The Los Angeles Rams were unable to build on their Christmas Day victory over the Denver Broncos as they fell 31-10 to the Los Angeles Chargers in the battle for L.A.
Veteran running back Malcolm Brown accounted for the Rams’ only touchdown of the game on a 23-yard rushing score in the second quarter. However, it was Cam Akers who had the best statistical performance against the Chargers despite not getting into the end zone.
Akers rushed for 123 yards on 19 carries and caught one pass for an additional 10 yards on the day. It was the 23-year-old’s second consecutive game with 100 rushing yards and third with at least 100 yards from scrimmage.
“I just think it’s the way he’s creating when there isn’t anything there. The explosiveness. I think you’re seeing a complete back,” Rams head coach Sean McVay said of Akers after the game.
“He’s making plays in the pass game. There’ll be some things we can continue to clean up because of the standards that we have for him, whether that be playing without the ball, but I think Cam deserves a ton of credit for the way he’s hitting his stride right now the way he’s playing and hopefully we finish off the regular season the right way and he can use this to be able to build some momentum into the offseason because I’ve been really pleased with Cam.”
As McVay notes, Akers has enjoyed quite the turnaround since the beginning of the season. He opened the year as the Rams’ backup running back and then was a healthy scratch in Weeks 5-8.
After nearly being traded or released, Akers returned to the team in Week 9 and has looked like a different player ever since. The third-year player out of Florida State has rushed for 445 yards and scored six touchdowns over his last six starts.
For the season, Akers has accumulated 682 rushing yards (4.1 yards per carry) and a career-high seven touchdowns in 14 games (eight starts).
Sean McVay sees Cam Akers in Rams’ long-term plans
While it once looked like the Rams would be parting ways with Akers, McVay now sees the former second-round pick as a big part of the team’s long-term plans.
Akers is still just 23 years old and is only 18 months removed from surgery to repair his torn Achilles, so it looks like he is finally healthy which is big for the Rams moving forward into the 2023 season and beyond.