The LA Rams came into their wild card matchup against the Seattle Seahawks with their starting quarterback less than two weeks removed from having three pins surgically placed inside his thumb after his hand collided with a defender’s helmet in Week 16.
LA walked away from the same game with a 30-20 victory, despite Jared Goff being pretty far away from 100 percent.
It was a combination of the Ram’s top-ranked defense and rookie running back Cam Akers that helped spur the team to this unlikely win in an entertaining postseason contest against a divisional rival.
With that being said, here are your winners and losers from the wild card round.
CB Darious Williams
Williams was one of the team’s most-surprising standouts on defense during the regular season as he led the entire unit with four interceptions while adding 14 pass breakups. In Saturday’s win over the Seahawks, he recorded his fifth interception on the year which he returned 47 yards for the game’s first touchdown. Williams finished with four total tackles — tied for second on the team with defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson — and a lone pass breakup.
RB Cam Akers
After Akers was a non-factor against the Cardinals in the regular season finale (1.6 YPC), he showed up and showed out in a big way tallying 176 total yards of offense, including 131 and a touchdown on the ground.
In a game where Seattle knew the Rams needed to run the ball to win, they had no answers for the second-round rookie out of Florida State. Akers ran tough between the tackles all night, churning out small bits of crucial yardage. He displayed excellent footwork and vision to avoid penetration at the line of scrimmage as he continuously made something out of nothing.
Having a strong run game this late in the season is a huge plus when you’re playing a bunch of teams who are already run down from a 16-game season. Akers could prove pivotal for the Rams in this final stretch.
TE Tyler Higbee
Higbee was an afterthought for the offense on Saturday as he finished with just one reception on three targets. It was only the second time this entire season that Higbee failed to record multiple receptions in a game, and the first time since Week 10 against the 49ers.
Overall, Higbee started extremely strong in 2020 when he caught a trio of scores in Week 2 against he Eagles before only snagging two more the rest of the way. He also never broke 70 yards in a single game which is something he did five times in 2019.
RB Darrell Henderson
Henderson saw zero snaps against the Seahawks, which is never good for a young player who was once leading his position group at one point earlier this season. Behind Akers’ 30 total touches, veteran Malcolm Brown had 10, including nine carries for 30 yards.
Henderson was the Rams second-round pick back in the 2019 draft out of Memphis. At the time, it was well known that he was a favorite of Sean McVay’s in that year’s class. However, the recent breakout of Akers spells disaster for Henderson as he’s likely set to be second fiddle in the Rams backfield going into the 2021 season.