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Rams steamroll Broncos in Russell Wilson’s return

Dec 25, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams tight end Tyler Higbee (89) celebrates after scoring on a 9-yard touchdown pass against Denver Broncos cornerback Pat Surtain II (2) in the first half at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Akers ran for three touchdowns, Baker Mayfield threw for two more and the Los Angeles Rams thoroughly embarrassed the Denver Broncos 51-14 on Sunday in Inglewood, Calif.

Akers ran for 118 yards on 23 carries, becoming the first Los Angeles running back to crack the 100-yard mark this year. Mayfield picked the Broncos apart to the tune of 24-for-28 passing for 230 yards.

It was a season-high point output for the Rams (5-10), who led 31-6 at the half and never looked back. They outgained Denver 388-323, controlling the ball for more than 36 minutes and not looking like the injury-riddled team that will miss the playoffs a year after winning the Super Bowl.

Russell Wilson was 15 of 27 for 214 yards and three interceptions in his first game back after missing last week’s win over Arizona with a concussion. Wilson managed to throw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Greg Dulcich with 8:30 left in the game, the highlight of an otherwise poor performance.

Denver fell to 4-11 in an effort that is likely to raise more questions about whether embattled first-year coach Nathaniel Hackett will see a second year. Its offense permitted six sacks and its defense allowed a season-high point total after entering the day ranked third in the NFL, surrendering just 18.1 points per game.

Los Angeles scored the first eight times it had the ball, beginning with a 55-yard field goal by Matt Gay at the 8:26 mark of the first quarter. Consecutive Wilson interceptions set up Mayfield’s 9-yard strike to Tyler Higbee and Akers’ 2-yard run that made it 17-0 just over 10 minutes into the game.

In the second quarter, Mayfield found Higbee for a 7-yard touchdown and Akers tacked on a 2-yard run with 1:06 remaining for a 31-3 advantage.

Gay added 30 and 53-yard field goals in the second half and Akers zipped 4 yards for his last score with 12:31 left in the game. Cobie Durant intercepted backup quarterback Brett Rypien with 4:08 remaining and returned it 85 yards for the last touchdown.

–Field Level Media