The Los Angeles Rams got after the New England Patriots early and often Thursday, most notably in the run game.
Rams rookie running back Cam Akers recorded the first 100-yard game of his career, becoming just the second Ram to hit the century mark this season.
It started on the third snap of the game, Akers taking a handoff around the left side for a gain of 35. The Rams’ second offensive possession began with an Akers gain of 14 before adding those of nine and six yards, respectively. All in all, the Rams completely controlled the line of scrimmage, averaging more than five yards a clip en route to a commanding 24-3 victory over the Patriots.
“The offensive line is the reason the run game was so successful tonight, in my opinion,” Akers told reporters postgame. “Those guys got great push every time we ran the ball, and it showed. The run game was very successful tonight, and we want to keep stacking blocks.”
Quarterback Jared Goff lauded the offensive line, as well.
“The offensive line did a great job just being physical,” he said. “We were more physical than them up front today and did a great job of that. It was exciting to see. They (Patriots) got a really good defense and a good defensive line, and we were able to move them around pretty good up front.”
Of course, some credit has to be given to Akers himself. The second-rounder out of Florida State hadn’t rushed for more than 82 yards in a game, nearly doubling that Thursday night with career-highs of 171 yards on 29 carries. He came up just short of 200 yards of total offense while catching two passes for 23 yards, as well.
?I think he’s really started with the way that he’s practicing,” head coach Sean McVay said. “He’s a creative runner. He can put his shoulder down, he can finish, he’s got the explosive speed. You can just see this guy is going to be a special player. This was a great night for him. Really happy for Cam (Akers) and his teammates.”
The Rams’ 186 yards rushing were the third most allowed by the Patriots defense this season. The Patriots had lost the previous two games — Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers — as well.
The 6-7 Patriots have had their playoff chances drastically decrease with Thursday’s loss.