It was a tale of two halves for Los Angeles — more specifically, running back Todd Gurley — in Monday night’s 33-13 win over the Oakland Raiders.
After going into halftime down 13-10, the Rams roughed up the Raiders in the second half.
“I think to be able to go through some adversity, I think says a lot about our football team,” Rams head coach Sean McVay said. “Really hadn’t had anything like that occur, obviously, just with it being the first game. But, I think when you take into account the elements, the atmosphere, some of the unknown with what they presented offensively, even some different things defensively — the way that the half ended, they had a lot of momentum.
“I thought our guys just kind of really embodied that attitude of ‘never flinch and never blink’ and then they came out and they did an excellent job in the second half. I thought the coaches made some good adjustments as well.”
The biggest adjustment?
A healthy dose of Gurley.
After receiving just four carries in the first half, Gurley had 16 in the second half. He finished with 108 yards on the ground after gaining just 19 in the first half. Gurley also had three catches for 39 yards and a touchdown.
Gurley’s strong play in the second half also opened up the passing game. Rams quarterback Jared Goff finished by completing 18-of-33 passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns.
“Obviously Jared Goff had some good moments,” Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said. “When they can rush the ball that well in the second half it is hard to get a pass rush. We gave Goff too much time.”
McVay was quick to point out that his best players played their best when it mattered most on Monday, and that started with Gurley, who had 10 touches in the third quarter alone.
“Patience and resilience,” McVay said. “That mental toughness we talk about all the time, I thought our players demonstrated that and found a way to close out the game and be our best when our best was required.”
WR Pharoh Cooper injured his ankle and may need surgery. “He’s getting a second opinion on that, so he’s going to be out for some time right now,” McVay said.
WR Mike Thomas tweaked his groin Monday night and is going to see a specialist. “Hopefully we’ll get some good information, but he could be out for a little bit of time as well,” McVay said.
LB Mark Barron is day-to-day with an Achilles tendon injury. McVay said it was a tough injury to predict, and called him questionable for Sunday’s game. “I’ll probably have a little bit more information on that as we go forward,” McVay said.
CB Marcus Peters put an exclamation on Monday’s win with a 50-yard pick six in the closing minutes. “He’s a special player,” McVay said. “That was an excellent job where you don’t even realize what a good play that was. It almost looked like it was an errant-type play just when I was watching it last night and then you realize what a great job he did jumping a shallow cross route, being able to make that play and finish. He’s a guy that’s kind of consistently been in those types of situations. That’s a result of good preparation and then also a great player making a play.”
OL Jamil Demby was acquired by the Detroit Lions via waivers from the Los Angeles Rams. Demby spent the 2018 offseason program and training camp with the Rams. He was drafted by Los Angeles in the sixth round this year out of Maine.