There haven’t been many positives this season for the Los Angeles Rams, but on Christmas Day, everything came together for what was far and away their most complete game of the season.
The Rams defense totaled four interceptions, including three from Denver Broncos starter Russell Wilson as they humiliated the Broncos 51-14. The victory is the Rams’ second in the last three games since Baker Mayfield took over as starting quarterback and his defense made life easy for him on this day.
After the Rams got a field goal on the opening drive of the game, rookie cornerback Cobie Durant would pick off Wilson, leading to the first of Mayfield’s two touchdown passes to tight end Tyler Higbee. Just two plays later, linebacker Bobby Wagner would pick off his former teammate, leading to a Cam Akers touchdown run and a 17-0 Rams lead just over 10 minutes into the game.
The Rams would never look back from there as the defense shut down the Broncos offense while the Mayfield-led offense could not be contained. Mayfield was extremely efficient, completing 24-of-28 passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns, both to Higbee. The Rams’ tight end was the top receiver on this day as well, finishing with nine catches for 94 yards and the two touchdowns, taking over sole possession of the franchise touchdown record for tight ends.
But the offense’s success came in large part to Cam Akers dominating on the ground as well. Akers had far and away his best game of the season, eclipsing the 100-yard mark for the first time this year with 118 yards to go along with three touchdowns. This allowed the Rams to control the ball for more than 36 minutes.
The Rams did not punt one single time in this game with the final drive of the game where they kneeled down to run out the final seconds being the only time they failed to score. And despite leading 31-6 at the half, they did not let off the gas at all as they picked off Wilson for the third time on the first drive of the second half, this time with Jalen Ramsey doing the honors in the end zone.
And with things already settled and backup Brett Rypien in for the Broncos, it was Durant again stepping in for the Rams’ fourth interception, this time returning it 85 yards for the final points of the game, and truly putting a cap on an impressive performance.
Next up for the Rams
The Rams will kick off 2023 with the Battle of Los Angeles as they take on the Chargers in a “road” game before ending the season against the rival Seattle Seahawks the following week. The Week 17 game was originally going to be on Sunday Night Football but has since been flexed out into the afternoon.