having completed 26 of 33 passes for 465 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions, the best game of his career. He was also only sacked one time, while Kirk Cousins was sacked four times by the Los Angeles defense. Cousins finished with 422 yards and three touchdowns, but lost a fumble on the final Minnesota drive.

Gurley led the way on the ground for the Rams, with 83 yards on 17 carries, while Cooper Kupp finished with nine receptions for 162 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Adam Thielen led the way for Minnesota, with nine catches for 135 yards and a touchdown.

It was a very fun game, one of the best thus far this season. The Vikings played well on defense, and still couldn’t stop Goff and the Rams. It was a high-energy, high-effort game from all aspects of both teams, but the Rams came out on top, leaving the Vikings with a 1-2-1 record to start the season.

Below is the full live blog from Thursday, in reverse order.

Rams 38, Vikings 31, FINAL: Gurley picks up 3 yards for the Rams, and then Goff throws incomplete on second, which stops the clock. Woods picks up 6 yards on a short pass, and it’s going to be a 4th-and-Inches down. Minnesota takes a timeout. And then after trying to get the Vikings to jump offsides, the Rams take a timeout. They punt it, and the Vikings take over on their own 34-yard line — it wasn’t a great punt from Hekker. On first down, Donald throws Cousins to the ground for an 8-yard sack. On second down, Cousins hits Treadwell for a9-yard gain, but it’s still a 3rd-and-9. Cousins goes to Treadwell on third down, and it’s complete for a first. And ... oh! Cousins is hit as he throws and it’s a fumble, which is recovered by the Rams! Wow! That should do it! Gurley gets a first down run right away, and that seals it.

Rams 38, Vikings 31, 3:50, 4Q: Cousins hits Thielen for 15 yards, then Murray for 9 yards. He then finds Diggs for a short pass, and the receiver turns it into a 19-yard gain. Cousins avoids a sack on first down, and then runs for a big gain of 19 yards himself. Thomas picks up 4 yards, and we have an injury timeout for Los Angeles, for Wilson. On second down, Cousins throws incomplete to Thomas. On 3rd-and-6, Cousins is sacked by Suh for a loss of 8 yards. They will attempt a field goal to make it at 7-point game. It’s a 40-yard attempt, and Bailey sends it through.

Rams 38, Vikings 28, 8:25, 4Q: From their own 25-yard line, Cousins finds Thielen for 14 yards, then Murray picks up 2 yards as the third quarter comes to an end. To start the third, Cousins is sacked for a 10-yard loss by, guess who, Donald. On third down, it’s another incomplete pass to Treadwell, so the Vikings punt. Rams will take over from their own 15-yard line after a penalty. Gurley goes for 1 yard, then Goff hits Cooks for a 23-yard gain. Rhodes was injured on the play. Cooks rushes for 10 yards, then Goff hits Kupp for 11 yards. Gurley gets 4 yards, then Goff goes deep again to Cooks, for 16 yards. Then again for 14 yards, and it’s a 1st-and-Goal. Cooks is stopped for a loss, and he fumbles! But the Rams recover it to keep the ball. Eventually, the Rams have to settle for a field goal, and the short kick is no good for Fickens.

Rams 38, Vikings 28, 1:09, 3Q: Rams take over on their own 26-yard line. Gurley picks up 8 yards, then Goff finds Woods for 13 yards. Then it’s another 8-yard gain for Gurley. And Goff finds Woods again, this one for 15 yards. On first down, Goff goes deep over the middle to Woods, and it’s a 31-yard touchdown. This game is ridiculous!

Rams 31, Vikings 28, 3:35, 3Q: On first down, Treadwell drops a short pass from Cousins. Cousins misses Diggs, who was probably held on the play but there’s no flag. Third down and 10 ... the pass is deflected by Shields, and it ends up in Diggs’ hands for a first down and then a few more. He finds Diggs again for 6 yards, and then Thielen deep! He goes 45 yards for a touchdown, and the Vikings should go for two here. They are, and the play action pass to Murray works, so it’s a three-point game.

