Goff tosses 3 TD passes to Higbee, Rams beat Eagles 37-19

Sports

Philadelphia Eagles’ DeSean Jackson, right, catches a pass against Los Angeles Rams’ Troy Hill during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jared Goff outdid Carson Wentz in his house.

Goff threw three touchdown passes to Tyler Higbee and the Los Angeles Rams beat the Philadelphia Eagles 37-19 on Sunday.

Goff completed his first 13 passes, including a pair of TDs to Higbee, and the Rams jumped to a 21-3 lead minutes into the second quarter.

After the Eagles (0-2) pulled within one score, Goff’s 28-yard TD pass to Higbee in the fourth iced it for Los Angeles (2-0).

Goff and Wentz were selected Nos. 1-2 in the 2016 draft, one of seven times since 1967 that quarterbacks were the first two picks. In their only other head-to-head meeting in Los Angeles in December 2017, Wentz tore two knee ligaments. Nick Foles stepped in and eventually led Philadelphia to its first Super Bowl title.

“Jared was outstanding,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. “I thought he played a great game. He had a great command of what was going on. He got into a rhythm and our guys made plays, but it starts with him and he did an outstanding job.”

McVay got his first win over Doug Pederson and the Eagles in three tries. McVay outcoached defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz early as Los Angeles scored TDs on its first three possessions.

“We had guys open, and I was throwing the ball pretty good. That’s a good combo for us,” Goff said. “When we’re moving the ball well, we can kind of do anything we want.”

Goff finished 20 of 27 for 242 yards. Wentz was 26 of 43 for 242 yards and two interceptions.

“Turnovers are killing us,” Wentz said. “I gotta protect the football.”

Darrell Henderson ran for 81 yards and had his first career TD run. The Rams gained 449 total yards, including 191 on the ground. Higbee had three TD catches all of last season on 69 receptions.

“We’re just trying to marry the run and the pass,” Higbee said. “(Goff) takes care of the ball. We just try to stay an option for him when he’s on the move.”

The Rams took a 7-0 lead on Goff’s 4-yard TD pass to Higbee after Miles Sanders’ fumble on the third play gave them the ball at the Eagles 41.

Robert Woods ran in from the 5 on a perfectly executed end-around following a fake hand-off up the middle to make it 14-3.

Goff’s 3-yard TD toss to Higbee increased the lead to 21-3.

But the Eagles answered with a 1-yard sneak by Wentz and 5-yard TD run by Sanders to get within 21-16 at halftime.

Cooper Kupp’s decision to field a punt at the 4 with under a minute left in the first half backfired when T.J. Edwards knocked the ball loose and the Eagles recovered at the Rams 11. Sanders scored a few plays later.

The Eagles were driving on their first possession of the third quarter but Darious Williams made a diving interception in the end zone on Wentz’s pass to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside.

“It’s not about one player or one unit,” Pederson said. “Offense has to do their part and not turn the ball over and defense has a part in that, too. They pride themselves in getting off the field.”

The Rams turned that into a 30-yard field goal by Samuel Sloman for a 24-16 lead. Jake Elliott’s 33-yarder cut it to 24-19.

BETTER PROTECTION

After Wentz was sacked eight times at Washington last week, Aaron Donald and the Rams were held to no sacks. It didn’t matter on the scoreboard.

THE DECOY

Second-round pick Jalen Hurts, the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy last season, made his debut for the Eagles and lined up in a two-back set in the backfield as Wentz completed a 10-yard pass to Dallas Goedert to the Rams 8 on Philadelphia’s first drive. Hurts also lined up as a receiver a few times.

SOCIAL JUSTICE

Both teams scurried to line up near midfield and lock arms in a sign of unity about 25 minutes before kickoff while Alicia Keys performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing” in a video designed to address racial inequality. It appeared there was no announcement the song was going to be played and players weren’t aware it had started.

Several players from both teams either took a knee or stood with a fist raised during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

INJURIES

Rams: RB Cam Akers (ribs) left in the first quarter. … LG Joe Noteboom (calf) left in the third quarter.

Eagles: LG Isaac Seumalo (knee) left in the second quarter.

UP NEXT

The Eagles host the Cincinnati Bengals and the Rams visit the Buffalo Bills next Sunday.

___

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