The Los Angeles Rams, who had been outstanding against the run this year, allowed a season-high 192 rushing yards to the Los Angeles Chargers, including their first 100-yard rusher, Austin Ekeler, who finished with 122 yards and two touchdowns. on only 10 litters.
Prior to that, the Rams gave up 99 yards to Josh Jacobs in Week 14, 94 yards to Christian McCaffrey in Week 8 and 90 yards to Aaron Jones in Week 15.
Although the Chargers are one of the most passing teams in the NFL, it was the Chargers’ running game that wore down the Rams and made the difference in the game.
The Chargers had very little trouble handling the football, allowing two big runs to Ekeler and Joshua Kelley. Fortunately, an offensive holding penalty bailed the Rams out after giving up a 48-yard gash from Kelley in the first quarter.
However, the Rams still gave up a 72-yard touchdown run to Ekeler.
It was one of the first things Bobby Wagner talked about after the game.
“We couldn’t stop the race. We walked in and knew they were going to pass the ball, but they managed to run the ball. I just have to do better,” he told reporters in the locker room.
It came down to gap discipline and missed tackles, as the Rams took bad angles against Ekeler and Kelley.
“They mixed different strains together and they were able to get some good pushes and a good push,” Sean McVay said. “Obviously the explosive game that Ekeler had for 72 years. It’s a good attack; they mixed it well and got some great players.”
The Rams don’t have much to play for in Week 18 on the road against the Seattle Seahawks. Maybe they can play the spoiler and knock the Seahawks out of the playoffs?
Or better yet, maybe the defense can keep running back Kenneth Walker III in check, who only needs 64 rushing yards to reach 1,000.
You can follow Kevin Tame Jr. on Twitter at @Kevin_Tame
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