Rams 31, Vikings 20, 5:21, 3Q: Cousins throws incomplete to Rudolph to start, then picks up 5 yards on the ground himself. Third down and 5 yards to go, and Cousins finds Diggs for a first. Murray gets nothing on first down, then Cousins throws incomplete to Thielen, who is then called out of the game by the officials for a head injury evaluation. He’s furious about it, but he took a shin right to the helmet, so it’s a medical timeout. Cousins throws incomplete to Diggs on third down, and the Vikings will punt it to the Los Angeles 16-yard line. Gurley picks up 9 yards, then it’s a big catch-and-run! Goff to Gurley for a whopping 57 yards, and well into Minnesota territory. There’s a penalty flag for an illegal block, but they pick it up, despite it very clearly being a block in the back. Rams lose 5 yards on a screen to Kupp, then Goff picks up a few yards on the ground. They throw incomplete on third, so Ficken kicks the 34-yard field goal to make it a two-score game.

Rams 28, Vikings 20, 10:54, 3Q: From their own 25-yard line, the Rams get 9 yards from Gurley to start, then Goff finds Kupp on for a big gain of 27 yards. On a 2nd-and-11, Goff is sacked for a loss of 9 yards, so it’s a 3rd-and-20. They try a run with Cooks, but he can’t pick up enough, so they will punt it. No they won’t, it’s a fake! Hekker throws it deep, but he can’t quite get it, so the Vikings take over at their own 36-yard line.

Rams 28, Vikings 20, END 2Q: Vikings get a quick first down with the clock rolling. Rudolph picks up 5 yards, then Diggs gets a pass from Cousins for 14 yards. Forty-three seconds on the clock. Cousins is nearly picked by Shields on a deep pass to Diggs, but it falls incomplete. Facing a 3rd-and-4 with 37 seconds to go. Cousins hits Diggs for a short gain, and after a review, they get the first. But the Vikings take way too long getting to the line, so instead of clocking it and having a shot at the end zone, they settle for a field goal. Bailey knocks it through from 39 yards. Rams will get the ball back to start the third.

Rams 28, Vikings 17, 1:26, 2Q: Vikings from their 25, Cousins hits Morgan for 3 yards. He goes incomplete to Thielen on second down, then goes to him again on third, and picks up the first. On a 2nd-and-10, Murray picks up 7 yards, but offensive holding is called, and we reach the two-minute warning. On 2nd-and-20, the Vikings lose 3 yards on the play. Rams take a timeout. Vikings pick up 7 yards, and Rams take another timeout before the punt. The Rams will take over on their own 27-yard line with just over 90 seconds to go in the half. Kupp picks up 11 yards, then Minnesota is called for unsporstmanlike conduct. On the next play ... wow! Goff finds Cooks for a 47-yard touchdown. They only needed about 20 seconds!

Rams 21, Vikings 17, 03:47, 2Q: Gurley gets 5 yards, then it’s a first down when Goff hits Kupp for 11 yards. Goff goes deep to Woods for 36 yards and there’s a flag down — but it’s on the defense, and is declined. Well into Vikings territory now, Goff goes to Kupp for a 19-yard touchdown in the back corner of the end zone! It was a phenomenal throw!

Vikings 17, Rams 14, 05:48, 2Q: It looks like we’re finally getting a punt in this game, after Gurley picks up 7 yards on first and Goff throws two incomplete passes. The Rams will punt from their own 32-yard line. Minnesota takes over at their own 29-yard line. Cook goes for no gain, then picks up 4 yards on second down. On third down, Cousins throws incomplete, so the Vikings will punt now, too. The Rams will take over near their own 30-yard line.

Vikings 17, Rams 14, 08:04, 2Q: After the quick Rams score, the Vikings go right ahead and pick up 34 yards on a pass to Diggs. Then another one to Rudolph picks up 24 yards and they’re already in the red zone. On first down, Cousins hits Robinson for another a touchdown! There’s a flag, and it’s on the defense. Minnesota back on top!

Rams 14, Vikings 10, 09:28, 2Q: Touchback again, and Gurley picks up 5 yards to start. On second down, Goff goes deep! It’s complete to Kupp, and he runs it all the way in for a 70-yard touchdown! Wow!

