INGLEWOOD, California– Baker Mayfield threw two touchdown passes to Tyler Higbee, Cam Akers rushed for 118 yards and three more points, and the Los Angeles Rams defeated the Denver Broncos 51-14 on Sunday for their second win since mid-October.
Mayfield went 24 of 28 for 230 yards in another outstanding performance for his second win in three starts with the Rams (5-10) who produced the best game of their dismal season at Christmas.
Rookie Cobie Durant returned his second interception 85 yards for a touchdown with 4:08 left to cap the Rams’ first 50-point performance under Sean McVay since their famous 54-51 win over Kansas City in 2018.
For at least another week, Los Angeles avoided becoming the first defending Super Bowl champion to lose 11 games. Despite attacking at No. 32 in the NFL, Los Angeles became only the second team to score 50 points in the NFL this season after joining Dallas earlier this month, and put on an all-round dominant performance.
On his Los Angeles debut, Larrell Murchison made 2 1/2 of the Rams’ six sacks against Russell Wilson, who passed for 214 yards with three interceptions for Denver (4-11).
The battered Wilson wasn’t sharp on his return from a one-game absence with a concussion, throwing interceptions to end Denver’s first two drives. The second pick came from Bobby Wagner, who was up against his longtime teammate and friend for the first time after spending a full decade together in Seattle.
Wagner fired Wilson in the first half as well, as the Rams rallied an incredible 261 of their 388 yards before the half and eventually hit on their first eight drives against Denver’s above-average defense and already tied their all-season high with their 31-6 halftime lead.
Denver trailed 41-6 before Wilson hit Greg Dulcich 8:30 for the Broncos’ only touchdown.
Akers continued his momentum late in the season by producing the Rams’ first 100-yard rushing play of the season, while Higbee led the passing attack with 94 yards that broke his top 3 wideouts for an offense due to a missed injury.
The Rams led by double digits in less than nine minutes when Durant picked up Wilson’s second pass and Mayfield hit Higbee for a 9-yard TD three games later. Higbee became the Rams’ franchise career leader in touchdown catches by a close finish with his 19th record.
Wagner then poached a pass from Wilson across midfield and hit a long return, and the Rams scored on Akers’ 3-yard run two snaps later. Los Angeles had scored just one touchdown from a takeaway all season, well before it did twice more in the first quarter.
The Rams’ first quarter with 17 points was their best opening streak since Week 6 of McVay’s rookie season in 2017. They then went on to have touchdowns on four straight drives for the first time in McVay’s tenure.
Higbee made his second TD catch early in the second quarter after a smooth 75-yard drive through the Rams’ long-struggling offense. Akers then struck again before halftime at 1:06 for a 31-3 lead.
Ramsey picked up Wilson’s long throw into the end zone on Denver’s opening drive of the second half. The Rams’ pressure on Wilson was improbably spearheaded by Murchison, who signed with LA 13 days ago after Tennessee cut him.
Murchison retired in the fourth quarter with a neck injury. Dulcich was ruled out late in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury.
Broncos: At Chiefs on Sunday.
Rams: The Chargers welcome their colleagues from Angelenos to the SoFi Stadium on Sunday.
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https://abc7.com/rams-broncos-baker-mayfield-cam-akers-nfl-games-dec-25-2022/12614561/ Rams-Broncos: Baker Mayfield leads 51-14 over Denver at SoFi Stadium as Wilson throws 3 picks