Defending Super Bowl champion Rams open season as underdogs
Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald and the Los Angeles Rams will raise their Super Bowl banner Thursday night before kicking off the NFL season at home where they became the second straight team to hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy in their own stadium.
Stafford throws 3 TD passes, Rams edge Goff's Lions 28-19
Matthew Stafford passed for 334 yards and three touchdowns against his former team, and Jalen Ramsey made an end zone interception on his 27th birthday with five minutes left in the Los Angeles Rams’ 28-19 victory over Jared Goff and the winless Detroit Lions.
Rodgers wins 3rd MVP, Donald gets 3rd top defensive player
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers pumps his fist after an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Los Angeles Rams Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers earned his third Associated Press Most Valuable Player award, while Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald took his third top defensive player prize at NFL Honors. Titans 2,000-yard rusher Derrick Henry won Offensive Player of the Year, and the offensive rookie honor went to Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert. Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson won the Walter Payton Man of the Year award for his work in the community. Rodgers had perhaps the best season of his 16-year career, leading Green Bay to a 13-3 regular season, the NFC’s best mark.
The Latest: Washington's Smith is comeback player of 2020
Smith received 49 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. ___9:52 p.m.For turning around a moribund Cleveland franchise, overcoming injuries and COVID-19 concerns, Kevin Stefanski is The Associated Press 2020 NFL Coach of the Year. ___9:43 p.m.One of the well-earned spoils for Derrick Henry’s 2,000-yard rushing season is The Associated Press 2020 NFL Offensive Player of the Year honor. ___9:30 p.m.Aaron Donald has become such a dominant defensive tackle that he’s joined elite company in winning his third Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award. The Los Angeles Rams’ unanimous All-Pro added the 2020 top defensive player honor to his wins in 2017 and 2018.
Rams' defense struggles with injury hindering Donald
Without Donald in peak form, the NFL’s top defense simply couldn’t slow down the league’s highest-scoring offense. The Green Bay Packers scored on their first five series and beat the Rams 32-18 in the NFC divisional playoffs. “I love Aaron Donald,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. Yet this heavyweight matchup between the Packers’ offense and the Rams’ defense was more like a mismatch for much of the day. You have to defend every inch as far as laterally.”The Rams also had some uncharacteristic mistakes on defense to help Green Bay out.
Rodgers leads Packers into title game with 32-18 win vs Rams
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers pumps his fist after an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Los Angeles Rams Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers defeated the Rams 32-18 to advance to the NFC championship game. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are making a return trip to the NFC title game and this time they get to play it at home. Rodgers and the Packers will host the winner of Sunday’s game between Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in the NFC title game Jan. 24. Green Bay allowed no sacks and committed no turnovers.
Jared Goff to start for Rams in Green Bay; Wolford inactive
They're in complete accord this week, however: Goff is the best choice to lead the Los Angeles Rams in the playoffs. Goff will start the Rams' postseason game at Green Bay on Saturday, while John Wolford will be inactive one week after incurring a neck injury, McVay announced Thursday. After Goff had surgery on his broken right thumb Dec. 28, Wolford got the Rams' last two starts — even though Goff thought he was ready to play last week. McVay instead decided early in the week that Wolford would start, although he didn't announce his decision until shortly before kickoff. “I was extremely excited to have that chance in a big game up in Seattle,” Wolford said.
McVay: Rams expect Aaron Donald to play vs Packers
(AP Photo/Scott Eklund)LOS ANGELES – All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald is expected to play for the Rams on Saturday in Green Bay after injuring his ribs in Los Angeles' playoff victory at Seattle. McVay said he doesn't expect to name a starting quarterback this week for the Rams' showdown with the top-seeded Packers (12-4), preferring to wait until game day for the second straight week. Donald left the game and went to the locker room, but eventually returned to watch the Rams' win from the sideline. “We'll be smart with him throughout the week,” McVay said. Rams left guard David Edwards also left with Achilles tendinitis.
Browns advance, Brees to meet Brady, Lama Jackson a winner
The Browns not only snapped a 17-game skid at Heinz Field, they manhandled the mistake-prone archrival Steelers 48-37 Sunday night. After two postseason flops, Jackson was his usual dynamic and decisive self in leading the Ravens to a 20-13 wild-card victory at Tennessee. Browns 48, Steelers 37In their first playoff road victory since 1969, the Browns (12-5) overcame all sorts of problems and history. Baker Mayfield threw for three touchdowns and the Browns got their first playoff win in 26 years. While leading his new team, the Buccaneers (12-5), to their first playoff win since Tampa Bay won the 2002 championship, Brady extended his record for playoff victories to 31.
