Week 4 of the 2018 NFL Season kicked off Thursday night (September 27) with the L.A. Rams defeating the Minnesota Vikings, 38-31, in a shootout in Los Angeles. Jared Goff completed 78.7 percent of his passes for 465 yards and five touchdowns, while Kirk Cousins completed 72 percent of his passes for 422 yards and three touchdowns. Neither quarterback threw an interception. Cooper Kupp led all receivers with nine catches for 162 yards and two touchdowns. Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs combined for 19 catches, 258 yards, and one touchdown, while Todd Gurley totaled 156 yards from scrimmage.

The Rams moved to 4-0 on the season, while the Vikings are now a disappointing 1-2-1. The Rams scored touchdowns on four of their first five possessions, and while the Rams defense surrendered points on the Vikings first three possessions, the defense settled down in the fourth quarter to close out the game. Here is a preview of Week 4 NFL games.

Vikings score on the opening drive

Minnesota scored on their opening drive and jumped out a 7-0 lead on a 13-play, 75-yard drive with Kirk Cousins finding receiver Aldrick Robinson for a 16-yard touchdown. Cousins twice found receiver Adam Thielen for key third-down conversions, and more importantly, the drive consumed half of the first quarter, keeping the Rams' high powered offense off the field.

The Rams immediately responded with a 12-play, 75-yard scoring drive of their own, culminated by Rams quarterback Jared Goff finding all-world running back Todd Gurley for an eight-yard touchdown. It evened the score at 7-7 with 1:55 remaining in the first quarter.

Rams show off big-play capability

After Minnesota kicked a field goal, taking a 10-7 lead, Jared Goff found second-year receiver Cooper Kupp for a 70-yard touchdown.

It gave them a 14-10 lead with 9:28 remaining until halftime. Minnesota immediately answered with big plays of their own. Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs took a short pass in the flat for 33 yards, tight end Kyle Rudolph was wide open for a 24 yard gain, and Cousins once again found receiver Aldrick Robinson for a 17-yard touchdown.

It gave the Vikings a 17-14 lead.

The Rams engineered a four-play, 71-yard drive, including a 36-yard completion to receiver Robert Woods before Goff again found Cooper Kupp. The 19-yard touchdown gave the Rams a 21-17 lead with 3:47 remaining in the half. The Rams would score a 47-yard touchdown with Goff finding receiver Brandin Cooks. The Vikings would add a 39-yard Dan Bailey field goal, his second of the night, and trailed 28-20 at halftime. Here is the full Rams schedule analyzed.

Second half starts with a trick play

The Rams opened the second half with a seven-play, 39-yard drive, stalling at the Minnesota 36-yard line. Lining up in a punt formation, Rams punter Johnny Hekker instead threw a pass deep down the right sideline toward a streaking Josh Reynolds, but the pass fell harmlessly incomplete in the end zone.

The Vikings would strike for a big play of their own, when Kirk Cousins found Adam Thielen for a 45-yard touchdown, completing a five-play, 75-yard drive. The two-point conversion was good, as Cousins found Latavius Murray, cutting the Rams lead to 31-28 with 3:35 remaining in the third quarter. The Rams would answer right back, covering 75 yards in five plays, with Goff finding receiver Robert Woods for 31 yards and his fifth touchdown pass of the night. It led to a 38-28 lead with 1:09 remaining in the third quarter.

Rams defense settles in the fourth quarter

After sacking opposing quarterback Kirk Cousins for the first time and forcing a punt, the Rams offense took over, looking for a sustained drive to burn some clock.

The Rams put together a nine-play, 76-yard drive, consuming nearly six minutes of clock, but kicker Sam Ficken missed the field goal to keep the score 38-28. Kirk Cousins responded by leading the Vikings on an eight-play, 58-yard drive, with kicker Dan Bailey nailing a 40-yard field goal, cutting the Rams' lead to seven at 38-31 with 3:46 remaining in the game.

Minnesota's defense did their job, forcing a Rams punt, and received the ball back with 2:20 remaining and two timeouts. Kirk Cousins was promptly sacked by Aaron Donald, forcing second-and-long. After finding receiver Laquon Treadwell for a nine-yard gain, setting up third-and-nine, Cousins again found Treadwell for an 11-yard gain and a crucial first down. On the next play, Kirk Cousins fumbled, with the Rams recovering for the night's only turnover. The Rams ran out the clock and secured the 4-0 start to the season for the first time since 2001.