In a game that seemed to be all LA Rams until 13:12 remaining in the fourth quarter. the LA Rams have to feel less than happy with their performance against a resilient Washington Commanders. At 13:12 remaining, the Rams were up on the scoreboard by the score of 28-7 and had just intercepted Commanders quarterback Sam Howell.
Up by a score of 28-7, just over 13 minutes remaining on the clock, and the Rams had the football first down and ten yards to go at the Washington 38 yard line. What could go wrong? In a word? Everything.
Whether the Rams were guilty of letting up, overconfidence, or simply losing focus, the Rams let a dominating effort slip into the maelstrom of chaos. In the end, the LA Rams had to rely upon RB Kyren Williams to withstand a late game rally that watched the Commanders score the final 13 points of a game in which the Rams had owned the Commanders for the first 51 minutes of this game.
But with 9:05 remaining on the clock, the LA Rams missed a field goal. And that opened the window for the Commanders to mount a comeback that fell short.
Before we are guilty of provoking another social media outburst calling for the Rams to fire DC Raheem Morris, we have to point out that the Rams' defense truly saved the day. The Washington Commanders drove to the Rams' one-yard line with 4:12 remaining in the game, and with plenty of time (4:47 left), it appeared that the Commanders would punch it in for a quick TD, hold the Rams offense once more, and then score again to either tie this one up or send it into overtime.
But that is not how the defense saw it.
Defensive heroics saves a win
Yes, the Commanders did ultimately score a touchdown. But that score did not happen until three minutes and the two-minute warning had elapsed. Adding insult to injury, the Rams blocked the Commanders extra point, ensuring that the Commanders could do no better than tie the game with a score.
And then, instead of resting RB Kyren Williams, the Rams had to rely on him to run out the clock. He did exactly that, and the Rams have improved to 7-7. The win evens up the Rams record at 7-7, and launhes the Rams to the NFC's seventh and final playoff seed. But don't get too comfortable. The Rams must host the New Orleans Saints (7-7) on Thursday Night Football.
Despite the LA Rams offense dominating in controlling the clock (35:53 vs 24:07), total yards (445 yards vs. 297 yards) and rushing yards (196 yards vs. 79 yards), the Rams squeaked out a win in Week 15 by a smaller margin of victory than expected.
After the nearly fatal collapse of the Rams in Week 15, their next game is looming as another huge challenge. Hopefully, the Rams learn and grow from this experience. Otherwise, the NFL Playoffs may be simply wishful thinking.