March 26, 2023


Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Rams continue to build confidence in domination over Patriots

It won’t erase the sting of their embarrassing Super Bowl defeat two seasons ago.

That will forever be etched deep in the souls of Rams coach Sean McVay, quarterback Jared Goff and other players who got embarrassed by the New England Patriots.

But the Rams continued to build confidence and push toward a playoff berth Thursday night, easily defeating the Patriots 24-3 at SoFi Stadium.

Goff passed and sneaked for touchdowns, rookie running back Cam Akers amassed 194 scrimmage yards and linebacker Kenny Young returned an interception for a touchdown in another dominant performance by the defense as the Rams improved to 9-4.

Goff completed 16 of 25 passes for 131 yards, with an interception, in the Rams’ first victory over the Patriots since 2001, ending a six-game losing streak against the six-time Super Bowl champions. Akers rushed for 171 yards in 29 carries and caught two passes for 23 yards.

Thursday night’s game was the first between the teams since the Patriots defeated the Rams 13-3 in Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta.

In that game, veteran Patriots coach Bill Belichick outschemed and outsmarted McVay, and Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and other former Patriots mainstays took care of the rest as the Patriots limited the Rams to their lowest point total under McVay.

On Thursday night, the Rams faced a low-wattage Patriots team that featured Cam Newton at quarterback. The Rams neutralized the 2015 NFL most valuable player and produced a defensive touchdown for the third game in row.

Newton completed nine of 16 passes for 119 yards before he was replaced by Jarrett Stidham early in the fourth quarter. Rams lineman Michael Brockers had two sacks. Aaron Donald had 1½ sacks, Morgan Fox had one and Young had another for a defense that scored a touchdown for the third game in a row. Newton rushed for 16 yards in seven carries, and he was stopped by outside linebacker Justin Hollins on a fourth-and-goal play in the first half.

The Rams led 17-3 at halftime on Goff’s one-yard sneak, Young’s interception return and a field goal by Matt Gay. Akers rushed for 89 yards in 11 carries and caught two passes for 23 yards in the first half.

The Rams increased the lead on Goff’s short touchdown pass to receiver Cooper Kupp late in the third quarter.

The Patriots fell to 6-7.