Rookie Cam Akers rushed for a season-high 171 yards and Jared Goff accounted for two touchdowns to lift the Los Angeles Rams to a 24-3 victory over the New England Patriots on Thursday in Inglewood, Calif.
Akers more than doubled his previous best rushing performance, an 84-yard effort in Los Angeles’ 23-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Oct. 29.
Kenny Young returned an interception 79 yards for a touchdown and had one of the six sacks for the Rams (9-4). Los Angeles, which has won four of its past five games, moved a half-game ahead of the Seattle Seahawks (8-4) atop the NFC West standings.
Cam Newton threw for just 119 yards before being replaced by Jarrett Stidham for the Patriots (6-7), who were denied in their bid for a sweep of the SoFi Stadium tenants. New England breezed to a 45-0 romp over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.
The Rams wasted little time bolting out of the blocks, with Akers’ 35-yard rush highlighting a six-play drive that was capped by Goff leaping into the end zone from 1 yard out. Los Angeles needed just 3:39 to score more points than it produced in its 13-3 setback to New England in Super Bowl LIII.
Matt Gay added a 35-yard field goal before the Rams foiled an attempted screen New England screen pass. Young intercepted Newton’s toss and scampered untouched into the end zone just 14 seconds into the second quarter.
The defensive touchdown was the third in as many games for Los Angeles. Troy Hill returned a fumble for a touchdown against the 49ers on Nov. 29 and he also brought back an interception for a score in a 38-28 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
Nick Folk’s 29-yard field goal trimmed the Patriots’ deficit with 1:04 remaining in the second quarter, but the Rams responded with a 16-play, 90-yard drive in the third period. Akers rushed nine times during that march before Goff found Cooper Kupp for a 2-yard score to stake Los Angeles to a 24-3 lead.
–Field Level Media