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Rams Stock Up, Stock Down: Cam Akers paces rushing attack in loss to Saints

5 up and 5 down after LA loses their fourth consecutive game

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams fell in their Week 11 matchup to the New Orleans Saints by a score of 27-20. The loss was the fourth consecutive for the Rams and their sixth in seven games. As has been the case with every Rams loss, this one contained notable injury headlines. Matthew Stafford exited in the third quarter and did not return.

The Rams saw their record tumble to 3-7 with more inconsistency on offense and defense. Here are five players that elevated their stock and five players that saw their stock drop in Week 11.

Stock Up

1. Cam Akers, RB

In a surprise move, Sean McVay fed his 2020 second round pick the majority of touches in the run game. Behind an offensive line with eight injuries (five season-ending injuries), Akers was still able to carry the rock for 61 yards on 14 rushing attempts. There was a greater emphasis on the run game from McVay, and despite only playing 39% of the snaps, perhaps McVay and him are reconciling their differences?

2. Greg Gaines, DL

Greg Gaines has been battling a shoulder and elbow injury all season. He was inactive in Week 10 against the Arizona Cardinals, but he bounced back with an impressive game at New Orleans. Gaines recorded two sacks and showed his burst for the Rams interior.

3. Leonard Floyd

Floyd added two sacks of his own, one of which was a 2nd & goal opportunity for the Saints. After a slow start, Floyd has five sacks in his last four games. Maybe Raheem Morris is realizing that he needs to blitz his $20 million edge rusher instead of using him in the flats and containment.

4. Tutu Atwell, WR

The Tutu Atwell critics won’t be completely erased, but when you don’t dress for multiple weeks and then score the Rams first touchdown, one begins to question what the real problem is. When Atwell has played, he has provided positive signs for an involvement with the offense. His first catch versus Dallas, a jet sweep in the run game versus Carolina, and this touchdown…

5. Matt Gay, K

Not a lot has gone right in 2022, but Matt Gay has been pretty automatic. Even though the Rams lost 27-20, Gay connected on a 58-yard field goal with five seconds remaining, giving the Rams a prayer’s chance at a tie.

Stock Down

1. Jalen Ramsey, CB

Jalen Ramsey followed up Week 10’s dud against Arizona with an equally unimpressive performance. Ramsey was beat deep by Chris Olave for what ended up being the game winning score.

2. Bryce Perkins, QB

For the group that wanted to see more of Bryce Perkins instead of John Wolford last week. Well, what you see is what you get with Perkins. After Stafford exited in the early third quarter, Perkins subbed in at quarterback and went 5-for-10 passing, 64 yards, zero touchdowns and zero interceptions.

Bryce Perkins best asset is his legs, and he stood no chance moving the ball downfield with his arm for a Rams comeback. To be fair, if fans are going to hold backup quarterback John Wolford’s feet to the fire, Perkins needs to be held to the same standard. He grossly overthrew Ben Skowronek on a 15+ yard route downfield.

3. Ben Skowronek, WR

With Cooper Kupp on IR, a committee wide receiver approach was the game plan for Eric Yarber’s unit. Skowronek proved to be the least productive of the group, catching one pass (four targets) for four yards.

4. Raheem Morris, DC

The Rams magic number for the defense to win a game is “20”. Raheem Morris managed to allow Andy Dalton to shred his defense to the tune of 260 yards on 21/25 passing with three touchdowns and no interceptions. The Saints marched downfield all afternoon, scoring 27 points. Ironically, the Rams offense scored 20 points. For all of the offensive woes and injuries, this game falls on Morris.

5. Darrell Henderson, RB

Heading into Week 10, Sean McVay said Darrell Henderson was likely to receive more touches after a solid showing against the Buccaneers. Against Arizona and New Orleans, Henderson combined for nine touches (eight rushes and one reception). Kyren Williams 55% snap share has reduced Henderson to only 7% of the offensive snaps. With the four-year pro set to hit free agency, it makes sense for the Rams to develop players that will be on the roster in 2023 and beyond.