Los Angeles Rams Stave Off New Orleans Saints Comeback Attempt On Thursday Night Football

The Los Angeles Rams boosted their postseason hopes as they staved off a New Orleans Saints comeback in the fourth quarter and held on for a 30-22 victory on Thursday Night Football. (Kyusung Gong/AP)

By Issy Ronald and Jacob Lev, CNN

(CNN) — The Los Angeles Rams boosted their postseason hopes as they staved off a New Orleans Saints comeback in the fourth quarter and held on for a 30-22 victory on Thursday Night Football.

The Saints were down 30-7 with 12:44 remaining in the fourth quarter but scored 15 straight points to make a one possession game with 3:53 left, though they came up just short in the end to fall to 7-8 on the season.

The Rams have now won five of their last six games, losing only to the high-flying Baltimore Ravens in overtime, as they continue their late push for the playoffs and improve to 8-7 after a sluggish start to the season.

“We earned the opportunity to be at this point, in my opinion,” Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford said afterwards, per ESPN. “We’ve had stakes since the bye, so I’m just proud of the way these guys have put their head down, gone to work and shown up.”

Stafford threw 24-of-34 for 328 yards and two touchdowns with standout rookie wide receiver Puka Nacua catching nine balls for 164 yards and a touchdown.

Nacua continued his impressive start to his NFL career, reaching 150-plus scrimmage yards for a fourth game this season, setting a new record for a rookie in the Super Bowl era, according to NFL research.

“I feel like we’re playing our best football right now, and everybody is just enjoying the moment,” Nacua said after the game, per NFL.com. “We go out there, and just the confidence we have in each other is making playing football so much fun.”

Demarcus Robinson had 82 yards and a touchdown through the air while Kyren Williams ran for 104 yards and another TD on the ground, with the running back celebrating his score by tossing the ball to his mom in the crowd.

But after coasting to a 30-7 lead, the Rams’ grip on the game slipped when New Orleans mounted a comeback, with quarterback Derek Carr finding Juwan Johnson and AT Perry for touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

Carr eventually finished with a very solid 319 yards and three touchdowns through the air, but he tossed an interception and couldn’t complete the Saints’ comeback as the Rams ran down the clock to the delight of the home fans inside SoFi Stadium.

Baseball superstar Shohei Ohtani – who recently signed a reported 10-year, $700 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers – was among those in the crowd, greeting Rams players in the dressing room after the game while wearing their jersey.

The Rams next take to the field on New Year’s Eve against Tommy DeVito and the New York Giants in East Rutherford, while the Saints head to Tampa Bay to play the Buccaneers on the same day.

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