Rams vs. Broncos takeaways: Does Cam Akers keep or go?

The Rams defeated the Denver Broncos 51-14 on Sunday at SoFi Stadium.

What we realized from a victory that improved the Rams to 5-10:

Working again Cam Akers was proper: Akers has been by means of it this season.

Coach Sean McVay known as him out for not taking part in with sufficient depth. He was exiled for greater than two weeks due to a battle about his function. The Rams tried to commerce him.

However earlier than his absence and after his return, Akers, 23, maintained that the important thing to establishing an efficient working recreation was sticking with it — and placing the ball in his palms.

Towards the Broncos, Akers rushed for 118 yards and three touchdowns in 23 carries.

It was Akers’ first 100-yard speeding effort since he gained 131 yards in a 2020 season NFC wild-card playoff victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

Does Akers really feel vindicated?

“Proof in the pudding,” Aker stated.

Akers stated he by no means wavered in his confidence.

“I always knew, even with some trouble early on,” he stated. “I always knew who I was, know who I am. That’s not going to change no matter what obstacle is put in the way.”

McVay was pleased with Akers’ effort.

“He’s playing like the guy that we all knew he was capable of,” McVay stated.

Hmm.

Does that imply Akers is doing sufficient to return in 2023? Or are the Rams showcasing him as new, improved commerce bait?

The Rams’ Bobby Wagner (45) is congratulated by teammates after intercepting a cross by the Broncos’ Russell Wilson.

(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Instances)

Linebacker Bobby Wagner outdueled Russell Wilson: Wagner and Wilson have been Seattle teammates for 10 years, however Wagner by no means acquired an opportunity to hit the nine-time Professional Bowl quarterback throughout follow.

On Sunday, he sacked Wilson and additionally intercepted a cross.

“It was cool to pick him off on Christmas as well,” Wagner stated. “I appreciate the presents.”

Wagner nonetheless holds Wilson in excessive regard.

“He’s my brother,” Wagner stated. “We were together for an extremely long time. We went through a lot of highs and lows together. … He’s impacted me so much in my life, and I’m forever grateful.”

Tight finish Tyler Higbee made historical past: Higbee, drafted by the Rams in 2016, is among the many crew’s longest-tenured gamers, trailing solely star defensive lineman Aaron Donald and offensive lineman Rob Havenstein.

Higbee caught 9 passes for 94 yards and two touchdowns, establishing Rams tight finish profession information for receptions (299), yards (3,063) and landing catches (20).

“Pretty cool,” stated Higbee, who has three landing receptions within the final two video games. “I was aware of a couple of the [records], but not really, like, my concern. Trying to win a football game.”

Higbee caught a nine-yard landing cross within the first quarter and a seven-yard cross within the second.

“Always awesome getting into the end zone and being able to celebrate with the guys,” he stated. “More importantly, excited that we were finishing drives with touchdowns.”

Quarterback Baker Mayfield likes taking part in at SoFi Stadium: No heroics have been required this time.

On Dec. 8, with two days of preparation, Mayfield engineered two fourth-quarter drives to steer the Rams to a win over the Las Vegas Raiders.

On Sunday, with the protection creating turnovers and giving the offense favorable discipline place, Mayfield coolly accomplished his first 11 passes and completed 24 for 28 for 230 yards and two touchdowns.

Rookie cornerback Cobie Durant is a playmaker: Durant, a fourth-round draft choose from South Carolina State, gave an early indication of his potential when he intercepted a cross and returned it 51 yards towards the Atlanta Falcons.

Sadly for Durant and the Rams, he suffered a hamstring harm in that recreation and ever since has labored to get again to full velocity.

On Sunday, Durant intercepted two passes.

The Rams' Cobie Durant returns an interception for a touchdown against the Broncos in the fourth quarter.

The Rams’ Cobie Durant returns an interception for a landing towards the Broncos within the fourth quarter. He had two interceptions towards Denver.

(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Instances)

He picked off Wilson’s second cross and returned it 15 yards to arrange Higbee’s first landing.

“I really lost the ball on the first one,” he stated. “Lost it in the sun and had to recatch it.”

Within the fourth quarter, he broke on a cross by Brett Rypien and returned it 85 yards for a landing. Durant stated it was his first pick-six since highschool.

“We always talk about being tone-setters and game-changers,” Durant stated.

Cornerback Jalen Ramsey additionally intercepted a cross on a day wherein the Rams sacked Wilson six instances.

Larrell Murchison had two sacks, Michael Hoecht recorded 1½, Wagner and edge rusher Leonard Floyd had one every, and defensive deal with Jonah Williams was credited with half a sack.

The Rams claimed Murchison off waivers from the Tennessee Titans two weeks in the past. He made his Rams debut Sunday.

“Just met him 15 minutes ago,” McVay quipped.