After their miraculous comeback victory over the Las Vegas Raiders, the Los Angeles Rams returned to the field on Monday night looking to build off it against the Green Bay Packers.
Temperatures were not ideal for an L.A. team as it was just 13 degrees at kickoff, which marked the coldest Monday Night Football Game since 2013.
As has been the case all season, the Rams were severely shorthanded in this one with Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Allen Robinson, Aaron Donald and others all sitting out. Center Brian Allen also went down on the second play of the game, which made things even more difficult for Baker Mayfield, who is still learning the Rams’ offense.
There was no late-game magic for Mayfield and the Rams this time as he completed just 11 of 22 passes for 111 yards and a touchdown. The Rams had a chance down two scores in the fourth quarter but Mayfield’s arm was hit and he threw an interception, putting comeback hopes to bed.
There wasn’t much Mayfield could do considering there were defenders in his face all night. The Rams makeshift offensive line struggled once again, allowing Mayfield to be sacked five times.
Here were a couple of other takeaways from the Monday Night Game that dropped the Rams to 4-10 and officially eliminated them from playoff contention, which no one could have expected coming off a Super Bowl-winning season:
Akers has best game of season
This has been a very weird season for Rams running back Cam Akers. After recovering from a torn Achilles and returning in the postseason last year, many had high expectations for Akers in 2022.
He mysteriously wasn’t on the field when the team started off their season against the Buffalo Bills in Week 1 though, and that was foreshadowing of things to come as Akers fell into Sean McVay‘s doghouse with Darrell Henderson being the starter.
Due to disagreements between Akers and the coaching staff, he was away from the team for a few weeks in the middle of the season as the Rams looked to trade him. They were unsuccessful in doing that though and he eventually rejoined the team, taking over as the starter once again in recent weeks after L.A. waived Henderson.
While it has not been a strong season for the 23-year-old, he had his best game against the Packers with 12 carries for 65 yards and three receptions for 35 yards, basically being the Rams’ only source of offense.
The Rams have a lot to sort out going into 2023 with the running back position being one of them. If Akers can continue playing at this level to finish out the year then perhaps he will be looked at as the team’s starter going into next season. Considering the Rams have a lot of other needs to address this offseason, that would be a very positive development as they were once very high on Akers when they drafted him in the second round out of Florida State.
Rams haven’t been able to take advantage of turnovers all season
One of the only other positives from the loss to the Packers was the Rams defense’s ability to get pressure on Aaron Rodgers and create turnovers.
L.A. had three sacks on the night, two by Leonard Floyd, in addition to an interception and a fumble. Jalen Ramsey made an exceptional play on the fumble, holding Aaron Jones up and taking the ball from him all in one motion.
The only problem though was that the Rams offense could not do anything with those turnovers, which has been a theme this season.
The Rams only have 16 points off turnovers with only one touchdown scored this season, which is tied for the worst mark in the league. For a team that doesn’t create a lot of turnovers to begin with, you’re not going to win if you can’t do anything with the few you do get.
Regardless though, this continues to be a lost season for the Rams at 4-10. They actually may have a chance to pick up another win this week though when they host the Denver Broncos, one of the other most disappointing teams in the league, on Christmas Day.