Out to finish strong after underwhelming seasons, Rams, Broncos meet

Sunday’s game between the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Rams in Inglewood, Calif., will air on Nickelodeon with all the kid-friendly features one would expect from that network.

That’s appropriate, because both teams‘ seasons got slimed a long time before anyone thought about opening presents.Both shared great expectations in September, but neither will consider 2022 a fairy tale in any way.

Denver traded for 10-year Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson and figured that acquisition, пишут combined with its usually tough defense, would propel it into contention in the AFC West.Instead, the Broncos are 4-10 and Wilson has played by far the worst football of his otherwise good career.

Los Angeles‘ route to a 4-10 record has been paved by a spate of injuries that have kept top performers out of numerous games.It’s a far cry from the Super Bowl season it enjoyed in 2021, hoisting the Lombardi Trophy on its field in February after beating Cincinnati.

So, what’s at stake for both teams except for the accomplishment of achieving individual goals and piling up positive stats?

For embattled Denver coach Nathaniel Hackett, it’s about getting Wilson back into the lineup and hoping he can build on what was a positive outing two weeks ago, when he threw for three touchdowns and 247 yards in a 34-28 loss to Kansas City.

„He’s full go, we’re full go,“ Hackett said of Wilson. „It’s about winning the football game. We want to see him execute, get the ball out of his hands when that’s there.“

The Broncos are coming off a 24-15 win last week over equally disappointing Arizona behind 197 passing yards from backup quarterback Brett Rypien and 130 yards on the ground from veteran Latavius Murray.Denver controlled the ball for nearly 33 minutes and ground out 23 first downs.

As for the Rams, they’re on a short week after Monday night’s 24-12 loss in Green Bay. Los Angeles again struggled on offense, managing just 13 first downs and 156 yards against a defense that’s not been confused for the Steel Curtain of the 70s or even the Packers‘ dominant, Reggie White-led outfits of the 90s.

Baker Mayfield threw under duress most of the game, going 12 of 21 for 111 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Mayfield was sacked five times as an injury-plagued offensive line simply couldn’t keep Green Bay’s rushline out of the pocket.

„This has been a real struggle in a lot of instances, a lot of adversity that we’ve gone through,“ Rams coach Sean McVay said.“But I think what we’ve seen from our guys is that they’re going to continue to battle.

„They’re going to finish up these last three games the right way, with the right mindset and mentality and we’ll compete to the best of our ability.“

Los Angeles set an NFL record this year by starting 12 different offensive line combinations in its first 12 games. It has also started more quarterbacks than any other team. Those two things together help explain why it is tied with the Broncos for allowing the most sacks at 51.

–Field Level Media