Rams snap skid by beating Jaguars and rediscover a formula for winning football
No interceptions. Zero fumbles. A decision-making scorecard that featured nothing but positives.
After a winless November that Stafford and coach Sean McVay no doubt would prefer to forget, Stafford returned to early season form in a 37-7 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Stafford passed for three touchdowns, running back Sony Michel rushed for 121 yards and a touchdown, and a turnover-starved defense forced and recovered two fumbles as the Rams ended a three-game losing streak and improved to 8-4.
Rams get back on their feet in win over Jaguars, but big test comes next in Arizona
Winning wasn’t going to be enough for the Rams on Sunday.
After all, everyone beats the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars.
To wash away that nasty aftertaste of a three-game losing streak, the Rams needed a decisive victory, a true pummeling to get a fresh start to December.
It took a while — the offense wheezed like a jalopy at first — but in the second half of the 37-7 blowout, these looked like the Rams who at one point this season were 7-1.
“It sure feels good to be back on the winning side of things and now we got to be able to build on it,” coach Sean McVay said.
Rams snap their three-game losing streak in 37-7 victory over Jaguars
The Rams desperately needed to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars, and they did so in dominating fashion Sunday.
A stifling performance by the Rams’ defense coupled with a turnover-free game by quarterback Matthew Stafford added up to a 37-7 victory at SoFi Stadium on Sunday.
The Rams (8-4) could have beaten Jacksonville (2-10) by even more had they not been forced to settle for three field goals by Matt Gay in the first half. Still, it was an important win for a Rams team that had lost its last three contests.
Stafford completed 26 of 38 passes for 295 yards and three touchdowns, with wide receiver Cooper Kupp catching eight passes for 129 yards and a touchdown. Sony Michel rushed for 121 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries.
The Rams held Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence to 16-of-28 passing for 145 yards.
The Rams face NFC West division leader Arizona on Monday Night Football next week.
Odell Beckham Jr. touchdown catch gives Rams a 37-7 lead
Rams 37, Jaguars 7 — 10:52 left in the game
Matthew Stafford tossed a one-yard touchdown pass to Odell Beckham Jr. to continue the rout.
The Rams got the ball after safety Taylor Rapp recovered a fumble by Jaguars running back Carlos Hyde. They drove 55 yards in 10 plays.
It was Beckham’s second touchdown catch in as many games. He caught a 54-yard touchdown pass against the Green Bay Packers.
Stafford has completed 26 of 38 passes for 295 yards and three touchdowns.
Beckham has two catches for 28 yards.
Rams extend their lead on Van Jefferson touchdown catch
Rams 30, Jaguars 7 — 3:27 in third quarter
Matthew Stafford fired a two-yard touchdown pass to Van Jefferson as the Rams continue to pull away.
Stafford twice connected with Cooper Kupp on third downs during the 10-play, 62-yard drive.
Stafford’s 21-yard pass to tight end Tyler Higbee set up the touchdown pass to Jefferson.
Stafford has completed 21 of 32 passes for 272 yards and two touchdowns. Kupp has seven catches for 121 yards and a touchdown.
Higbee has five receptions for 48 yards, Jefferson five for 38.
Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp connect on 29-yard touchdown pass
Rams 23, Jaguars 7 — 11:43 left in the third quarter
Rams receiver Cooper Kupp finally got going.
Matthew Stafford connected with Kupp for 43 yards, which set a 29-yard touchdown pass to Kupp two plays later.
Kupp has five catches for 94 yards. He has an NFL-leading 11 touchdown catches this season.
Stafford has completed 16 of 25 passes for 218 yards. He has passed for 28 touchdowns this season, with nine interceptions.
Rams add their third field goal to take 16-7 halftime lead
Rams 16, Jaguars 7 — Halftime
Matt Gay’s 37-yard field goal with 23 seconds left in the second quarter gave the Rams a nine-point halftime lead.
Gay has kicked field goals of 40, 44 and 37 yards.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford was knocked out of the game for one play after he was hit by Jaguars defensive lineman Roy Robertson-Harris, who was penalized for roughing the passer.
Stafford came back and completed a 19-yard pass to Van Jefferson. But after a 10-yard completion to Cooper Kupp, Stafford’s next two passes fell incomplete.
Stafford has completed 13 of 22 passes for 139 yards.
Sony Michel has rushed for 57 yards and a touchdown in 14 carries.
Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence has completed six of 12 passes for 53 yards.
Matt Gay kicks his second field goal of the game for Rams
Rams 13, Jaguars 7 — 7:41 left in the second quarter
Matt Gay kicked his second field goal — this time from 44 yards — to end a 10-play drive.
Matthew Stafford completed a 35-yard pass to rookie receiver Ben Skowronek to put the Rams at the Jaguars’ 44-yard line. Stafford sneaked for two yards on a fourth-and-one play, but running back Sony Michel was stopped for a two-yard loss on third-and-one at the Jaguars’ 26.
Michel has rushed for 51 yards in 11 carries.
Stafford has completed six of 11 passes for 79 yards.
Jaguars march on Rams defense to score their first touchdown
Rams 10, Jaguars 7 — 13:23 left in the second quarter
Carlos Hyde rushed for a one-yard touchdown to pull the Jaguars to within three points.
Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the top pick in the 2021 draft, engineered a 13-play, 73-yard drive and made several key plays during the march.
Lawrence completed a third-down pass to Laquon Treadwell, a fourth-down pass to Marvin Jones and scrambled for nine yards for a first down.
