Rams ruin Gruden's return to Raiders

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[September 11, 2018]  Jared Goff passed for 233 yards and two touchdowns to help the visiting Los Angeles Rams roll to a 33-13 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Monday night in the season opener for both teams.

Todd Gurley rushed for 108 yards and scored a touchdown on a pass reception, and the Rams scored 23 unanswered second-half points to spoil the coaching return of Oakland's Jon Gruden.

Cooper Kupp made the tiebreaking touchdown catch, Greg Zuerlein kicked four field goals, and Marcus Peters clinched the victory with an interception return for a touchdown.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr passed for 303 yards and was intercepted three times. Tight end Jared Cook caught nine passes for 180 yards.

Gruden previously coached the Raiders from 1998-2001 and went 38-26 with two playoff appearances.

The Rams totaled 365 yards against an Oakland defense that played its first game without star defensive end Khalil Mack, who was traded to the Chicago Bears after a contract holdout. The Raiders gained 395 yards.

Cory Littleton (13 tackles) and John Johnson III (nine tackles) also had interceptions for the Rams, who controlled the ball for 20 minutes of the second half.

Los Angeles scored 10 third-quarter points and outgained Oakland 147-17 in the stanza to take a 20-13 lead. Zuerlein booted a tying 28-yard field goal with 9:04 remaining in the third. The Rams later moved ahead when Kupp was able to shed the coverage of Raiders safety Reggie Nelson to corral an 8-yard touchdown pass from Goff on the final play of the period.

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The Los Angeles Rams line up against Oakland Raiders at the line of scrimmage during the first half at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Zuerlein added a 55-yard field goal that snuck just inside the right goalpost to give the Rams a 23-13 lead with 9:19 remaining in the game. Littleton intercepted Carr on Oakland's ensuing series with 7:58 left, and Los Angeles chewed up the clock with a 13-play, 69-yard drive that led to Zuerlein's 20-yard field goal with 3:15 remaining.

Peters then tacked on his 50-yard interception return with 1:59 left to seal it.

The Raiders possessed the ball for 21:31 of the first half and led 13-10 at the break courtesy of Mike Nugent's 48-yard field goal with 10 seconds left. Oakland outgained the Rams 254-98 in the half.

The Raiders struck on the first drive of the second Gruden era when Marshawn Lynch scored on a 10-yard draw play. Lynch was stacked up by multiple Rams at the 3-yard line before bulling his way into the end zone.

The Rams tied the score with 4:53 left in the opening quarter when Gurley came in motion and collected a little forward flip from Goff and raced around right end to score on a 19-yard play. Nugent put Oakland up 10-7 with a 24-yard field goal with 12:31 left in the second quarter, but Zuerlein answered with a 20-yarder with 2:40 to play.

--Field Level Media

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