That’s the lens that running back Cam Akers has vowed to view the doomed, dire final stanzas of the Rams’ championship defense, one that officially ended in dreary fashion on Monday night in Green Bay.
Few, if any, realistically saw the Rams’ Thursday victory over Las Vegas as the start of a late, if not completely unrealistic, playoff push, but mathematics and the 24-12 defeat at the hands of the Packers have shut down any remaining delusions in the Southern California area.
Akers bestowed a warning to the contenders the Rams face over the final stages of the season: don’t expect Los Angeles to be trodden upon ... and perhaps to be careful about breakfast on game day.
“We can (urinate) in other people’s coffee or cornflakes,” Akers said after the loss to the Packers, per the Los Angeles Daily News. “So if we can, we’re going to do that. We’re gonna play the last three games like it’s the championship.”
Head coach Sean McVay echoed Akers’ approach, though, fortunately, there was no promise of breakfast defilement.
Akers did what he could to beautify Monday’s dirge, particularly from an offensive standpoint: his season-best 100 yards from scrimmage accounted for all but 56 of the Rams’ offensive output, the scoring limited to Matt Gay field goals and a Tyler Higbee touchdown from Baker Mayfield.”
Coach McVay says C Brian Allen + WR Ben Skowronek are out for the rest of season with calf strains. ⤵️— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 20, 2022
Broncos HC Sounds Off on Rams QB Baker Mayfield (FanNation/SI)
“When this game was first scheduled, it looked primed to feature a throwdown between two quarterback titans — Russell Wilson vs. Matthew Stafford. The matchup looks a bit different as the Broncos enter game week.
On the heels of missing Week 15 due to a concussion, Wilson is expected to play, but in Stafford’s place, it’ll be Baker Mayfield calling the signals for the Rams. Stafford suffered a concussion himself, which was followed by a scary spinal-cord contusion, and was placed on injured reserve entering Week 14. That’s when Mayfield arrived.
Knowing who he’ll be facing on Sunday, Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett talked about Mayfield on Monday and shared his thoughts on the job the young veteran signal-caller has done in Tinseltown.
“I’m going to have to watch him a little bit more to get a feel for him,” Hackett said of Mayfield. “He’s been in a lot of places right now. I think three places just this year. I know that’s difficult, so I give him so much credit for what he’s going through. To be able to enter into a team and pick up the system and be able to operate it—I don’t think anybody understands how difficult that is.”
Indeed, Mayfield has called three different NFL cities home in this calendar year. Drafted No. 1 overall in 2018 by the Cleveland Browns, Mayfield eventually washed out there and was neutralized when the team acquired Deshaun Watson via trade.”
“The defending Super Bowl champion Rams’ hopes of repeating this season have officially come to an end. The Rams lost for the 10th time this season Monday night and were eliminated from playoff contention.
Los Angeles becomes the first NFL team to miss the playoffs after winning a championship in the previous season since the 2016 Broncos.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford’s injury-riddled season has fueled speculation the veteran signal-caller might call it quits.
Earlier in December, the 34-year-old QB was placed on injured reserve with a concussion and a neck injury.
He won’t be suiting up again this season, but he’s expected to avoid surgery, his head coach, Sean McVay, said, according to a report from Sports Illustrated.
During his wife Kelly’s “The Morning After” podcast, he shut down any notion that he would not return in 2023 with a simple one-word response.
“No,” Stafford said on Tuesday when asked if he has plans to retire at the end of the season.”
"I think the biggest thing is fighting, having some pride."— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 20, 2022
Hear from QB Baker Mayfield, LB Bobby Wagner + more. ⤵️
“To say that ill health was the only issue to plague the defending Super Bowl Champions in their quest to repeat would be inaccurate. However, it is difficult to deny its impact in the Rams’ 24-12 loss to the Green Bay Packers (6-8) on Monday night at Lambeau Field.
The Rams (4-10) entered this Week 15 contest without the services of incumbent starting quarterback Matthew Stafford (spinal contusion), top wideout Cooper Kupp (ankle), veteran receiver Allen Robinson (foot) and offensive tackle Joe Noteboom (Achilles) all of whom currently reside on injured reserve. Star defensive tackle Aaron Donald missed his third-straight game, as he recovers from a high-ankle sprain.
The Rams also ruled defensive tackle Marquise Copeland (ankle), linebacker Travin Howard (hip) and defensive back David Long Jr. (groin) out for Monday’s game.
