LOS ANGELES – His play-calling was measured, effective and, at times, even inspired.
At the end, it was something else completely, something shocking after witnessing the Rams mostly depress all of last season.
Sean McVay’s play-calling, to cap his head-coaching debut Sunday, was celebratory.
He ordered his team to assemble in victory formation and his backup quarterback to take a clock-emptying knee … still with two minutes remaining!
Mathematically, that’s as one-sided as an NFL game can be, those final three snaps completing the Rams’ stunning and stunningly easy 46-9 win over Indianapolis.
Still, before anything could be official, there was one last play to execute, linebacker Alec Ogletree expertly dumping a Gatorade bucket over the head of his rookie coach.
“I could have avoided it if I wanted to,” McVay explained later. “But I felt like I kind of had to take it a little bit.”
Of course, he did. For someone who preaches team – remember, the Rams’ slogan for this season is the corny but catchy “We Not Me” – McVay naturally took one for his players.
It was the ideal chilly punctuation on a sweltering yet refreshing afternoon, this group romping, rollicking and rolling to the sort of victory unseen by a Rams team around here since these games were being played in Anaheim.
“It was a blast,” said wide receiver Cooper Kupp, another rookie whose NFL debut ended in a lingering, satisfied smile. “We had so much fun.”
Blast? Smile? Fun? These were the Rams, right? A team that finished last season 4-12, a record that failed to adequately illustrate just how boring all the bad really was?
Yup, these were the Rams, and, for one day anyway, they were the ones having all the laughs, especially the last one.
“It feels good,” McVay said of career win No. 1. “It’s a little surreal. But it’s one game. I think the thing about the NFL is it’s an extremely humbling business. This was the goal and we came away with it.”
They seized it, the Rams did, early, their first possession producing a field goal before, moments later, cornerback Trumaine Johnson scored on an interception return.
Not even four minutes into the new season the Rams looked wildly improved. Or just wildly better than the Colts, an opponent that couldn’t have been any more perfectly served up for McVay’s first game.
Indianapolis arrived at the Coliseum minus Andrew Luck, a reality almost as stark as the fact the Colts were plus Scott Tolzien, a…