The Los Angeles Rams (12–4) overcame turnovers Sunday, for a come from behind win, 20–19, at the Baltimore Ravens (8–8); taking first place in the NFC West Division with one game remaining in the regular season.
Rams Cooper Kupp continues his historic season, breaking the franchise record for receiving yards in a season with 1,829, and added to his total season catches of 138. His usual output was limited by the Ravens defense to six catches for 95 yards, and one touchdown. Kupp still has an opportunity to break the all-time season record set by Calvin Johnson in 2012 of 1,964 yards.
Baltimore’s hopes of winning their division are diminished following a five-game losing streak, coach John Harbaugh’s longest, due to injuries and protocols. Starting the season leading the AFC with a record of 8–3, the Ravens had a 91 percent chance to make the playoffs. To now attain a wildcard berth, the Ravens now must win next week at home against Pittsburgh, and hope that their divisional rivals falter.
Ravens receiver Mark Andrews caught six passes for 89 yards; propelling him to 1,276 yards for the season and the franchise record. It surpassed Michael Jackson’s 1,201 yards in 1996. Andrews is in sixth place for the franchise receptions for the year with 99, and is four catches short of matching the record of 103 by Derrick Mason in 2007.
Tyler Huntley again started for the Ravens in place for the injured Lamar Jackson. Huntley completed 20 of 32 attempts for 197 yards and one interception, without any touchdowns.
Rams QB Matt Stafford was intercepted twice in the first half by Chuck Clark; the first one being a 17-yard pick-six for Baltimore’s only touchdown. Stafford also fumbled when sacked by Tyus Bowser in the third quarter; Justin Houston recovered at the Baltimore 20 yard-line. It led to a Baltimore 46-yard field goal by Justin Tucker at the end of a 52-yard drive.
Stafford would ultimately prevail completing 26 of 35 attempts for 309 yards and two touchdowns.
The Rams trailed 16–7 before Stafford led a 55-yard drive that resulted in a Sony Michel one-yard touchdown rush with 12:09 in the fourth quarter. Baltimore responded with a field goal to make it 19-14 with 4:33 remaining in the game.
Stafford again led another Rams’ drive, of 75 yards on 9 plays, to take the final lead of 20–19. Odell Beckham was the other hero; catching a five-yard pass on a 4th & 5 at the Baltimore 12-yard line, and scoring the final touchdown on a seven-yard catch-and-run with 0:57 remaining in the game.
“I felt pretty good. Felt like I’ve been in that spot a lot of times in my career,” said Stafford. “Felt confident. “It was nice to go get the win that way,”
“It’s just the trust factor. We had those plays drawn up,” said Beckham. “Never knew when they were gonna come up in a game. You get an opportunity to make a play for this team, and the moment presented itself; and I won’t let any more moments go.”
“I thought he was at his best when his best was required,” Rams coach Sean McVay said of Stafford. “He’s a mentally tough guy and that’s what you want from your quarterback.
“It takes all of us,” added Beckham. “Coach (McVay) spoke about the month of November, and how we (went) undefeated in the month of December. And it’s got to be in the month of January as well. So we had an opportunity to dig deep today (to) overcome three turnovers. We did a good job of fighting.”
The Rams defense again came through as stars Von Miller had two sacks, Aaron Donald forced a fumble and shared a sack, and A’Shawn Robinson also had a sack with six tackles. Jordan Fuller came up with a big interception near the end of the first half that resulted in the Rams’ first touchdown.
“It certainly wasn’t perfect, but [we] talked about playing as a team; picking each other up when needed,” added McVay. “I thought one of the biggest plays in the game was Jordan Fuller’s interception at the end of the first half. That enabled us to get in good field position. Matthew hits Cooper; gives us a little bit of momentum going into the half. There were so many key contributors today. Not perfect by any stretch, but we’ll take our 12th win however we can get it. I’m so proud of this team. Love working with these guys. We’ll look at the film; we’ll clean it up and then we’ll see what happens with some of these other games.”
The Arizona Cardinals beat the Dallas Cowboys to remain tied with the Rams in the Division, but the Rams are in first due to a head-to-head matchup with the Cardinals with one more game remaining in the regular season.
The Rams face their divisional foe, San Francisco 49ers, at home on Nov. 15; the Niners dominated them in their first meeting 31–10.