LA Rams get early Christmas in TNF win over Saints

New Orleans Saints v Los Angeles Rams, Sean McVay, Matthew Stafford
New Orleans Saints v Los Angeles Rams, Sean McVay, Matthew Stafford / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

If you wanted style points or a pretty win, you may have an sour taste in your mouth right now. But if you simply wanted the LA Rams to win in Week 16, and have no cares over how the Rams did so, then you are likely celebrating Christmas a bit early. And let's be honest, you have every right to celebrate a win that was hard fought against another Top NFL defense.

The LA Rams did not exactly coast to a win in Week 16. Much like the win in Week 15 against the Washington Commanders, the Rams built a 20+ point lead, but watched helplessly as the lead evaporated. In Week 15, the Commanders scored the final 13 points to pull to within eight as the Rams won by a score of 28-20.

In Week 16, the LA Rams built a 23 point lead, getting the score to 30 -7 with just 12:44 left in the game. The New Orleans Saints scored the final 15 points in this one.

Rams continue Coach McVay's streak with short week success

Before the game, NFL Analyst Peter Schrager revealed that LA Rams Head Coach Sean McVay had a 3-0 winning streak on the line with a short week home game. That record has been extended to 4-0 with the Rams critical win in Week 16.

It was clear that the Rams wanted to pass to Cooper Kupp extensively in this one, as expected. But a shot to Kupp's left arm and shoulder seemed to disrupt Kupp's ability to connect with quarterback Matthew Stafford. As a result, Kupp was limited to just six receptions on 12 targets for 52 yards.

Thankfully, QB Matthew Stafford was able to connect with the other Rams receivers. The Rams only involved four players in the passing game, and with Kupp less effective, the Rams had to reroute their aerial assault to other targets. The Rams passing offense ended the night this way:

  1. Cooper Kupp | 12 targets | 6 receptions | 52 yards | 0 touchdowns
  2. Puka Nacua | 11 targets | 9 receptions | 164 yards | 1 touchdown
  3. Demarcus Robinson | 6 targets | 6 receptions | 82 yards | 1 touchdown
  4. Tyler Higbee | 3 targets | 3 receptions | 30 yards | 0 touchdowns

But it was not all about the passing game in this win.

Rams run to victory

There is no doubt that the Rams ability to run with the football played a huge part in the win over the Saints. Running back Kyren Williams led the charge for the Rams by rushing 22 times for 104 yards and a touchdown. That effort places Williams at 208 rushes for 1,057 yards and nine touchdowns on the season.

While the Rams certainly leaned heavily upon Kyren Williams to handle the heavy lifting in this one, the Rams were able to get a bit of rest for Williams by running backup RB Ronnie Rivers six times for 20 yards.

Final Score
New Orleans Saints 22
Los Angeles Rams 30

When the Rams run a balanced offense, the Rams win. The offense was balanced in this one, as the Rams passed 34 times, and ran the football 32 times. The win improves the Rams to a record of 8-7. With two games left on the Rams schedule, and 10 days before the Rams face the New York Giants (5-9) on the East Coast for New Year's Eve, the Rams will have a bit of time to relax and enjoy the holidays with family and friends.

The Rams win certainly raises the stakes for the season finale on the road to face the San Francisco 49ers (11-3)

The loss drops the Saints to a record of 6-7. But the Saints face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-7) in Week 17, followed by the Atlanta Falcons (6-8) to close out their season. Even with this loss, the Saints still have significant control over their own destiny, as winning the final two games is likely to land the Saints as the winner of the NFC South Division.

The Rams victory certainly has extended the Rams' success after the Week 10 BYE. Perhaps the rumors are true, and the Rams are the NFL's most feared team to enter the playoffs this year.