Rams get better of division rivals, toppling Seahawks 30-20
They watched less than two weeks ago as the Seattle Seahawks loudly celebrated a division title the Rams felt they gave away. No team was better at limiting yards or points than the Rams (11-6) and they continued to torment Wilson and the Seahawks (12-5). The victory sent the Rams into next week’s divisional playoff round, likely at top-seeded Green Bay unless Chicago upsets New Orleans. His heart, his passion for the game is special,” Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth said. Seahawks: will head into an offseason filled with questions after winning the division but experiencing another early playoff exit.
The Latest: Rams surge to 30-13 lead over Seahawks in fourth
The Los Angeles Rams are leading the Seattle Seahawks 23-13 early in the fourth quarter. The Los Angeles Rams have taken a 20-10 halftime lead over the Seahawks in their wild card game at Seattle. Metcalf to cut the Los Angles Rams' lead to 13-10 in the second quarter of their wild card game. The Buffalo Bills are taking a 17-10 lead over Indianapolis into the fourth quarter at Buffalo. Washington won the middling NFC East despite a 7-9 record to earn a home wild card game.
Donald, Kelce unanimous AP All-Pros; Rodgers, Henry chosen
(AP Photo/Stephen Brashear, File)Dynamic defensive star Aaron Donald and unstoppable tight end Travis Kelce were unanimous choices Friday for The Associated Press NFL All-Pro Team. Donald, who has helped the Los Angeles Rams to the top-ranked defense in the NFL, earned his sixth All-Pro selection. “I think the best display of greatness is making people around you better,” Rams coach Sean McVay said of Donald. Joining Donald and Kelce were 15 players returning to the squad, and 14 newcomers. Rounding out the offense were Cleveland right tackle Jack Conklin (second selection), and Washington right guard Brandon Scherff (first).
Rodgers leads Pack to top of NFC after draft disappointment
(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)The NFC playoff field features the usual cast of quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Russell Wilson. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 45, 31-25 over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Feb. 6, 2011, at Arlington, Texas. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 48, 43-8 over the Denver Broncos on Feb. 2, 2014, at East Rutherford, N.J. Last year: No. The Bears’ leading tackler left in the first quarter of the Green Bay game with an elbow injury. DBs Buster Skrine, rookie Jaylon Johnson and Deon Bush missed the loss to Green Bay.
LA Rams' top-ranked defense still rolling as playoffs loom
He might find a moment after the Rams (10-6) finish their playoff run, which begins Saturday at Seattle. But Rams fans already appreciate a defense that topped the NFL in several important categories and excelled at nearly everything during a remarkable season. 1 in total yards allowed, yards passing allowed, passing TDs allowed, first downs allowed and points allowed while becoming the Rams' first top-ranked NFL defense in decades. “We're proud of the way we've competed,” Staley said Tuesday as the Rams began preparations for their trip to Seattle. ... LT Andrew Whitworth has a shot to return this week after tearing ligaments in his knee during the Rams' first meeting with Seattle in November.
No preseason, no problem: NFL rookies shine in strange year
Young and Jefferson made the Pro Bowl, and surely more rookies would have joined them as alternates at the league’s now-canceled all-star game. “It’s crazy unusual for a rookie, I think, to have the type of leadership that Chase has, genuine leadership,” Washington quarterback Alex Smith said. “I think a lot of young guys, especially high picks, I think you feel pressure to do it some way or somehow. “Talk about a rookie coming in, starting every game and just being focused,” Browns Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio said of Wills. “We’re growing and we’re starting to get a hang of the game,” said Dolphins right tackle Robert Hunt, a second-round pick and one of six Miami rookies starting on offense.
Seahawks wrap up NFC West title with 20-9 win over Rams
Seattle Seahawks strong safety Jamal Adams (33) reacts to a play against the Los Angeles Rams during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)SEATTLE – The Seattle Seahawks claimed the NFC West title with a 20-9 win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, with Russell Wilson throwing a 13-yard TD pass to Jacob Hollister with 2:51 left for the clinching score. Seattle flustered Jared Goff, shut down the Rams' run game, and held Los Angeles (9-6) to a season low in points. Now, Los Angeles risks missing the playoffs entirely if it loses to the Cardinals and Chicago beats Green Bay next Sunday. Seahawks: Seattle closes the regular season facing San Francisco next Sunday in Glendale, Arizona.