Vikings 10, Rams 7, 10:05, 2Q: Cousins hits Thielen for a 27-yard gain on first down, and they’re into Los Angeles territory. Cook loses 2 yards on the next play. Diggs picks up 10 yards, but it’s still a third down coming up. The Vikings come up just short, and the Vikings will go for it on 4th-and-1. Cousin sneaks it, and gets it! They’re just outside the red zone now, but get nothing on first down (it was nearly a huge loss, but Diggs managed to get back to the line of scrimmage). Cook picks up 9 yards, so it’s a 3rd-and-2. Cousins’ pass is batted, and it’s nearly picked, but it’s another fourth down. This time, the Vikings will go for the field goal. Bailey is good from 37 yards out, and the Vikings lead again.

Vikings 7, Rams 7, END 1Q: Vikings take back over, again on the 25-yard line after a touchback. Diggs gets 4 yards, then Cook picks up 2, setting up a quick 3rd-and-4. They convert, but there’s an illegal formation penalty, so they’ll repeat, from 3rd-and-9. Cousins hits Rudolph for a conversion and the first quarter comes to an end! Vikings are driving.

Vikings 7, Rams 7, 1:55, 1Q: The Rams’ first drive begins on their own 25-yard line, and they face an early 3rd-and-7 after an incomplete pass and a short run. But they pick it up when Goff hits Cooks for a 9-yard gain. Then it’s a quick 10-yard pass to Kupp. After that, another third down, this one a 3rd-and-4 following an incomplete pass and a 6-yard run from Gurley. Goff throws incomplete, but there’s a flag on the play — and it’s on the defense, holding. Gurley, Everett and Kupp all have good gains and the Rams are in the red zone. On a 2nd-and-7 fro the Minnesota 11, Goff finds Gurley for a touchdown, and the Rams tie it up after the extra point!

Vikings 7, Rams 0, 7:55, 1Q: The Rams win the toss and elect to defer, so the Vikings will start from their own 25-yard line. Cook picks up 6 yards on the ground, but they lose 3 yards on second down. Cousins is complete to Thielen on third down to move the sticks. Cousins is nearly picked on a throw to Thielen, but it’s complete for a gain of 16 yards. They lose 3 yards on first down, so they go empty backfield on 2nd-and-13 — and they pick up a first down to Treadwell. They’re in the red zone after a 7-yard run from Cook. It’s a 3rd-and-3 after an incomplete pass, and they pick up the first with another pass to Thielen. But they’re facing a 3rd-and-10 after two plays that go nowhere. Cousins finds Robinson for a touchdown, but there’s a flag on the play. It’s on the defense, so it will stand.

The Minnesota Vikings are coming off a surprise Week 3 loss to the Buffalo Bills, and now have the tall task of facing the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams sit at a perfect 3-0, and will host the Vikings under the bright lights of Thursday Night Football. The game is set for 8:20 p.m. ET (live streaming via FuboTV, Fox Sports GO, NFL, Prime Video).

It’s been a rough season for the Vikings thus far. They beat the San Francisco 49ers in a competitive Week 1 game, then went on to tie the Green Bay Packers, 29-29. Last week, they gave the Bills their first win when they couldn’t get anything done on either side of the football. Kirk Cousins threw for 296 yards and a touchdown, but he also had an interception, was sacked four times, and got just 12 yards from his running backs.

The Rams were challenged in their Week 3 win over the Los Angeles Chargers, but handily bested the Oakland Raiders and Arizona Cardinals in their prior two games. They loaded up on talent this past offseason, and it’s paying off. Unfortunately, some notable players — like Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters — are injured, so Week 4 could be a tough time for the undefeated Rams.

Below is all you need to know to follow the action on Thursday.

Time, TV, and streaming info

  • Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
  • Location: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles
  • TV: NFL Network, Fox
  • Streaming: FuboTV, Fox Sports GO, NFL, Prime Video
  • Odds: The Rams opened as 7-point favorites for Thursday’s matchup.

Vikings vs. Rams news

Vikings vs. Rams prediction

Of the seven SB Nation experts picking Week 4 games, not a single one of them is going with the Vikings to win on Thursday. The OddsShark computer joins them, and the coin flip is rolling with Minnesota.