Infostani Sources- The Los Angeles Rams hosted the New Orleans Saints at SoFi Stadium in a Thursday Night Football matchup, featuring two teams with realistic playoff aspirations. The Rams emerged victorious with a 30-22 win, maintaining their playoff hopes and improving to an 8-7 record, while the Saints now face a critical meeting with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 7-8.
The Rams have won six of their last seven games, with their only loss coming in overtime to the AFC-leading Baltimore Ravens. ESPN Analytics now gives them a 78% chance of making the playoffs, a significant boost from a potential 17% if they had lost. Since quarterback Matthew Stafford returned from a thumb injury in Week 11, the Rams’ offense has thrived, scoring at least 28 points in five consecutive games. Running back Kyren Williams surpassed 1,000 rushing yards for the season, becoming the first Rams player to achieve this since Todd Gurley in 2018.
In terms of quarterback performance, Stafford completed 24 of 34 passes for 328 yards and two touchdowns against the Saints. He has thrown multiple passing touchdowns in five straight games, marking his longest such streak since joining the Rams. The Rams’ rookie pass-rushers continue to impress, with Kobie Turner leading NFL rookies in sacks with 6.5 for the season.
Robinson Shines for Rams, Saints Face Playoff Hurdles
Demarcus Robinson, scoring a touchdown in his fourth consecutive game, seems to have solidified his position as the Rams’ No. 3 receiver. Robinson’s performance against the Saints included six catches for 82 yards and a touchdown. However, the Rams’ ongoing kicking struggles persisted, as Lucas Havrisik missed a field goal from 47 yards, bringing their total missed field goals for the season to a league-high 11.
For the Saints, the loss to the Rams has made their path to the playoffs more challenging. With a record of 7-8, they now face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week in a must-win situation. The loss significantly reduced their playoff chances from a 72% probability with a win to 24% with the loss.
Saints wide receiver Rashid Shaheed provided a bright spot in the game by scoring a 45-yard touchdown in the first half, marking his fifth reception of 40 or more air yards this season, the most in the NFL and by a Saints receiver since ESPN began tracking air yards in 2006. Despite a late rally led by quarterback Derek Carr, including touchdowns to Juwan Johnson and A.T. Perry, the Saints were unable to overcome the early deficit and face an uphill battle for a playoff berth.