LOS ANGELES (AP) — Robert Woods caught two of Jared Goff’s three touchdown passes during a dominant third quarter, and the surging Los Angeles Rams returned after a month away from home for their fourth straight victory, 33-7 over the depleted Houston Texans on Sunday.
After struggling to a 9-7 lead during a quiet first half for the NFL’s highest-scoring team, the Rams (7-2) ran away with a series of big throws by Goff, who passed for a career-high 355 yards.
Woods caught a 94-yard TD pass to break it open before Sammy Watkins and Woods made TD catches 19 seconds apart late in the third quarter. The Rams defense shut out Houston in the second half and won at the Coliseum for just the third time in 11 games since returning to Los Angeles last season.
Woods finished with eight catches for 171 yards, making the longest catch of his NFL career before following it up with a 12-yard TD .
Bruce Ellington caught a 26-yard TD pass for the Texans (3-6), who have lost three straight and four of five.
Tom Savage passed for 221 yards with two interceptions for Houston, which lost its second straight since losing rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson for the season with a knee injury.
NFL scoring leader Greg Zuerlein kicked four field goals for the Rams, who hadn’t played in LA since early October thanks to two East Coast road trips, a bye and a “home” game in London.
Rookie coach Sean McVay’s club still kept its momentum going with a 205-yard third quarter on the way to scoring at least 27 points for the eighth time in nine games. The Rams are off to their best start since 2001, when they went 8-1 in St. Louis.
Aaron Donald, the Rams’ powerhouse defensive lineman, forced a fumble on Houston’s opening possession while sacking Savage, his college teammate at Pitt. But the Rams couldn’t get in the end zone early, and they trailed for the first time since Oct. 15 when the Texans made a 75-yard drive in the second quarter capped by Ellington’s untouched catch-and-run TD.
Houston had the chance for more points late in the first half, but Mark Barron made an interception at the Los Angeles 10.
Texans: WR Will Fuller injured his ribs while receiving a huge hit from Rams S Lamarcus Joyner in the first half. He didn’t return.
Rams: Watkins came up limping in the first half and missed some playing time before returning in the second half. … Joyner injured his own hip in the first half, but returned for the second half. .. LG Rodger Saffold hurt his ankle in the second half. He is a key part of the Rams’ revitalized offensive line.
Zuerlein surpassed his previous career high when he made his 27th field goal of the season shortly before halftime, and he added another in the second half. The sure-footed veteran has missed just one field goal all season.
Texans: The NFC West portion of the schedule continues with a visit next Sunday from the Arizona Cardinals, who will be on extra rest after playing Thursday.
Rams: A trip to Minnesota for an early game next Sunday against former QB Case Keenum and the Vikings.