Advertisement
Share

Rams takeaways from win over Ravens: Odell Beckham Jr., Von Miller proving worth

Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (3) meets with Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh.
Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who scored the deciding touchdown, meets with Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh.
(Gail Burton / Associated Press)
1

The Rams’ record improved to 12-4 with a 20-19 victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.

What we learned from the Rams’ victory:

2

Why Rams acquired Odell Beckham and Von Miller

The Rams' Aaron Donald (99) congratulates Von Miller (40) on his fourth-quarter sack of  Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley.
The Rams’ Aaron Donald (99) congratulates Von Miller (40) on his fourth-quarter sack of Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley.
(Terrance Williams / Associated Press)

Beckham has played in Cooper Kupp’s shadow since signing with the Rams in November — and he has said he is happy to continue doing so.

Advertisement

But it was Beckham who made a difficult catch on fourth down during the final drive. And it was Beckham who put the Rams ahead on the next play with a seven-yard touchdown catch.

“Regardless of what anybody can ever say or any stat line, I know that I’m affecting the game,” said Beckham, who has five touchdown catches in seven games. “And when you know you’re affecting the game and someone else is getting open and eating, it’s just a wonderful feeling, especially [when it’s] your brother in the receiver room.

“So, I knew what I signed up for. ... I’m just thankful to have an opportunity in a big moment in a game and just come through for this team.”

Miller had two of the Rams’ five sacks. Lineman A’Shawn Robinson and Troy Reeder each had a sack and lineman Aaron Donald and linebacker Leonard Floyd shared one.

“Man, it feels good to do my job for my teammates,” Miller said. “They brought me here … And I’ve said it several times … To get sacks and tackles for loss and all that stuff … It feels good to do my job for my boys.”

Advertisement

Before Miller was traded from the Denver Broncos to the Rams in October, he played against Ravens tackle Patrick Mekari.

“I feel like he got my number,” Miller said. “I was telling the guys all week that I’ve got a bone to pick, and to come out here and perform well and get a game-ending sack against a great opponent, it feels good.

“And to have A.D. jump on my back and Leonard Floyd and all the guys go crazy, that’s what you play the game for.”

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford had two passes intercepted by the Ravens and also had a fumble, but on a last-ditch drive he came through with the winning touchdown pass.

3

The Rams are on a roll

Rams running back Sony Michel, center, scores a touchdown against the Ravens as quarterback Matthew Stafford celebrates.
Rams running back Sony Michel, center, scores a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens as quarterback Matthew Stafford celebrates.
(Nick Wass / Associated Press)

Advertisement

Yes, we know. It has not been consistently artistic. But the victory over the Ravens extended the Rams’ winning streak to a season-best five games.

Despite not exactly dominating opponents, their victories over the Minnesota Vikings and the Ravens were noteworthy because they won on the road despite three turnovers in each game by quarterback Matthew Stafford.

After the Rams lost three games in November, they fell two games behind the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC West. Now they can clinch the division title if they beat the San Francisco 49ers for the first time in six games.

“Even when we lost three games straight and the outside world thought the sky was falling, we just kept our head down,” Miller said.

Miller played on the Denver Broncos team that won Super Bowl 50 to end the 2015 season.

“The way we manage adversity here, it really feels like the 2015 Denver Broncos,” he said. “It really feels good. No matter what the score is, no matter the odds that we’re presented with, we just keep going. ... There’s not really a secret call, or a mantra, or a chant that we do; we just go out there and play. We keep our head down, and we just let the Football Gods handle it.”

Advertisement

The NFL has added Saturday games to its final week, with Chiefs-Broncos and Cowboys-Eagles moved up a day. Season closes with Chargers and Raiders facing off.

4

Jalen Ramsey struck Taylor Rapp? Nothing to see here

Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, left, looks in the direction of teammate free safety Taylor Rapp.
Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, left, looks in the direction of teammate free safety Taylor Rapp during the first half. Earlier in the game, Ramsey hit Rapp in the huddle.
(Gail Burton / Associated Press)

That, at least, is what coach Sean McVay and Rams players indicated after Ramsey hit Rapp in the face in the huddle during the first series.

Thereafter, when the Rams offense was on the field, Rapp stayed at one end of the bench and the rest of the defensive backs at the other.

Neither Ramsey nor Rapp was made available to reporters after the game.

“If you said that our miscommunication affected our ability to move on and play well, then I think we will have a story,” McVay said. “But that’s not the case. Sometimes I think it’s healthy for guys to be real with each other.”

Advertisement

Stafford said he did not see the incident, but said communication could have been better.

“But at the same time, I know both of those guys, all they want to do is win,” he said.

McVay compared it to brothers fighting and then moving on.

“If you guys heard the stuff that I say on the headset that I say during the games, it’s way worse than smacking another player so, this is an emotional game,” McVay said.

5

Cooper Kupp remains on a record pace

Cooper Kupp (10) scores as Ravens safety Brandon Stephens (21) and linebacker Patrick Queen (6) try to stop the Ram.
Cooper Kupp (10) scores a touchdown as Ravens safety Brandon Stephens (21) and linebacker Patrick Queen (6) try to stop the Ram.
(Nick Wass / Associated Press)

Kupp caught six passes for 95 yards and touchdown.

He has 138 receptions in 16 games. He needs 12 catches against the San Francisco 49ers to break the NFL record of 149 that was set by Michael Thomas of the New Orleans Saints in 16 games in 2019.

Kupp has 1,830 yards receiving. He needs 135 yards to break the league record of 1,964 set by Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions in 16 games in 2012.

Advertisement

“He has the quietest 96 yards and a touchdown or whatever he had,” McVay said, “but he makes the plays when he has to.”

Breaking down the notable numbers behind the Rams’ 20-19 road win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday — scoring and statistics.

6

Safety Jordan Fuller makes a difference

Rams safety Jordan Fuller defends against the Baltimore Ravens in the second half.
(Nick Wass / Associated Press)

Fuller intercepted three passes as a rookie in 2020, but he did not have one this season going into Sunday.

Near the end of the second quarter, with the Rams trailing, 10-0, Fuller intercepted a pass by Tyler Huntley and returned it 34 yards. The play set up Stafford’s touchdown pass to Kupp.

Advertisement

“I was just reading the quarterback the whole time, really,” Fuller said. “He took me to where the ball was going.”

Share

Advertisement