Baker Mayfield and Rams dominate in 51-14 win over Broncos

Rams running back Cam Akers rushed for more than 100 yards and three touchdowns.

Quarterback Baker Mayfield played efficiently and with occasional flash. Veteran tight end Tyler Higbee stepped up, and the defense forced multiple turnovers that made it easy on the offense.

Nothing, of course, has been easy for the defending Super Bowl-champion Rams during their lost season.

But for one game anyway, they executed and played the long-sought-after-but-almost-never-achieved complementary football that coach Sean McVay has hopelessly pined for.

The Rams’ 51-14 victory on Sunday over the hapless Denver Broncos at SoFi Stadium was a welcome respite for McVay and the Rams organization.

Rams linebacker Bobby Wagner runs after intercepting a pass thrown by the Broncos’ Russell Wilson in the first quarter.

(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

It was the most points scored by the Rams since a 54-51 win to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2018.

From start to finish Sunday, the Rams (5-10) had reason to feel good about themselves en route to amassing a season high in points. Sunday’s effort eclipsed a 31-27 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in the second game of the season.

The Rams scored on all eight of their possessions.

Akers rushed for 118 yards in 23 carries and scored on runs of two, two and four yards in the best game of the season for the third-year pro who had been exiled from the team for more than two weeks earlier this season.

It was the first time Akers rushed for more than 100 yards since he gained 131 yards against the Seahawks in a 2020 season wild-card playoff victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

In his second start, Mayfield completed 24 of 28 passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns.

Higbee caught nine passes for 94 yards and two touchdowns.

Rookie cornerback Cobie Durant intercepted two passes, one he returned 85 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter that provided the exclamation point to the victory. Linebacker Bobby Wagner and cornerback Jalen Ramsey also intercepted passes.

The Rams were coming off a 24-12 defeat to the Green Bay Packers, a loss that eliminated the them from playoff contention.

The Rams' Cam Akers runs untouched into the end zone against the Broncos in the second quarter.

The Rams’ Cam Akers runs untouched into the end zone against the Broncos in the second quarter. He was the first Ram to surpass 100 yards rushing in a game this season.

(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

All the Rams had left to play for against the Broncos, Chargers and Seahawks — other than the development of young players — was pride.

Akers continued his late-season reemergence by amassing 147 total yards.

Mayfield, though, has an opportunity to show other teams that he remains capable of starting in the NFL.

He looked the part in a Dec. 8 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders, but not in the defeat to the Packers. On Sunday, with the defense supplying excellent field position, he played with confidence.

Meantime, Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson continued to struggle in his first season in Denver.

Wilson, 34, returned to the lineup after being held out of last Sunday’s victory over the Arizona Cardinals while recovering from a concussion.

He completed 15 of 27 passes for 214 yards and touchdown, with three interceptions.

Durant intercepted a pass on the first possession to set up Higbee’s first touchdown, and former Seahawks teammate Wagner intercepted a pass on the second series to set up Akers’ first touchdown.

It was Wagner’s second interception of the season, the 13th of his career.

With just over four minutes left, Durant picked off a pass by Broncos backup Brent Rypien and raced up the sideline for a touchdown.

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