Akers runs wild, Newton benched as Rams rout Patriots 24-3
These Rams even looked good enough to contend for a chance at some actual Super Bowl redemption later this season. “We’ve got a lot of respect for them, but it’s a totally different year,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. New England managed only 220 total yards — just 62 in the second half with a series of misbegotten drives. Akers' yards mostly came in big chunks during the biggest rushing game by an NFL rookie this season and just the ninth 150-yard game against a Belichick-coached defense since 2000. But Young opened the second quarter with an interception by Donald's disruption up front, taking it all the way back for the third-year linebacker's first NFL touchdown.
Big plays help Dolphins beat Rams 28-17 in Tua’s 1st start
He entertained those along the bench by dancing after the Miami Dolphins' first touchdown, and greeted 5-foot-6 Jakeem Grant with a leaping chest bump to the face mask after another score. The early 33-yard scoring drive was the Dolphins' longest, as the big lead allowed them to keep Tagovailoa mostly under wraps. We tried to make him see a lot of different things, and for the most part it worked.”The Rams' defense received little support from their offense, though. “We heard a lot about the Rams' defense," Miami safety Eric Rowe said, “but they had to worry about our defense.”INJURIESTwo-time Rams Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey became ill before the game and didn’t play. ANTHEMFifteen Rams players knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The Dolphins stayed in the locker room during the national anthem.
Rams dominate matchup of tough defenses, beat Bears 24-10
Josh Reynolds and Gerald Everett caught touchdown passes from Jared Goff, and the Rams won a matchup of dominant defenses, beating the Bears 24-10. After his first sack, Floyd jumped up and went toward the Bears sideline, shouting and gesticulating at the team that let him go. We’re just one tight unit right now.”The Rams led 10-3 at halftime after holding the Bears to 126 yards. ... TE Tyler Higbee was inactive with a hand injury, missing his second game since 2016. Johnny Mundt had a career-high 47 yards receiving in his absence, including a career-best 34-yard catch in the second quarter.
Jimmy Garoppolo throws 3 TD passes, 49ers beat Rams 24-16
Garoppolo threw three TD passes in the first half and Jason Verrett’s first interception in more than four years helped preserve the lead, giving the 49ers a 24-16 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday night. San Francisco’s defense stepped up with some key stops in the second half. Verrett's interception was part of a rough day overall for Jared Goff, who also missed an open Kupp on a deep ball earlier in the second half. Garoppolo found Kittle on a one-on-one matchup with Darious Williams on a fourth-and-2 play that turned into a 44-yard TD. INJURY REPORT49ers: RB Raheem Mostert (ankle) S Jaquiski Tartt (groin) and C Ben Garland (calf) all left in the second half and didn't return.
Smith returns as Goff-led Rams beat Washington to get to 4-1
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, in Landover, Md. Smith played his first NFL game 693 days since breaking his right tibia and fibula, entering when new Washington starting quarterback Kyle Allen injured his left arm. “You watch guys like Aaron all the time and as effective as he is, you guys have no idea how impressive it is with all the attention he gets week after week,” Rams linebacker Troy Reeder said. Rivera said if Allen can play next week, Smith would back up and Haskins would again be inactive. UP NEXTThe Rams visit the 49ers next Sunday, while Washington is at the NFC East rival New York Giants.
Goff tosses 3 TD passes to Higbee, Rams beat Eagles 37-19
Philadelphia Eagles' DeSean Jackson, right, catches a pass against Los Angeles Rams' Troy Hill during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)PHILADELPHIA – Jared Goff threw three touchdown passes to Tyler Higbee and the Los Angeles Rams beat the Philadelphia Eagles 37-19 on Sunday. Goff completed his first 13 passes, including a pair of TDs to Higbee, and the Rams jumped to a 21-3 lead minutes into the second quarter. After the Eagles (0-2) pulled within one score, Goff’s 28-yard TD pass to Higbee in the fourth iced it for Los Angeles (2-0). The Rams took a 7-0 lead on Goff’s 4-yard TD pass to Higbee after Miles Sanders’ fumble on the third play gave them the ball at the Eagles 41.
Drew Brees having surgery on injured right hand
She's spending the day, or much of it, with her husband Drew at a Los Angeles hospital, where the New Orleans Saints quarterback is having surgery on his injured thumb. Saints head coach Sean Payton said Wednesday morning that the team doesn't plan to put the future Hall of Famer on the injured reserve list. Only two players on the injured reserve list who are designated to return can be brought back during the season, but only after eight weeks. Russell Wilson, the starting quarterback for the Seahawks, tweeted a video at Brees. Brees has been the team's starting quarterback since 2006 and led them to their only Super Bowl title in 2010.