THATS A W MAAAA BOY!!!!— Sebastian Joseph-Day (@SJD_51) January 2, 2022
After a rocky start, the Rams showed their resilience by coming from behind to defeat the Ravens on the road in Week 17. Facing deficits of 10-0 and 16-7, Los Angeles rallied to post a 20-19 victory behind quarterback Matt Stafford, who shook off two first half interceptions to throw the game-winning touchdown pass to Odell Beckham Jr. with 1:01 left. Von Miller sealed the win with his sack of Ravens' quarterback Tyler Huntley on the game's final possession.
The win moved the Rams to 12-4 on the season and one step closer towards winning the NFC West division. It was a fifth consecutive loss for the Ravens, who fell to 8-8 and lost any chance of winning the AFC North division title.
The Ravens raced out to a 10-0 lead and led 13-7 at halftime on the strength of Chuck Clark's two interceptions of Stafford. He returned his first interception 17 yards to give Baltimore an early lead. Baltimore stretched its lead to nine points before Stafford led the Rams' offense on two scoring drives in the game's final stanza. Trailing 19-14, Stafford drove the Rams to the Ravens' 7-yard-line before hitting Beckham for the game-winning score.
Stafford finished the game with 309 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions on 26 of 35 passing. His first touchdown of the day went to Cooper Kupp, who on Sunday broke Isaac Bruce's 26-year-old franchise record for receiving yards in a season. Huntley, making the start in relief of injured starter Lamar Jackson, went 20 of 32 for 197 yards with an interception. He also ran for 54 yards on six carries.
Here's a deeper breakdown of what transpired in Baltimore.
Why the Rams won
Los Angeles weathered the storm after a slow start. The Rams' defense forced the Ravens to settle for a field goal after marching 91 yards following Clark's second pick of Stafford. Jordan Fuller's pick of Huntley on the Ravens' ensuing drive set up Stafford's 18-yard touchdown pass to Kupp that made it a 10-7 game.
The Rams' red zone defense came up with two more stops in the second half. as Leonard Floyd and Aaron Donald's third-down sack of Huntley forced Baltimore to settle for a fourth Justin Tucker field goal and a 19-14 lead. The stop set the stage for Stafford, who engineered two late scoring drives while more than making up for his early struggles.
Why the Ravens lost
The Ravens scored 13 points off of turnovers, but their inability to do more with those opportunities contributed to the loss. Ahead 13-7, Baltimore had an opportunity to pull away from Los Angeles after Tyus Boswer's strip-sack of Stafford deep in Ravens territory early in the third quarter. The Ravens then moved to the Rams' 28-yard-line before having to settle for a field goal and a 16-7 lead.
Despite exceptional play for most of the game, the Ravens' defense was unable to make the game-winning play late in the game. A 21-yard completion from Stafford to Kupp set up Sony Michel's touchdown run to make it a 16-14 game with 12:09 left. A 12-yard completion from Stafford to Beckham on fourth-and-five from the Rams' 12-yard-line set up their game-winning score moments later.
The Rams were in jeopardy of being shut out at halftime before Fuller picked off Huntley with 1:28 left until halftime. Three plays after the pick, Stafford hit Kupp for the Rams' first touchdown. Kupp's 21-yard catch that set up Los Angeles' second touchdown moved him past Bruce into the Rams' record book. Kupp now has 1,829 receiving yards this season and is 135 yards from matching Calvin Johnson's NFL single season receiving record.
Play of the game
The game's biggest play has to be Beckham's game-winning touchdown reception. Beckham now has five touchdowns in seven games with the Rams this season.
"You ever get into a fight with your brother?" -- Rams coach Sean McVay on the skirmish between defensive backs Jalen Ramsey and Taylor Rapp in the first quarter. McVay said that both players "love each other and love the game of football."
"We've got our division rival coming into our house. It's going to be a big game. Like I said, this team doesn't quit. We're not going to stop. It's all hands on deck. We're going to be ready to go." -- Ravens tight end Mark Andrews, who on Sunday broke Michael Jackson's 25-year-old franchise record for receiving yards in a single season.
Baltimore will host the rival Steelers, who host the Browns on Monday night in what will likely be Ben Roethlisberger's final regular season home game. The Rams will host the 49ers, who are in the hunt to capture one of the NFL's wild-card berths.