By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
When the Rams took on the Patriots at SoFi Stadium there was media talk of revenge and pay back but it didn’t seem that way to the players and coaches.
It’s been two years since the Super Bowl loss to the storied franchise. Many of the character’s are gone and some are new. Tom Brady and Todd Gurley are two of main players that are outta here.
The home team Rams would prevail 24-3. This night was the tale of two Cams both replacing big names on their teams get to do their thing in front of a National TV audience.
Cam One (Newton) of the Pats was a flashy and out spoken veteran during his career (though now different) has seen a Super Bowl himself.
Cam Two (Akers) of the Rams is a blue-collar rookie in the league, a second -round pick from Florida State platooning in and out of the backfield rotation.
From the start Cam Two helped the Rams marched down on the opening possession reeling off a 35-yard run as his QB Jared Goff converted two key third downs with a 25-yard pass to Tyler Higbee.
Goff took it in himself from a yard out-finishing a six play 75-yard drive giving the home team a 7-0 lead. It was the first time he had running TD’s in back-to-back games. On the day he completed 16 of 25 for 137 yards.
Coming off a big shut out win against the Chargers the previous week Cam One, Coach Belichick and team stayed on the West coast due to it being a short week and COVID.
On the second possession the team would go 60 yards on 11 plays and Cam Two would have runs of 11 and 14 yards and also catch a 16 yard pass on third down good enough to get in range for a Matt Gay’s 35-yard field goal that put the lead up -o 10-0.
Robert Woods reached down low to make the catch the Pats Myles Bryant wrestled it away and head to the endzone. However after a review it was clear Bryant was down by contact. The drive by the Pats stalled.
On the first play of the second quarter the defense was giving Cam One fits. Kenny Young intercepted what looked like a screen pass intended for Damien Harris and raced 79 yards for a TD to make the score 17-0. He was escorted the final 30 yards on the sideline by head coach Sean McVay.
“It felt good to get a pick-six on my first pick,” said Young. “The whole defense did well tonight.”
Rams defense had been tough on Cam One chasing all around Sofi.
Later Justin Hollins stopped Newton on fourth and goal from the two in the first half. They kept him boxed in and the former MVP completed just 9 of 16 passes for 119 yards while rushing for a mere 16 yards on seven carries. The former MVP completed just 9 of 16 passes for 119 yards rushing for. He was relieved by Jarred Stidham. It didn’t matter who was behind center. Michael Brockers had two sacks, Aaron Donald a 1.5 sacks, Kenny Young and Morgan Fox had one each. Al of the sacks came in the second half. The Pats were in the Red Zone 4 times and only scored 3 points.
The Rams Nick Folk hit a 29-yard field goal with 1:04 in the half for the Pats who trailed 17-3.
The second half began a 16 play 90-yard drive in which Cam Two Ackers had a 25-yard run and it burned 9:42 off the clock. He also has been increasing his workload carrying 21 times the previous week against Arizona. This game he had 29 carries for 171 yards a 5.9 average. That is the most by a rookie this season.
“I didn’t know how many carries I was going to get,” said Akers. I just knew whatever it was I was going to be ready for it.”
The Rams (9- 4) have assured themselves of a winning season. Four straight years. They have won two straight and play the winless Jets at home Sunday. “We are seeing signs of consistency over the last couple of weeks, so let’s see if we can get our third in arrow,” said McVay.
RAM NOTES: Rams have 177 cut outs of Andrew Whitworth in the stands as the O-lineman was nominated for Walter Peyton Man of the Year. McVay became the only the fourth coach in Rams history to have a winning record in each of his first four seasons. Chuck Knox, George Allen and John Robinson are the others. “I am proud of the team getting the win tonight on a short week ‘added McVay. “They were ready to go in all three phases.”