In the vein of adding insult to injury (no pun intended), center Brian Allen injured a calf on the first play from scrimmage. With Allen out of the lineup, starter Baker Mayfield was sacked five times — twice by pass-rush specialist Preston Smith, who took full advantage of the weak spots in the Rams’ offensive line.
Simply put, L.A. has learned that its impossible to win the hand without the right cards.
In the process, the Rams have earned the dubious distinction of tying the 1999 Denver Broncos for the most losses in a season (10) from a defending Super Bowl champion. One more, and will hold that title alone.
It’s a very humbling season for sure,” Rams coach Sean McVay said.
“This has been a real struggle in a lot of instances, a lot of adversity that we’ve gone through. But I think what we’ve seen from our guys is that they’re going to continue to battle. They’re going to finish up these last three games the right way, with the right mindset and mentality.”
“Happy Holidays to everyone, except for my brother, who knocked me out of our fantasy football playoffs in what was easily the most painful football-related loss that anyone suffered over the weekend, well, except for the Patriots, who shot themselves in the foot with a bazooka.
Also, the Colts were on the losing end of the biggest blown lead in NFL history and the Cowboys blew a 17-point lead to the Jaguars, so maybe my fantasy loss wasn’t that bad after all. Actually, it’s a good thing I lost, because it allowed me to spend more time with Santa this week and after consulting with him, it appears that every one of you made the nice list this year, so you’re getting my Week 16 picks as a present. Sure, it’s not the best present ever, but it’s better than a getting a dried cauliflower necklace, which is definitely what I’m getting for my brother who just beat me.
I will also be buying some eggnog and tequila so I can make my world famous eggnog and tequila that I’m pretty sure I mention every Christmas. Basically, I took the two things I love to drink the most around the holidays and mixed them together.
Alright, I’m going to stop talking about eggnog and tequila so we can get to the picks.”
We’re down to the final three weeks of the 2022 NFL regular season, and there’s already a growing vibe about how this playoff picture will play out. This weekend ended with six teams holding postseason spots, three of whom nabbed division titles. We gained some clarity regarding the wild-card race, as well, with some inconsistent teams stumbling into precarious positions and more hopeful squads gaining momentum. We even witnessed arguably the greatest coach in NFL history standing watch over one of the dumbest game-ending plays ever attempted in this league.
This is what makes this time of year so fun. Coaches are pulling out all their tricks. Players are fighting through injuries. And the game’s biggest stars are searching for ways to take their efforts up a notch, all with the full understanding of one central tenet: December is the time when you find out what your team is really made of.
Here’s a breakdown of where everything stands now, as well as where this is all heading ...
There are few surprises among the teams that have clinched playoff spots. The Philadelphia Eagles (13-1, currently No. 1 in NFC), Minnesota Vikings (11-3, No. 2 in NFC), San Francisco 49ers (10-4, No. 3 in NFC), Buffalo Bills (11-3, No. 1 in AFC) and Kansas City Chiefs (11-3, No. 2 in AFC) have been impressive all season. The Vikings, 49ers and Chiefs already have claimed their respective division titles. The Bills and Eagles are both one victory away from accomplishing the same feat in the AFC East and NFC East. The Dallas Cowboys (10-4, No. 5 in NFC) would need a full-scale Eagles meltdown to have any chance of topping Philly in their division now, but they’re still going to end up as the best wild-card team in their conference. If they keep that spot, they’d get to face the worst division champion in the playoffs, also known as whomever wins the NFC South.
One of the only major questions still remaining amongst this collection is who’s going to end up with those coveted first-round byes. Philadelphia is in the best position in the NFC, even taking Jalen Hurts’ recent shoulder sprain into account, given its two-game advantage over the next closest competitor, the Vikings. In the AFC, Buffalo certainly needs the bye more than ever after losing star edge rusher Von Miller to a season-ending knee injury. The more games the Bills can play at home, the better their chances are of reaching the Super Bowl. The way the weather turned drastically at the end of Buffalo’s 32-29 win over Miami on Saturday proved that much, as snow flurries rolled in just as Bills quarterback Josh Allen was taking over the game.
The Bills still need to hold off the Chiefs, though Buffalo holds the tiebreaker advantage, thanks to a head-to-head win — and a Week 17 matchup with Cincinnati will be the Bills’ toughest hurdle to winning out.”