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The Week 14 slate in the NFL got underway Thursday night, as did most Fantasy Football playoffs around the country. As a result, the Los Angeles Rams and all Cam Akers’ owners came out as the big winners, with the home team dominating the New England Patriots, 24-3, inside SoFi Stadium.
The Rams have now won two straight and four of five to improve to 9-4, while New England dropped to 6-7, marking 2020 the first time in 17 years the franchise won’t reach double-digit wins in a season.
Super Bowl Rematch? Not Quite...
The last time the Rams faced the Patriots was on Feb. 3, 2019, in Super Bowl LIII. New England stifled the Rams in the lowest-scoring Super Bowl ever, which ended with the Patriots’ sixth Lombardi Trophy in a 13-3 win. After Thursday’s win, Sean McVay seemed very reflective when asked if this was any sort of revenge.
“It’s something that you think about because it was the last time that we played them being a cross-conference opponent, and so, it was a big game,” McVay said after the 24-3 win. “That’s always going to be a part of the coaching trajectory for me and a night that you’ve got to be able to learn from. As far as how that affected our plans going into this game, it really didn’t at all. We’re a totally different team. I mean, you see we’re doing a lot of different things. What is consistent is that you’ve got great coaches and a really tough football team on the opposing sideline, and I think we’d like to say the same thing for our group, a lot of really good football players.
“It was important because it was our ninth win, but as far as any sort of redemption, I do think what my Coach Martz said is true. It doesn’t get back the hurt and the scars of that night, I can promise you that.”
Spotlight Shines on Akers
Shining in his rookie season, Akers broke out in front of a national audience, rushing for a career-high 171 yards on 29 carries to lead L-A to the convincing win. McVay and the Rams offense had been deploying a three-headed committee in their backfield for most of the season, switching between Darrell Henderson, Malcolm Brown, and Akers. But Akers made a statement against the Patriots, likely solidifying his spot in the pecking order and coming off as the best ‘Cam’ on the field.
Cam Newton, on the other hand, struggled against a stout Rams defense. He completed just nine passes for 119 yards and only adding another 16 yards on the ground. Newton was benched in the fourth quarter in favor of Jarrett Stidham, but Bill Belichick made it clear that Newton will be the team’s starting quarterback in Week 15 against the Dolphins.
The Rams moved a half-game ahead of Seattle in the NFC West and hold the tiebreaker by virtue of their head-to-head win over the Seahawks back on Nov. 15. The two will face off again in Los Angeles in Week 16 in what could be a very pivotal rematch.