The Los Angeles Rams found their way back into the win column after a 37 to 7 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Despite a poor performance from the special teams once again, some unnecessary penalties on the defensive side of the ball, and more dropped passes by Rams pass catchers, LA found away to overcome their setbacks in the second half. Matthew Stafford avoided the big mistake and was turnover free for the first time in three games while Sony Michel stepped in nicely for an injured Darrell Henderson and finished the game well over the 100 yard mark.
LA looked like themselves in the second half of the game against the Jaguars with an absolute dominating performance. Here is how it all went down in Week 13.
After many weeks of concerning play from the Rams special teams, practice squad player Brandon Powell may have presented the answer to LA’s returning woes. Powell took the opening kickoff 65 yards to give the Rams offense their first possession in Jaguar’s territory. After three rushes and a catch by Sony Michel, Los Angeles settled for a field goal after Ben Skowronek failed to bring in a catch on third down that would have kept the drive alive.
Welcome to the #RamsHouse, Brandon Powell!— NFL (@NFL) December 5, 2021
: #JAXvsLAR on FOX
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Though the Rams offense started slow, their defense came to play. Aaron Donald absolutely crushed James Robinson in the backfield and stripped the ball from his grasp before making the tackle. Jalen Ramsey recovered to set up the offense in good field position for the second time early in the game. Four plays later and an Odell Beckham Jr. 27 yard reception, Michel finished the drive with a run down the middle for a five yard touchdown.
On the board first @Flyguy2stackz finds the end zone!— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 5, 2021
Following the quick touchdown by Los Angeles, the Jaguars could not get anything going on offense. A three-and-out lead to a Logan Cooke punt that went 68 yards and was downed at the one yard line. The yardage proved to be too much for Matthew Stafford and company to overcome, and after a single first down Johnny Hekker’s name was called for the first time of the game.
After nearly an entire quarter of play Jacksonville got its first first down of the game when Trevor Lawrence found receiver Laquon Treadwell for a 28 yard gain that kept the drive alive. He then followed it up later in the series with an impressive strike on fourth-and-2 to Marvin Jones to get the offense its second first down of the match.
Score: Rams 10, Jaguars 0
The Jaguars third series of the game would lead to its first points. Thanks to a heavy influence of LA penalties, including a taunting call on Ramsey and a holding call on Darious Williams, Carlos Hyde found the end zone on a one yard carry.
Big fellas come in for the goal line package and Hyde powers his way in.#JAXvsLAR | #DUUUVAL pic.twitter.com/T1biUJ1QRc— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) December 5, 2021
Issues with third down conversions in recent weeks would continue to persist against the Jaguars. It would take a fourth down QB sneak by Stafford to keep the offense alive, but they could not capitalize when a third-and-1 attempt went for a negative two yard rush. Matt Gay’s 44 yard attempt was good, but his ensuing kickoff went out-of-bound and resulted in a penalty on special teams that set the Jaguars at the 40 yard line. A three-and-out by Jacksonville, caused by an Ernest Jones sack on third down, would make Gay’s mistake forgettable.
The Rams final drive of the half would be a scary one for LA fans. With the offense driving down the field successfully, Stafford took a brutal hit to the chest that left him on the ground in obvious pain. John Wolford would be called to action, but for all those that were holding their breaths for Stafford, Wolford’s presence on the field would be short lived. Stafford came back after just a single play and connected with Van Jefferson for a 19 yard gain. LA’s pass catchers could not help their quarterback out, as a deep shot to Beckham fell incomplete when the receiver took his eyes off a end zone attempt, and a third down throw was dropped by Jefferson. The offense settled for a field goal and Gay hit his third attempt successfully.
Score: Rams 16, Jaguars 7
Los Angeles got its first big play of the second half on a deep shot to Cooper Kupp that ended in a 43 yard reception. Stafford followed it up with yet another strike to Kupp, who this time took it to the house for a 29 yard touchdown.
Cooper Kupp is unfair in fantasy pic.twitter.com/zmXw04DJIv— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) December 5, 2021
With the Rams offense looking like themselves after the Kupp touchdown, the defense responded in a big way. Despite allowing two first downs and gains of 16 and 13 yards, Ramsey broke up a fourth-and-1 pass attempt that turned the ball over-on-downs.
The Cooper Kupp show continued with a 19 yard reception that was followed up by a 22 yard catch from tight end Tyler Higbee. At the one yard line, Michel could not make his way for the score, but on third-and-goal at the two yard line Stafford found Jefferson for the touchdown.
The toe-tap— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 5, 2021
TOUCHDOWN, @VanJefferson12 | @nflonfox pic.twitter.com/dSSeKfC2PW
Los Angeles may not have had an interception after nearly three quarters of play, but they would get their second fumble recovery of the game after Hyde lost the ball on a second-and-1 rushing attempt.
Score: Rams 30, Jaguars 7
The offense would once again award its defense for forcing the turnover. Los Angeles orchestrated a 10-play, 41 yard drive that ended in a one yard touchdown pass to Beckham, who high-pointed the ball impressively over his defender.
.@obj with the dagger!— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 5, 2021
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After allowing a second quarter touchdown, the Rams defense played stellar the rest of the way through. Donald had an impressive one-handed sack that was called back due to a holding penalty against Taylor Rapp, but that would only lead to another sack that sandwiched Lawrence between Leonard Floyd and Donald.
With LA comfortably in the lead, Stafford took his seat on the bench to watch Wolford take over. Michel opened the drive with a 25 yard rush that put him well over the 100 yard mark—the first running back this season to go over 100 yards rushing this season for the rams.
Final Score: Rams 37, Jaguars 7