The Rams aided the Jaguars by being flagged for taunting penalty against cornerback Jalen Ramsey and a holding penalty against cornerback Darious Williams.
Rams hold onto 10-0 lead heading into the second quarter
Rams 10, Jaguars 0 — end of first quarter
After falling behind early in each of their losses during a three-game losing streak, the Rams are feeling good about themselves.
Matt Gay’s 40-yard field goal and Sony Michel’s five-yard touchdown gave them the lead.
Michel has rushed for 40 yards in eight carries. Matthew Stafford has completed three of seven passes for 30 yards. More importantly, he has not committed a turnover.
Jalen Ramsey fumble recovery leads to Rams touchdown
Rams 10, Jaguars 0 — 10:25 left in the first quarter
For the first time in four games, the Rams are enjoying an early lead.
They can thank the defense, which stepped up with a turnover for the first time in three games.
Aaron Donald forced Jaguars running back James Robinson to fumble and cornerback Jalen Ramsey recovered the ball at the Jaguars’ 27-yard-line.
Matthew Stafford connected with Odell Beckham Jr. for a 27-yard gain, and two plays later running back Sony Michel rushed for a touchdown.
Rams can’t find the end zone after 65-yard kickoff return
Rams 3, Jaguars 0 — 12:20 left in the first quarter
It was an eventful first series for the Rams.
Brandon Powell, promoted from the practice squad, returned the opening kickoff 65 yards.
Sony Michel, starting in place of injured Darrell Henderson, rushed for seven yard on the first play but center Brain Allen suffered an apparent knee injury and is questionable to return. Coleman Shelton replaced Allen.
The drive stalled at the 23-yard line, and Matt Gay came on to kick a 40-yard field goal.
Rams’ Jalen Ramsey is grateful for corner of his NFL life with Jacksonville
He was selected fifth in the 2016 NFL draft and played three-plus seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
But Rams star cornerback Jalen Ramsey said Thursday that it would be just another game when the Rams play his former team Sunday at SoFi Stadium.
Ramsey, 27, earned three Pro Bowl selections with the Jaguars. But his time with the team also was marked by his arrival to 2019 training camp in a vehicle that resembled a bank truck, an on-field argument with former coach Doug Marrone and, reportedly, a request to be traded.
In October 2019, the Rams sent two first-round picks and a fourth-round pick to the Jaguars in exchange for Ramsey. Eleven months later, they gave him a five-year extension that included $71.2 million in guarantees and could be worth as much as $105 million.
Despite injury, improving Odell Beckham Jr. could help heal Rams’ offense
Now that the first one is out of the way, Odell Beckham Jr. is ready for more.
Beckham caught a long touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford in the Rams’ defeat last Sunday at Green Bay. It was the star receiver’s first touchdown for the Rams — and his first since suffering a major knee injury while playing for the Cleveland Browns in October 2020.
“You see the smile,” Beckham said Friday when asked about the 54-yard scoring play. “Just kind of starting to find your rhythm and balance and be comfortable within this offense.”
Beckham, who signed with the Rams last month, is expected to play an increasingly larger role for a team that will try to end a three-game losing streak Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars at SoFi Stadium.
Rams look to get early lead and break losing streak against the Jaguars
It’s been nearly a month since the Rams played at SoFi Stadium. Their last appearance was not chock-full of pleasant memories.
The Rams lost to the Tennessee Titans. Quarterback Matthew Stafford had two passes intercepted, one that was returned for a touchdown.
The defeat started a trend — for the Rams and Stafford — that resulted in a three-game losing streak.
On Sunday, the Rams (7-4) return to the $5-billion house that owner Stan Kroenke built to play the struggling Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9).
Rams vs. Jacksonville Jaguars matchups, start time and TV channel
When Rams have the ball: Quarterback Matthew Stafford is looking to get back on track after putting the Rams in a hole in each of the last three games. In losses to the Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers, he had five passes intercepted and lost a fumble. Three of the interceptions were returned for touchdowns. Stafford has passed for 27 touchdowns, with nine interceptions.
Coach Sean McVay has of late gone away from the play-action game that worked so effectively during his tenure, a result perhaps of playing from behind. Cooper Kupp leads the NFL with 92 catches for 1,237 yards and 10 touchdowns. Odell Beckham Jr. showed his deep-threat speed against the Packers, catching a 54-yard touchdown pass. But Beckham suffered a hip injury in the game. Though listed as questionable, Beckham said he will play Sunday.
Van Jefferson has scored on two plays of at least 67 yards. Running back Darrell Henderson suffered a quadriceps strain against the Packers. He did not practice this week and is questionable.
Sony Michel will start if Henderson is sidelined. The Jaguars are led by linebacker Myles Jack, the former UCLA star, who has a team-best 42 tackles. Linebacker Josh Allen has a team-best 5½ sacks and an interception.
Rams vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: Betting odds, lines, start time and how to watch
Jacksonville Jaguars at Rams (-13, 48), 1:05 p.m. PST, FOX
Beating bad teams has been the reason why the Rams are 7-4. A soft schedule that has provided ample opportunities for victories has been the team’s best friend. Those lingering questions about beating average or better teams will continue, but this week is a chance for the Rams to pick up an important eighth win and gain back a little bit of steam in the NFC playoff race.
The Rams have the talent. Los Angeles also has the right kind of statistical profile. The team is +0.9 yards per play, a mark that few teams have reached this season. However, the Rams are also 13th in third-down conversion rate and rank among the middle of the pack in red zone success. To beat good teams, you have to be strong in both areas. To cover double-digit spreads, improving those metrics would also help.