Rams’ Sean McVay ‘Just Met’ DT Larrell Murchison After Win vs. Broncos (ramsdigest/si)
“Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Larrell Murchison gave coach Sean McVay a pleasant Christmas gift with two sacks in Sunday’s dominant 51-14 win over the Denver Broncos.
The catch? The two hadn’t met.
“Just met him 15 minutes ago,” McVay said at the postgame podium.
Murchison, 25, was claimed off waivers by the Rams on Dec. 12 after two and a half seasons with the Tennessee Titans, where he played in 26 games and made five starts.
The former North Carolina State star had been with the organization for nearly two weeks - but was yet to have a conversation with his coach. He was inactive during his first game with Los Angeles, a 24-12 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football.
But he made his presence known against Denver, logging four tackles and the first two sacks of his career on just 16 snaps before leaving due to injury.”
What was your favorite moment from our Christmas win?! pic.twitter.com/fD9CZNIj12— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 27, 2022
Does Sunday’s Game Say More About Rams or Broncos? (ramsdigest/si)
“A loss to the defending champions narrated by Patrick Star was enough for the Broncos to officially close the door on the brief yet comedic Nathaniel Hackett era, the 51-14 shellacking serving as the last straw in a season that frankly featured several of them for the Rocky Mountain boss now relieved of his duties.
Bullying the Broncos allowed for a Southern California Christmas furlough of sorts, a reprieve from the brutality of the Rams’ woebegone campaign. The game had little bearing on either the forming NFL playoff bracket or even the draft board, as both teams sacrificed their primary draft picks toward a supposed greater good.
Of course, with only 17 opportunities for each team on a yearly basis, no game in the NFL ever feels truly meaningless, even Sunday’s dirge that brought about a perfect storm of losing in both the on-field and transactional senses. To that end, one has to wonder in the aftermath ... did the Rams’ dominance say more about the hosts or their beleaguered Colorado visitors?
At first glance, it’s easy to say the former: even armed with the positive momentum of playing playoff-bound Kansas City closer than anticipated and a win over the equally hopeless Arizona Cardinals, a Yuletide blowout felt like an accident waiting to happen in Denver.
A comedy screenwriter who accurately foresaw the disasters to come on the visitors’ sideline ... complete with friendly fire between the offensive line and the backup quarterback ... probably would’ve been forced into revisions due to lack of subtlety.”
The Hackett trope of poor clock management certainly didn’t come into play on Sunday but the regression of Russell Wilson certainly did. One can easily say that the Rams (5-10) simply took advantage of a downtrodden opponent the same way a pedestrian scoops up an abandoned $100 bill.
But it’s perfectly acceptable to believe in even the tiniest bit of Christmas magic on the Rams’ side: for one thing, beating up on a somewhat formidable (if not egregiously tired) Denver defense is a much-welcome step in the right direction from an offensive perspective.
Cam Akers finally allowed the rushing attack to break the century mark and Baker Mayfield provided another hint that he could be the quarterback of the future. Sunday fulfilled Akers’ prophecy that the Rams, unburdened by the always-ludicrous notion of tanking, would treat their final three games as if they were championship opportunities.
Los Angeles has a decision to make as to how it’s going to play its quarterback hand, especially with so much sent away for the injured Matthew Stafford. But if they’re going to have any hope for an immediate turnaround, they need to have some form of reliable insurance ... i.e. contingency plans behind Bryce Hopkins and John Wolford ... behind him. Time will tell if Mayfield seeks pastures more promising of starting opportunities, but it was hard to deny that chemistry he was building on Sunday.”
Instant holiday classic. pic.twitter.com/0sjNObN4nm— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 27, 2022
Would Andrew Whitworth consider unretiring to join Bengals? ‘I’ll never say never’ (nfl.com)
“Throughout a tumultuous follow-up campaign to their Super Bowl-winning season, the Los Angeles Rams have had a revolving lineup along their offensive line.
Yet, the Rams’ former Pro Bowl left tackle, Andrew Whitworth, has remained firmly entrenched in retirement.
However, might Whitworth consider unretiring for his other former NFL squad, which has locked up a playoff spot? There’s at least a smidgeon of a possibility.
“I’ve said this since the day I retired, I’ll never say never,” Whitworth said onThe Season with Peter Schrager podcast. “There’s always a chance.”
With Bengals starting right tackle La’el Collins out for the season after suffering a torn ACL on Saturday, Cincinnati needs help in the worst way. Enter Whitworth?
