Los Angeles Rams have been winning big.
Matthew Stafford’s turnovers are also a concern.
The playoffs are in sight so the two will not continue to coexist. Stafford knows this well. Rams won with a victory of 20-19 at the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
The Rams (12-4) won their fifth consecutive game despite Stafford losing a fumble and throwing two interceptions. After being picked off nine times in the first 11 games of the trade that brought him from Detroit to West Coast, he now has six interceptions.
“I hate going over all of these, to be honest with you. I am tired of doing it,”Stafford spoke Sunday after he reviewed his three errors, which Baltimore transformed into 13 points, including a pick-6 from safety Chuck Clark.
Stafford was able regroup and led the Rams to two touchdown drives in quarter four. Odell Beckham Jr. found Stafford for the winning 7-yard touchdown with 57 seconds remaining. Stafford completed 26 of 35 passes for 309 yards with two touchdowns.
“I love this guy so much,”Sean McVay was the coach. “I feel I can certainly help him in putting him in some better spots, but when we had to have it, and the defense made a stop, he made big throw after big throw in clutch situations. That’s what the great players do.”
Losing at home to the San Francisco 49ers (9-7), the Rams could win the NFC West and secure second seed in the conference.
Stafford’s carelessness with the ball was a a major factor in the initial meeting in Week 10, which San Francisco won 31-10. He had two interceptions during the first quarter. The 49ers took a 14-0 lead. The 49ers won the game 14-0 on Monday night November 11.
McVay believes that Stafford’s response against the Ravens was a sign his quarterback is ready for the postseason.
“Here’s what I would say, the quarterback position gets so much attention, but what we don’t end up talking about is all the great plays he made in the drive that ended up winning the game for us. That says to me how much of a leader he is,”McVay stated.
The Rams’ elite defensive front, which included LB Von Miller, has boosted their pass rush. They had five sacks to Ravens’ 5. Miller had two, Aaron Donald and Leonard Floyd split a takedown of Tyler Huntley, and even big man A’Shawn Robinson got in on the fun. The space-eater weighing in at 330 lbs picked up his sixth career sack during his six-year-long career.
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The linebackers and secondary had to work together to protect Baltimore TE Mark Andrews. Six receptions totalling 89 yards were his. The 49ers will be looking to address those flaws this week with George Kittle, a standout wide receiver. Kittle was able to gain 50 yards and score a touchdown with five grabs against Los Angeles in the first meeting. In eight years, he has played in four games that have been 100 yards.
Tyler Higbee, TE, set season records with six catches and 69 yards. Higbee is a valuable option that keeps the chains moving, as long Cooper Kupps and Beckham remain the focus of the opposing defensive backs.
K Matt Gay failed to make his 56-yard field goal attempt, and the Rams offense was hampered by the turn in field position for the remainder of the quarter. It was his second missed field goal attempt in 33 attempts this season. McVay allowed Gay to try it from 56 yards, a sign of how great the Utah product is.
S Nick Scott suffered a broken thumb during the final play of the game. McVay reported that Scott had surgery Monday, and that he could return to the game this week wearing a cast.
136 — Kupp (1,829) needs 136 yards to pass Calvin Johnson (1,964 in 2012) for most yards receiving in a season. Kupp will also have a chance to set the single-season record for receptions as he enters the final week of the season having 138. Michael Thomas had 149 catch in 2019.
After losing five consecutive series, the Rams will host the 49ers. The intensity of the playoffs is high for San Francisco, which is trying to get a playoff spot.