Rams hold off Colts 29-23 in overtime as Nacua scores first NFL touchdown

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
The Rams squandered a 23-0 lead in the third quarter but win in overtime as Nacua continues his historic rookie season.

The Rams improved to 2-2 on the season after pulling off an overtime win on the road in Indianapolis against the Colts, 29-23. Los Angeles shut out the Colts 20-0 at halftime in one of the strongest overall performances of the season en route to taking a 23-0 lead with less than six minutes left in the third quarter. It was the first time the team accomplished a shutout in the first half since Week 8 of the 2021 season against the Houston Texans. The Colts inched back into the game in the middle of the third quarter scoring 15 straight points. Once again, the Rams went away from the running game that had been the catalyst for the first-half shutout. The Colts capitalized and tied up the game at 23 by the end of regulation. The Rams finally won the game in walk-off fashion with a touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Puka Nacua, which was his first of the season. Nacua this season has 39 receptions for 501 yards, which are the most receptions and yards in a player’s first four games in his NFL career. 

Here are the takeaways from the Rams’ second road win: 

Matthew Stafford injured his hip 

In the third quarter, Stafford injured his hip when a Colts defensive end landed on him. On the following play, he threw his only interception of the game. From then on, Stafford was walking with a visible limp and favoring one side. Head coach Sean McVay stated that he re-aggravated his hip when the Colts blitzed Stafford as he completed a pass to Tyler Higbee. 

“Just kept going,” Stafford said. Stafford’s effort and leadership by staying in the game was just what his teammates needed to stay mentally locked in.

“It was going to have to shut all the way down for me to not keep playing,” Stafford added on his hip. Despite his injury, he orchestrated the final winning drive that sealed the game.

“There’s nothing you can say but just, wow, holy sh–,” McVay said. “I mean, he was great.”

Rams offense is clicking at the right time

Stafford connected with three different receivers on meaningful plays during each of the Rams’ scoring drives in the first half – rookie receiver Puka Nacua, and veteran receivers Van Jefferson and Tyler Higbee. 

The Rams elected to receive the ball first and Stafford connected with Nacua for 26 yards on the first play of the game. He then completed a pass to Jefferson for 13 yards. Ultimately, it was running back Kyren Williams who ran the ball in for a 3-yard touchdown to put Los Angeles on the board first. 

Williams, in his third NFL start, had two touchdowns by halftime. He became the first player since Marshall Faulk to have five running touchdowns in his first four games. 

Defensive veterans are laying the foundation

The Rams’ secondary is led by defensive back Jordan Fuller. In the first quarter, Fuller ripped the ball from Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson and it was recovered by fellow defensive back Ahkello Witherspoon to force a turnover. With the second forced fumble through four games, Fuller is tied for second in the NFL.  The Rams defense has also forced a turnover in consecutive games. 

Aaron Donald recorded his first career sack against the Colts. There are only two NFL teams that Donald has yet to record a sack against, the Eagles and the Jets. He will have the opportunity to do so when the Rams return to SoFi Stadium to face the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.