By Nick Shook
Read full post on NFL.com
For the second straight week, road teams have won five games. With Monday Night Football yet to kick off, we still have a chance to do better than last week’s 5-8 mark. Hope remains, and it’ll be renewed next week. They say it springs eternal. We won’t go that far.
Know where there’s tons of hope? Los Angeles. Yes, even after the Dodgers came as close as possible to winning the World Series without actually taking home the hardware, folks are fired up in SoCal. They believe in the power of the horns, and the #MobSquad and all that good stuff.
The hope and belief is so strong, it’s even seeped into this space. Yep, that’s right — WELCOME TO THE GOFF SHOW.
Here are your greatest on the road from Week 9. I know, I can’t believe it’s almost Week 10, either.
Greatest on the Road
Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams
Remember when we were seriously concerned that the Ramsmight have botched their move to No. 1 and subsequent selection of Jared Goff? Such uncertain times they were. And my, how far we are from them now.
Goff lit it up in New York on Sunday, doing so in as few attempts as necessary (22), as the Rams dominated the Giants in every facet of the sport we call football. Goff completed 14 of those 22 attempts for 311 yards and four touchdowns, including a 67-yard strike to Sammy Watkins, and a screen pass to Robert Woods that the wideout took 52 yards for another touchdown. Goff spread it to eight different targets and Los Angeles’ balanced attack shredded what was considered to be one of the league’s better defenses, even despite New York’s cellar-dwelling record.
Not to Goff and the Rams.
In perhaps his most efficient game as a pro, Goff not only kept himself from losing the game, but in fact won it for Los Angeles. Thanks to aggressive play calling and a fearlessness displayed by the Rams as a whole for most of the season, Los Angeles wrecked New York. They might as well have blown the trumpets and waited for the walls of MetLife Stadium to crumble. It was that dominant.
Plenty were skeptical, but right now, the Rams look to be legitimate — Goff included.
Also considered …
Marshawn Lynch, Oakland Raiders
Lynch’s return to Oakland was trumpeted and anticipated and caused all kinds of warm, fuzzy feelings for a team that is spending its final two years in California. His sideline dancing only continued all of the feel-goods. Then, the last few weeks hit and all of that euphoria evaporated, capped by Lynch’s early exit from Oakland’s Thursday Night Football game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Raiders won that game, though, even without Lynch. Perhaps he wasn’t needed in silver and black?
Needed or not, he sure was welcomed among the commoners on the BART ride home. And a week after serving his suspension, it didn’t matter whether he was welcome — Lynch knocked the door down.
The running back roared back with the ferocity we’ve long expected from the man nicknamed Beast Mode, carrying the ball 17 times for 57 yards and two touchdowns. One of those two scores came on a run that included a cutback on a slick field that left Dolphins safety Michael Thomas doubling back in vain. The performance keyed a much-needed 27-24 win on Sunday night.
I’m going to go ride the Expo Line to Santa Monica. Maybe I’ll come back with a couple of touchdowns, too.
T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
Sure, Hilton looked like disgruntled diva No. 1 a few weeks ago when he deflected blame for another Colts loss to his team’s offensive line. Yes, he deserved the criticism that elicited an apology on his part.
On Sunday, none of that mattered.
In shades of performances from previous seasons (which included the injured Andrew Luck), Hilton caught five passes for 125 yards and two scores, accounting for all of Indianapolis’ trips to the end zone in a 20-14 win over division rival Houston. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett relied heavily on Hilton and tight end Jack Doyle (eight catches, 63 yards) on a day during which Brissett completed 20 of 30 passes for 308 yards and two touchdowns.
Indianapolis saw its best air attack of Brissett’s time wearing a horseshoe on his helmet. The Colts also saw another notch added to the win column. Need to assign credit? Look to the man who celebrates his scores by spelling his name.