After a dominant performance against the Denver Broncos on Christmas Day, the Los Angeles Rams suffered a 31-10 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers in a matchup of SoFi Stadium co-tenants.
The Rams dropped to 5-11 on the season, which is the most losses in NFL history by a team that won the Super Bowl the previous season.
It was a slow start for the Rams and Chargers as both teams punted on their first offensive possessions of the game. The Rams ultimately got on the board first when Matt Gay kicked a 23-yard field goal with 1:13 remaining in the opening quarter.
The Chargers immediately responded on their next drive as a couple of big catches from Mike Williams helped set up a 10-yard rushing touchdown by Austin Ekeler.
Ekeler had a monster game as he rushed for 122 yards and two touchdowns on only 10 carries, and caught all four of his targets for 39 additional yards through the air.
Ekeler was the first opposing running back to accumulate 100 rushing yards against the Rams this season. L.A. was one of only four teams that hadn’t allowed a 100-yard rusher entering Week 17.
The Rams answered back before the half with Malcolm Brown rushing for a 23-yard touchdown that trimmed the Chargers’ lead to 14-10. However, the Chargers got three of those points back when Cameron Dicker kicked a 40-yard field goal with 18 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
While Brown accounted for the Rams’ only touchdown, it was Cam Akers that had the statistical performance against the Chargers. He rushed for 123 yards on 19 carries and caught one pass for an additional 10 yards.
After a competitive first half, it was all Chargers in the final 30 minutes of the game. They expanded their lead to 24-10 in the third quarter when former Rams tight end Gerald Everett caught a six-yard touchdown pass from Justin Herbert.
The Chargers put the game away in the fourth quarter when Donald Parham caught a three-yard touchdown reception from Herbert. Herbert completed 21 of his 28 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns.
Baker Mayfield, who has looked rejuvenated since joining the Rams, completed just 11 of his 19 passes for 132 yards and no touchdowns.
Next up for the Rams
The Rams will close out the regular season with a Week 18 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field.
L.A. will have a chance to play spoiler as their NFC West rival is still in the race for the final playoff spot in the NFC. In order to advance to the postseason, the Seahawks need to defeat the Rams and the Detroit Lions to take care of business against the Green Bay Packers.