By Ron Johnson
The assignment was simple for the Los Angeles Rams. If they win, and somehow, Seattle loses, they clinch a playoff spot. On Sunday, despite Tyrod Taylor’s best efforts, the Rams understood the assignment.
And for that, they move one step closer to clinching a spot in the NFC side of the playoffs.
Matthew Stafford threw for 317 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions, while Kyren Williams had a holiday of his own with 87 yards and three touchdowns as the Rams survived a late rally by the Giants to win their third straight 26-25 to move to 9-7 and closer to a playoff berth.
With a loss by Seattle or a tie by Green Bay and Minnesota, Los Angeles could find themselves back in the postseason for the second time in three years. The turnaround for the Rams is impressive and phenomenal since these are the same Rams that got called out last year for finishing at 5-12 and not able to defend their Super Bowl title.
Former Ram Mason Crosby had a chance to give the Giants the win late in the game, but his 54-yard field goal came up just short, allowing the Rams to take a knee and run out the clock.
Rookie sensation Puka Nacua finished with 118 yards on five catches and needs just four more to break the NFL single-season record for rookies that was set by the Dolphins’ Jaylen Waddle in 2021. Nacua also needs just 29 yards to pass Rams legend Bill Groman for most receiving yards in a single season by a rookie in Rams history.
Kobie Turner lit it up for the defense as he contributed two and a half sacks to go with Aaron Donald’s two, Byron Young’s one and Michael Hoecht’s half. Jordan Fuller managed to snag an interception from Taylor, who was starting in relief of Tommy DeVito. Ernest Jones was the star of the defense in this game. Despite not having any sacks, he led the team with 13 total tackles with seven of those solo.
Again, depending on the outcome of the afternoon game between the Steelers and Seahawks, the Rams could either be sitting their starters next week or playing for one of the final two playoff spots. They finish the season regardless in the Bay Area against the Niners who locked up the top seed with a win today against Washington coupled with a shocking loss by the Eagles to the Cardinals.
Either way, this team has earned Comeback Team of the Year based solely on their true grit.