The Rams were expected to win because, well, Tolzien, but Los Angeles was only favored by 3.5 points. That means Los Angeles, by virtue of a 37-point win, covered by a whopping 33.5 points. For some perspective, the only other team to cover by four touchdowns on Sunday was Jacksonville, in game 3 of the Doug Marrone era. Covering by 33.5 points is a ton: the Rams never did it during the Greatest Show On Turf days although the team did do it three times during the Jeff Fisher era, including… the last time the Rams played the Colts. That game, you may recall, was the, um, Tavon Austin breakout game.
Anyway, covering by 33.5 points is pretty rare, but it’s really rare when it comes in a head coach’s first game with the team. In fact, it’s the largest cover by a head coach in his first game since 1990. And among all coaches in their first games with a new team (i.e., including coaches in their first stop at a new gig), it’s the third largest cover since 1990. Take a look at how each coach from 1990 to 2016 did in week 1 with a new team:
In 1997, Bill Parcells had the ultimate debut. After taking over the 1-15 Jets, he took the Jets to Seattle as 6.5 point underdogs and orchestrated a 41-3 blowout of the Seahawks. It may not have been Parcellsian, but then again: Parcells didn’t cover by a number larger than his age.
Update: If you go back to 1978, the only coach to cover by more than 33.5 points in his very first game is Bud Carson, the longtime Steelers, Rams, and Jets DC, in his first game as head coach of the Browns. That came in a 51-0 win over Pittsburgh, with the Browns being 2-point favorites.