INDIANAPOLIS—The Los Angeles Rams faced a road challenge in game 4 of the NFL season as Matthew Stafford found Rookie phenom Puka Nacua on the game-winning, a 22-yard touchdown for a 29-23 overtime win over the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday, October 1. It’s hard to celebrate the win considering the Rams nearly squandered a 23-0 lead before allowing the Colts to claw their way back into the contest.
With 1:56 remaining, Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson connected with tight end Andrew Ogletree from 5 yards out to cut the Rams’ lead to 23-21. Richardson then connected with wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. for the game-tying 2-point conversion.
In the first half, the Rams were unstoppable. Moving to (2-2) on the season, Los Angeles outscored Indianapolis 20-0 in the first half and led 23-0 midway through the third quarter, then Indianapolis rallied and scored 23 unanswered points.
Rams Quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 27 of 40 pass attempts for 319 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Wide receiver Puka Nacua finished with nine catches for 163 yards and one touchdown.
With the final catch of the afternoon, Nacua made the biggest play of his young career. In overtime, a 20-yard completion from Stafford to Nacua quickly moved the Rams near midfield. At the end of the drive, Stafford completed a 22-yard pass to Nacua for the game-winner.
“It was sweet,” said Nacua, of his first NFL touchdown. “I already called my mom and all my siblings, just constant screaming. I think I screamed for maybe 10 minutes straight.”
He now has 39 receptions for 501 yards through four weeks of the 2023 season — both records for an NFL player through his first four career games.
It was very encouraging for the Rams to finally find success on the ground. Running Back Kyren Williams finished with 25 carries for 103 yards and two touchdowns for his first 100-yard rushing game of his career, while kicker Brett Maher accounted for the rest of the Rams’ points going 3 for 5 on field goal attempts and making all of his extra point attempts.
Matthew Stafford overcame a hip injury that left him limping at times Sunday to throw a 22-yard touchdown pass. Stafford was 27 of 40 with 319 yards, one touchdown and one interception. But it was his grit that won this game.
He was injured while being driven into the ground in the third quarter. Following an interception on the next play, he wore a heating wrap around his waist and when he returned to the game was limping noticeably. Twice, he slipped with nobody near him.
And yet, Stafford mustered enough to help the Rams avoid an embarrassing collapse. Nacua had nine receptions for 163 yards.
Up next, the Rams begin a three-game homestand against defending NFC champion Philadelphia next Sunday. Kickoff is slated for 1:00 p.m. at Sofi Stadium.