“I love adventures,” Whitworth told Schrager, who first brought up this hypothetical this week on Good Morning Football. “I love taking on chances. So, to me there’s always one. Obviously, there’s a lot of things that would go into it. I mean, I’m technically under contract still with the Rams, and I’d have to, I’d have to kick off the old, uh, dust a little bit and see if I could see if these tires could still move a little bit. But you know what, I’d, I’d never say no to the option, but, you know, I don’t know. It’d have to be a sit-down convo with, with [my wife] Melissa and the kids and say, ‘Hey, can we do this again or not?’”
Will the Rams attempt to trade Cam Akers?— Gary Klein (@LATimesklein) December 27, 2022
“Oh, no,” coach Sean McVay said. https://t.co/fyWnTslvka
‘Helpful For Me’: Rams Coach Sean McVay Lauds Bobby Wagner’s Leadership (ramsdigest/si)
“Head coach Sean McVay opened the Rams’ penultimate week of the 2022-23 season with special kudos for linebacker Bobby Wagner. In a year full of disappointment and medical woes, Wagner has been a rare silver lining and a consistent producer. He’s the Rams’ leader in tackles at 126 (9 for a loss) and is one of only four Los Angeles defenders to start all 15 games thus far this year.
McVay, however, is impressed with the way Wagner’s leadership hasn’t wavered despite the Rams’ title defense reaching historically dire levels.
“This has been anything but ideal and really, it’s the first time when you look at it in this role where there’s been a failure and in a lot of instances or we’re not getting the results that we want,” McVay explained. ”That weighs on me a lot because you want it to be like what today is for these players, for these coaches and you want to be able to do the things that you can impact within the framework of your role and it takes everybody.”
“But that’s where just seeing the way he’s handled it has been helpful for me in what has been a really challenging, difficult year.”
Wagner went a bit viral for his efforts in Sunday’s blowout win over the Denver Broncos, forcing an interception from the arm of former Seattle teammate and fellow divisional rival Russell Wilson. Wagner also earned a sack of Wilson in the 51-14 triumph.”
Cardinals’ JJ Watt to retire from the NFL after 12 seasons: ‘It’s been an absolute honor and a pleasure’ (foxnews)
“Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt is retiring from the NFL following an illustrious 12-year career.
The three-time Defensive Player of the Year winner took to social media on Tuesday to announce his decision to retire at the end of the Cardinals’ regular season.”
Koa’s first ever NFL game.— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) December 27, 2022
My last ever NFL home game.
My heart is filled with nothing but love and gratitude. It’s been an absolute honor and a pleasure.
NFL Power Rankings, Week 17: San Francisco 49ers claim No. 1 spot for first time in 2022 season (nfl.com)
“The San Francisco 49ers are No. 1.
For the first time this season, Kyle Shanahan’s surging NFC West champions have claimed the top spot in the NFL Power Rankings. The Niners’ easy win over the Commanders, coupled with the Eagles’ narrow loss to the Cowboys, was enough to bump San Francisco into the throne. The uncertain timetable of Jalen Hurts and sudden absence of Pro Bowl right tackle Lane Johnson puts Philadelphia in a more vulnerable state than we’ve seen this year, even if the No. 1 seed in the NFC remains just one victory away.
Elsewhere in the top 10, the Jaguars have crashed the party for the first time after drubbing the Jets on Thursday Night Football for their fifth win in seven games. Putting a sub-.500 team in the top 10 of a rankings exercise like this might seem absurd ... but let’s be honest: This has been an absurd 2022 NFL season.
We are merely a reflection of the product we study. Look away if it scares you.”
NFL Week 17 picks: Cowboys destroy Titans, Panthers shock Tom Brady’s Buccaneers, Bengals beat Bills (cbssports)
“Happy New Year everyone!
Actually, I’m kind of jumping the gun here because it’s not quite New Year’s yet, but it will be on Sunday when Week 17 kicks off. With New Year’s Eve right around the corner, I feel like now is a good time to talk about resolutions and I’d like you guys to know that my resolution for 2023 is to get all my picks right. Sure, that’s a horrible resolution and it has a zero percent chance of happening, but that basically describes all of my resolutions for the past 12 years, so this is nothing new.
Anyway, if your New Year’s resolution is to read more of the things that I write, you can do that by signing up for our daily NFL newsletter here at CBSSports.com. I’m in charge of it and if you want it in your inbox every weekday morning, all you have to do is click here and then enter your email address.
On the other hand, if your resolution is to listen to more podcasts featuring me, then you’re in luck because I’ll be podcasting a lot over the next six weeks. From now until the Super Bowl, I’ll be joining Will Brinson and Ryan Wilson on the Pick Six podcast multiple days per week to talk football and anything else we can think of. Earlier this week, Brinson and I decided to ditch Wilson to do a podcast where he covered our best bets for Week 17.”
Week 17 update!— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 27, 2022
Our game against the Chargers will kickoff at 1:25 PM PT on Sunday. ⤵️