The Los Angeles Rams are headed back to the Super Bowl.
That’s the lens that running back Cam Akers has vowed to view the doomed, dire final stanzas of the Rams’ championship defense, one that officially ended in dreary fashion on Monday night in Green Bay.
Few, if any, realistically saw the Rams’ Thursday victory over Las Vegas as the start of a late, if not completely unrealistic, playoff push, but mathematics and the 24-12 defeat at the hands of the Packers have shut down any remaining delusions in the Southern California area.
Akers bestowed a warning to the contenders the Rams face over the final stages of the season: don’t expect Los Angeles to be trodden upon and perhaps to be careful about breakfast on game day.
“We can (urinate) in other people’s coffee or cornflakes,” Akers said after the loss to the Packers, per the Los Angeles Daily News. “So if we can, we’re going to do that. We’re gonna play the last three games like it’s the championship.”
Head coach Sean McVay echoed Akers’ approach, though, fortunately, there was no promise of breakfast defilement.
Akers did what he could to beautify Monday’s dirge, particularly from an offensive standpoint: his season-best 100 yards from scrimmage accounted for all but 56 of the Rams’ offensive output, the scoring limited to Matt Gay field goals and a Tyler Higbee touchdown from Baker Mayfield.
The Rams (4-10) can still influence the creation of the NFL’s 14-team playoff bracket despite their elimination: while a Christmas coal-in-the-stocking against the equally woebegone Denver Broncos (1:30 p.m. PT, CBS/Nickelodeon) is destined for the eyeballs of only the most desperate family avoiders, the final two contests feature a SoFi Stadium civil war with the Los Angeles Chargers and a visit to the Seattle Seahawks in the Week 18 finale.
Both the Chargers and Seahawks are in the thick of their respective conference postseason hunts, the former currently holding the AFC’s penultimate playoff seed.
Unlike others in the brotherhood of the gridiron damned, the Rams would face no penalty for winning, having dealt away their first-round pick in pursuit of last season’s championship.
Playing spoiler has been a bit of a foreign concept for the rebooted LA Rams: Monday saw the franchise clinch its first 10-loss season since the return to SoCal in 2016.