The Los Angeles Rams fell by a score of 31-10 to the Los Angeles Chargers in a Week 17 affair and the cross-conference rivals got the upper hand this time in the battle for LA. Former Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley’s defense shut down the Rams passing game with consistent pass rush and tight coverage in the secondary. Sean McVay was able to generate a strong running game with Cam Akers but was not able to get much of anything out of his quarterback, Baker Mayfield.
Who along with Baker Mayfield flopped against the Chargers? Here are five stock up and five stock down players from Sunday’s loss.
1. Cam Akers, RB
Akers accounted for nearly half of the Rams total yards (133 of the 277). He did drop a wide-open pass on a wheel route that would have been an easy touchdown. However, back-to-back great performances for the starting running back cannot be ignored. Akers notched a second straight 100+ yards on the ground and has been one of the best running backs in the last month.
2. Malcolm Brown, RB
Malcolm Brown only received one carry but made the most of it; taking it all the way to the end zone. Brown’s career is likely coming to an end but he can at least walk away from 2022 with another touchdown on his career ledger.
3. Van Jefferson, WR
On a day where the Rams passing game struggled significantly, Jefferson still finished with a season-high 77 receiving yards. He caught all three receptions, with two explosive plays going for 22 and 39 yards.
4. Jalen Ramsey, CB
Ramsey lands on the list because he was robbed of a sack and forced fumble. The star cornerback was also rarely the target of Justin Herbert, who opted to not throw in his direction.
5. Michael Hoecht, EDGE
Hoecht’s run defense will likely get dinged by PFF, but he has a nose for the football. He added seven tackles (five solo), one tackle for a loss, and a QB hit that was nearly a sack. Remember: Hoecht has only been an edge rusher for just over a month as he is still adapting to containment and different demands of the new position.
1. Baker Mayfield, QB
Last week, Mayfield carved up the third ranked Broncos defense with 185 passing yards in the first half alone. Seven days later, the former number one overall pick barely surpassed 100 yards passing for the game against Brandon Staley’s Chargers.
2. Taylor Rapp, S
If the assignment is to play near the line of scrimmage and defend the run, Rapp can manage. If the assignment is a deep zone or man-to-man, Rapp is constantly burned. Justin Herbert constantly picked at Rapp in the defense’s meltdown.
3. Bobby Wagner, ILB
I have Wagner as a stock down because the Rams allowed their first 100-yard rusher of the season to Austin Ekeler. Raheem Morris is the main issue, but Bobby Wagner is the team’s signal caller and could have helped made the adjustments needed to slow down the Chargers run game.
4. Troy Hill, CB
Just like Taylor Rapp, Troy Hill was a target of Justin Herbert’s. Mike Williams was fed seven receptions (10 targets) for 94 yards and Hill had no answer to slow them down.
5. Greg Gaines & Bobby Brown III, DL
Greg Gaines and Bobby Brown III have done an admirable job in the absence of Aaron Donald and A’Shawn Robinson, but Sunday was a different story. Austin Ekeler (10 carries, 122 yards) and Joshua Kelley (nine carries, 45 yards) gashed the Rams run defense.