By Ron Johnson
Rams Recap: Rams 36 – Browns 19
The Rams were called out by everyone when they got trounced by the Niners earlier this year, and they had to show up when it counted. On Sunday they did just that as they welcomed Joe Flacco back to the NFL in epic fashion. The result for them was a 36-19 win over the red-hot Cleveland Browns as their struggles at the quarterback position continued to show for them.
Matthew Stafford was virtually flawless as he completed 22 passes for 279 yards and three touchdowns. The bonus for the Rams? Stafford threw zero interceptions in this game, AND he found two of his primetime receivers in Cooper Kupp, returning from injury, and rookie sensation Puka Nacua, who now has the most receiving yards by a Rams Rookie.
Kyren Williams did his part on the ground as he carried 21 times for 88 yards and a touchdown, but the aerial assault was in full gear as Nacua showed out for four catches with 105 yards and a touchdown. Kupp contributed 39 yards on six catches and a touchdown as the Rams offense was beyond clicking on all cylinders, and Demarcus Robinson added to it with 55 yards on four catches and a touchdown.
On the defensive side, AD made his return to the stat sheet as he broke free for five tackles (two solo) and snagged half a sack, while Kobie Turner got five tackles and a sack and a half for the defense. But the story was the late game interception by John Johnson III who returned it 42 yards to set up a touchdown for the Rams in the late stages of the fourth quarter.
The Rams now find themselves at 6-6 and in the playoff conversation. Another bonus is that they own the tiebreaker over Seattle, so if they finish with the same record with a shot at the postseason, the Rams would clinch.
As for Cleveland, their ground game never really got off the ground as Kareem Hunt and Jerome Ford could not find the end zone through the running game. Harrison Bryant and Ford managed to snag two of Flacco’s passes for touchdowns, but the late interception may have been the dagger for the Browns. Another dagger for the Browns would have to be Myles Garrett and the defense not being able to drop Stafford for a sack the entire game.
IF this is the turnaround the Rams were looking for, this is the perfect time to get it done as they prepare for a trip to Baltimore to face Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, while the Browns will head back home for a chance to turn it around against the always-dangerous Jaguars.