Finally, a really fun game. On “Thursday Night Football,” no less.
If you tuned in Thursday night, you probably didn’t expect much. The San Francisco 49ers hadn’t scored a touchdown in either of their games this season. The Los Angeles Rams showed signs of life, but they’re still the Rams. We didn’t expect a classic.
Maybe it’s not a classic, but it might be the best “Thursday Night Football” game we’ve seen, the best game of this young NFL season – and nobody saw it coming. The Rams finally prevailed 41-39 in an entertaining, high-scoring game. It was the highest scoring game in “Thursday Night Football” history.
[Watch on Yahoo: Ravens vs. Jaguars live from London Sept. 24]
This Sean McVay-Kyle Shanahan rivalry might be fun. McVay, the Rams’ new coach, has improved his team’s offense tremendously. The Rams traded blows with the 49ers, who have their own offensive guru in Shanahan, and we had a tight, high-scoring and thrilling game into the fourth quarter.
The 49ers rallied late. They scored, recovered a fumble on a kickoff return and scored again. The 49ers missed a two-point conversion with a little more than two minutes left – they had to go for two because the 49ers missed an extra point early in the fourth quarter – so they needed an onside kick. And the 49ers recovered it to keep their hopes of winning alive.
The Rams’ defense finally made a couple plays to win it. Linebacker Mark Barron made an incredible stop on a screen pass to Carlos Hyde, who would have gotten deep into Rams territory had Barron not wrapped him up, and Aaron Donald got a fourth-down sack to seal the Rams’ win. It wasn’t easy, however. The Rams needed big nights from many of their offensive stars.
L.A.’s offense showed up in a big way. It’s the first time it has scored 40 or more points in multiple games in a season since 2006, and this season is only three games old. You can see McVay’s influence on the offense already. Jared Goff, who struggled so much as a rookie last season, had 292 yards and three touchdowns. Todd Gurley, who struggled last season, had 149 total yards and three touchdowns. The Rams haven’t played offense this well in more than a decade. They’re exciting all of a sudden.
The 49ers finally showed some signs of offensive life too. Brian Hoyer rebounded from a terrible start to the season with 332 yards and two touchdowns. Hyde had two touchdowns. Pierre Garcon had 142 yards receiving. This game had a little bit of everything.
Had you said before kickoff that the 49ers would score 39 points, nobody would have believed it and there’s no chance anyone would have believed they lost while scoring 39. But this was a thriller on Thursday night.
Maybe all the stories about how scoring in the NFL was down and would never rebound were a little premature.
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