Everything was already over in the second period, once the home team reached a 17-0 lead, following Kenny Young’s 79-yard pick-six. It was a sign that the Rams are in control, and that the Pats’ postseason dreams are practically over. They are now, with a game more, two wins behind the last playoff berth.
Bill Belichick would bench Cam Newton at the start of the fourth, following one three-and-out, and, in general, the poor performance of the former MVP. Super Cam was 9-for-16 without a touchdown, with one pick and 119 yards. Additionally, he would suffer four sacks for 21 negative yards.
The Rams defense was superb, racking 6 sacks. Michael Brockers with 2 and Aaron Donald with 1.5 led the way in McVay’s crew, with the two continually producing pressure on the visitors’ offensive line.
Jarred Goff had a mild game, with 137 passing yards for a score and an interception. Goff added one rushing TD, yet overall he had a quiet night. The one guy who did produce a huge noise was Cam Akers. Young RB rookie who exploded in the past several weeks, had 171 rushing yards on 21 carries,
Tyler Higbee had 34 receiving yards, one more than Cooper Kupp, who caught one TD pass as well.
Cam Akers goes OFF as the Rams blow out the Pats ? @brgridiron
29 CAR | 171 yards (career-high) pic.twitter.com/KjTl7XlQCP
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 11, 2020
On the other side, N’Keal Harry had 49 receiving yards, one more than Damiere Byrd, and two than Jakobi Meyers. Damien Harris rushed for 50 yards on 11 snaps. A defeat in tonight’s match makes this season the first one since 2002 in which Patriots aren’t going to post a double-digit number of wins.
They have theoretical chances of reaching the postseason. Belichick’s team needs to win all its three remaining games, against the Dolphins on the road, the Bills and the Jets at home, and see other results falling down their way. Right now, New England is 6-7, while the Colts, who are seventh, are 8-4.
The Rams 9-4 top the NFC West following last night’s victory. They await the Jets in the next round, before visiting the Seahawks in what now looks like the match that would decide the winner of the division. In the last game of the regular part of the season, the Rams await Arizona Cardinals.