Jared Goff hit Cooper Kupp in stride with a 70-yard touchdown pass that was just as gloriously wide-open as Rams coach Sean McVay had predicted when they drew it up this week.
While his teammates celebrated, Goff ran to the sideline and pointed at McVay, who accepted the challenge with a celebratory chest bump.
Although the big quarterback knocked the headset off his smaller coach's head, both men were left smiling. With that throw and several more of similar brilliance, Goff turned a phenomenal first half into the biggest game of his career.
And it was still just barely enough to beat Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings.
Goff passed for career highs of 465 yards and five touchdowns, winning a scintillating duel with his Minnesota counterpart and leading unbeaten Los Angeles to a 38-31 victory Thursday night.
Goff hit Kupp with two of his four TD throws during a 251-yard first half in which the third-year quarterback flawlessly executed the offense created by McVay. Goff finished 26 of 33 with a perfect 158.3 passer rating for the Rams (4-0), who won their third home game in 12 days.
But McVay then had to watch apprehensively while his former prize pupil nearly executed a comeback for the Vikings (1-2-1). McVay was Cousins' offensive coordinator in Washington before he became Goff's head coach on the West Coast last season.
Cousins passed for 422 yards and three touchdowns, but the Vikings lost when Los Angeles rookie defensive lineman John Franklin-Myers strip-sacked Cousins near midfield with 1:18 to play.
Todd Gurley finished with 83 yards rushing and 73 yards receiving for the Rams. Gurley and Brandin Cooks had first-half TD catches, but the Vikings trimmed LA's lead to 31-28 late in the third quarter with Adam Thielen's 45-yard TD catch and a 2-point conversion.
Goff promptly surpassed his previous career highs for yards passing during a swift drive ending in Robert Woods' 31-yard TD catch, and the Rams' defense hung on while the offense went scoreless in the fourth quarter.
One week after giving up 27 points in the first half and getting blown out as 16 1/2-point favorites in Buffalo, the Vikings gave up 28 before halftime against LA.
A healthy throng of purple-clad fans turned out for the Vikings' first game in Los Angeles since 1993. They saw a show from Cousins, who hit Aldrick Robinson for two first-half scores.
Goff found Kupp with two beautiful TD throws in the first half, the first hitting Kupp in stride on that 70-yard sprint , and the second eluding two Vikings and dropping into Kupp's hands deep in the end zone.
Less than 2 1/2 minutes later, Goff hit Cooks down the middle for a 47-yard score. Goff's four TD passes were the most in a first half by a Rams quarterback since Kurt Warner did it in 1999.