Thursday Night Football’s slogan this season is “When It’s On, It’s On.” It’s basically the most honest thing the National Football League has said in a while, in that it’s the bare minimum of cognitive awareness about what day said football actually takes place.
And it sure was on Thursday night when the Los Angeles Rams played the San Francisco 49ers, a game that obliterated the over and made Bills fans sad because all of their former wideouts had great games in the state of California. Considering you almost certainly didn’t watch what was expected to be a usually sleepy game between mediocre teams, here’s what you missed. It was a really fun football game, which is an anomaly for the league’s much-maligned Thursday night games.
Let’s start with the resurgence of Los Angeles running back Todd Gurley, who had three first half touchdowns to give the Rams an early lead. Check out his third, and the bounce he had to the outside to hit the pylon.
He had 28 carries for 113 yards and two scores. And he wasn’t the only Ram who had a big night. In fact, Los Angeles had two 100-yard receivers in Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods, who both played for the Bills last season. Here’s Watkins’ best catch, where he played his best centerfielder and hauled in a pass from Jared Goff.
Watkins had two touchdowns on Thursday night, the second of which was a bit sloppy but impressive nonetheless.
The big lead only set up a furious comeback. Down 41-26, Niners quarterback Brian Hoyer threw a touchdown pass and — on the ensuing kickoff — hilarious disaster struck for the Rams.
Marquise Goodwin then made a remarkable catch on the sideline to set up a Carlos Hyde touchdown run on fourth down. But the catch was certainly the highlight of the drive.
With a chance to tie, the two-point conversation was a bit of a mess. Hoyer had a man open coming out of his break in the end zone and didn’t get the ball out in time, and the ball was picked off. So the 49ers had to convert an onside kick to keep their chances alive.
They got it! It set up what could have been a truly exciting finish. But then Hoyer reverted to his mediocre self, the 49ers were forced into a 4th-and-20 and Aaron Donald ended things by Nightcrawling himself into the Niners backfield and getting the game-ending sack.
So it didn’t have the big finish that we were all hoping for. But it was a game that, in many ways, was on and wildly entertaining.