ALL SPORTS Breaking News Slider Top news US sports

Rams maintain perfect start to NFL season after downing Vikings

The Los Angeles Rams survived to beat the Minnesota Vikings 38-31 as the high-flying NFL side improved to 4-0 for the season.

Two of the most highly-rated defenses were lit up in what turned out to be an offensive shoot-out on Thursday and the Rams came out on top for their fourth successive victory.

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins threw for 422 yards and three touchdowns, but he lost a fumble late in the fourth quarter to seal the win for the undefeated Rams.

1. Goff is becoming elite

The first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft looked a bit lost as a rookie two seasons ago, but displayed all his tools while leading the Rams to the playoffs last season. Jared Goff has built on that success this year, and he had a near-perfect first half on Thursday, throwing four touchdowns before halftime.

Goff finished the game with 465 yards and five touchdowns, making pin-point throws and showing some mobility to keep plays alive. Though Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers get most of the attention (and rightly so), Goff may be the future of the NFL.

2. Gurley a rare talent  

After rushing for more than 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns as a rookie three seasons ago, Todd Gurley struggled in his second season. But last year he bounced back in a big way as the Rams offense caught fire. Gurley racked up more than 2,100 total yards and 19 touchdowns last season, and he looks on pace to do something similar this year.

Gurley, a touchdown machine, has become an elite threat from the ground and air. He burst out a couple long runs against Minnesota, but he made two huge plays through the air, working a screen pass into a 56-yard gain, and hauling in a first-quarter touchdown reception. He seemingly gets better every week.

3. Rams have best receiving corps in NFL

Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods have returned with even more chemistry with Goff after breaking out last season. Kupp exploded Thursday with more than 100 yards and two touchdowns by half-time. He is a great route runner who burns teams in the slot and on the outside.

The trade for Brandin Cooks was a pure steal. Cooks is shifty, quick, great at finding holes in defenses and a threat down field. He is everything Sammy Watkins was not last year. With Cooks joining Kupp and Woods, the Rams have three wide receivers who can line up all over the field and torch opposing defenses.

The Vikings have an elite duo in Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, who combined for 19 receptions, 258 yards and a touchdown, but the Rams have three elite pass catchers who produce on a weekly basis.