December 21, 2023 – 9:29 PM PST
Matthew Stafford threw two touchdown passes and the surging Los Angeles Rams strengthened their playoff chances with a 30-22 victory against the New Orleans Saints on Thursday in Inglewood, Calif.
Stafford passed for 328 yards and threw scoring tosses to Puka Nacua, who had 164 receiving yards, and Demarcus Robinson as the Rams (8-7), who entered the game in possession of the final wild-card berth in the NFC, won for the fifth time in six games.
Derek Carr passed for 319 yards, including 123 to Chris Olave, and three touchdowns, but two of them came after the Saints (7-8) fell behind 30-7.
The Rams received the second-half kickoff and drove to the Saints 3 before stalling, and Lucas Havrisik kicked a 22-yard field goal that gave them a 20-7 lead.
Kyren Williams ran for 10 of his 104 yards and a touchdown that pushed the lead to 27-7 and Havrisik added a 32-yard field goal before Carr threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Juwan Johnson.
Carr connected with A.T. Perry for a 35-yard touchdown and a two-point conversion to Olave to trim the lead to 30-22 with 3:53 left, but the Rams recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.
Los Angeles started its first possession at its 5 and the 14th play of the drive was a 2-yard touchdown pass from Stafford to Nacua on fourth-and-goal, giving the Rams a 7-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Rams drove to Havrisik’s 20-yard field goal and a 10-0 lead, but missed an opportunity to increase the lead when Havrisik was wide left on a 47-yard field-goal attempt.
The Saints broke through when Carr connected with Rashid Shaheed for a 45-yard touchdown pass that cut the lead to 10-7.
New Orleans turned the ball over at the Rams 42 with 56 seconds left in the half when Carr threw an incompletion on fourth-and-5.
Five plays later, Stafford threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Robinson that increased the lead to 17-7 at halftime.
–Field Level Media