Dec 21, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp (10) celebrates after scoring on a 29-yard touchdown reception against the Seattle Seahawks in the second half at SoFi Stadium. The Rams defeated the Seahawks 20-10. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

News Articles

Ravens plot to halt skid against rising Rams

One month removed from a three-game losing streak that seemed to seal their fate as a wild-card team, the Los Angeles Rams are now chasing an NFC West title as they head cross country to face the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

The Ravens are on the opposite end of what the Rams are going through, losing their grasp on the AFC North lead while on a four-game losing streak and suddenly in a scramble to make the playoffs.

The Rams (11-4) were in an offensive funk behind suddenly inconsistent quarterback Matthew Stafford when they lost consecutive games in November to the Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers.

However, they went 4-0 in December and are coming off a 30-23 victory at Minnesota last week that moved them into sole possession of first place in the NFC West over the Arizona Cardinals.

The offense still isn’t as sharp as it was early in the season under Stafford, who threw three interceptions against the Vikings, but the running game has been better behind Sony Michel, who has averaged 105.8 yards per game over the past four contests.

“It’s not lost on me. The better I play, the better our offense is going to play and the better chance we have to win football games,” Stafford said. “I put a lot of pressure on myself and expect a lot out of myself.”

While Rams running back Darrell Henderson (knee) is out this week, Cam Akers is expected to make his 2021 debut after an offseason Achilles injury that was originally expected to cost him his season.

The Rams are getting high-level production from a pair of Pro Bowlers, wide receiver Cooper Kupp and defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

Kupp leads the NFL in receptions (132), yards (1,734) and receiving touchdowns (14). Donald has 12 sacks and has been the key for a defense that has allowed an average of 15.8 points over the past four games.

The Ravens (8-7) are hoping to get quarterback Lamar Jackson back from an ankle injury that occurred during a Dec. 12 loss to the Cleveland Browns. He was limited in practice Wednesday.

“Obviously, getting No. 8 back is special, because he’s a special player, and I think we’re all excited about that,” tight end Mark Andrews said.

Even if Jackson does return, it remains to be seen if he can lean on rushing ability. His 767 rushing yards lead all quarterbacks.

Perhaps of chief concern, though, is a Baltimore defense that was torched last week for 525 passing yards by the Cincinnati Bengals’ Joe Burrow, the fourth-highest single-game total in NFL history.

The Ravens’ defense has not only been hit hard by injuries, but it has been diminished by COVID-19 issues as well. Defensive backs Chris Westry and Jimmy Smith did return from the COVID-19 list this week.

Eleven Ravens did not practice Wednesday, including cornerback Anthony Averett (ribs/chest) and safety/linebacker Anthony Levine Sr. (knee). Also out was Pro Bowl fullback Patrick Ricard (knee), who has missed the past three games.

The Rams, who had a walk-through Wednesday, listed only safety Taylor Rapp (shoulder) and defensive lineman Greg Gaines (hand) as non-participants.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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