LA Rams rally in 2nd half to beat Wilks, Panthers 24-10

Oct 16, 2022, 4:19 AM | Updated: 6:02 pm
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Ben Skowronek, with ball, leaps in celebration after scoring a touch...

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Ben Skowronek, with ball, leaps in celebration after scoring a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

(AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

              Carolina Panthers head coach Steve Wilks walks on the field before an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
            
              Carolina Panthers quarterback PJ Walker (11) throws against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Jayne Kamin-Oncea)
            
              Carolina Panthers head coach Steve Wilks signals from the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
            
              Carolina Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson (26) celebrates with cornerback Myles Hartsfield (38) and safety safety Juston Burris (31) after Jackson returned an interception for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Jayne Kamin-Oncea)
            
              Carolina Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson, center, intercepts a pass next to linebacker Cory Littleton (55) and Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp, left, during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. Jackson ran the interception back for a touchdown. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
            
              Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Allen Robinson II (1) makes a touchdown catch over Carolina Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson (26) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
            
              Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Ben Skowronek, with ball, leaps in celebration after scoring a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — When left tackle Joseph Noteboom went down with a probable Achilles tendon injury in the second quarter Sunday, the Los Angeles Rams were suddenly down to one opening day starter on their once-powerful offensive line.

The Rams gathered themselves, pushed ahead on a touchdown drive and eventually beat an opponent with just as many injury problems and even more overall chaos than the beleaguered defending champions.

Matthew Stafford passed for 253 yards, Darrell Henderson and receiver Ben Skowronek rushed for touchdowns in the second half, and the Rams snapped their two-game skid with a 24-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

“This game today is another example of (how) you just never know what’s going to happen,” Stafford said. “Our left tackle goes out, and we’ve got to move guys around. Obviously that kind of spurred us in execution, but we’ve got to continue to do more of it. If we can do that more consistently and play off of our defense, who played great again today, that would be nice.”

Allen Robinson caught a TD pass for the Rams (3-3), who overcame two straight ugly defeats and their offensive line’s latest injury setback to spoil Steve Wilks’ debut as the Panthers’ interim head coach.

Los Angeles trailed 10-7 at halftime, but took control in the second half behind its patchwork offensive line. After Skowronek put the Rams ahead and scored his first NFL touchdown in the third quarter with an 18-yard sprint on his first career rushing attempt, Henderson added a 2-yard TD run with 8:15 to play.

“Those are the games that are fun,” said Cooper Kupp, who caught seven passes for 80 yards. “You don’t like how things are going offensively in the first half … but you really like having a bunch of guys being able to contribute, and seeing other guys succeed and feeling like it was something we did together as a team.”

Donte Jackson returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown for the Panthers (1-5), who have lost three straight.

Christian McCaffrey amassed 158 of Carolina’s 203 total yards, racking up the highest percentage of any NFL team’s offense from one player since 2003. But P.J. Walker passed for just 60 yards while making his third career start in the injury absences of Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold and Matt Corral.

Walker was sidelined in the fourth quarter with a neck injury, but passed concussion protocol. Jacob Eason passed for 59 yards for the Panthers, whose offense didn’t score after a field goal on the opening drive.

McCaffrey said Walker “did a great job. We’ve got to make more plays for him. We’ve got to do a better job of making plays and making sure you know where we’re at on third down.”

Wilks took over when Matt Rhule was fired last Monday, and the former Arizona coach already has drama on his hands: He sent receiver Robbie Anderson to the locker room shortly before the end of the third quarter after Anderson had a shouting match with receivers coach Joe Dailey.

“When you look at the turnaround that we had this week, and then about guy that’s coming in that wasn’t starting. I wanted to make sure that we No. 1 established the run game,” Wilks said. “I thought we did a great job of that in the first half. When you look at the time of possession, we were good. We just got out of control in the second half.”

Los Angeles already was without five of its top eight offensive linemen before losing Noteboom, who left the field on a cart in the second quarter. Coach Sean McVay said Noteboom likely injured his Achilles tendon.

“It’s unbelievable, isn’t it?” McVay said. “I feel sick for Joe Noteboom, but what a stud (Alaric) Jackson was to pivot from right guard to left tackle. He was outstanding all day.”

The Rams made an impressive 73-yard scoring drive after Noteboom’s injury, capped Robinson’s TD catch on a fade route.

But Carolina took a 10-7 lead to the break after Stafford overthrew Kupp and Jackson took it to the house for his first career touchdown 1:58 before halftime.

Los Angeles tied it with a field goal after its 87-yard drive stalled at the Carolina 3 in the third quarter, and the Rams took the lead late in the third when Skowronek took a handoff on a sweep and scored his first NFL touchdown while Robinson blocked two defensive backs.

NO CAM

Henderson rushed for 43 yards in the absence of Cam Akers, who stayed home amid an apparent conflict with the coaching staff. Rams general manager Les Snead told Fox’s broadcast crew he is trying to trade Akers, his highest draft pick in the past five years. McVay said he expects to have “more clarity” about Akers’ situation Monday.

DEFENSIVE DIRECTION

Carolina yielded 360 total yards in the first game since Al Holcomb replaced the fired Phil Snow as defensive coordinator. The Panthers had one of the NFL’s worst rushing defenses coming in, and the Rams managed 111 yards on the ground.

INJURIES

Jackson injured his ankle in the second half, and CB C.J. Henderson went into the concussion protocol. … Rams DB Grant Haley injured his knee in the first half. … Panthers LB Cory Littleton went out with a groin injury in the second half.

UP NEXT

Panthers: Host Buccaneers on Sunday.

Rams: Bye week.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Nicholls State defeats Champion Christian 115-50

THIBODAUX, La. (AP) — Latrell Jones’ 23 points helped Nicholls State defeat Champion Christian 115-50 on Tuesday night. Jones also added seven rebounds for the Colonels (3-4). Mekhi Collins scored 19 points and added five rebounds and three blocks. Micah Thomas was 6 of 8 shooting (3 for 4 from distance) to finish with 15 […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Brown puts up 27, Louisiana beats Loyola-New Orleans 104-70

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Jordan Brown’s 27 points helped Louisiana defeat Loyola-New Orleans 104-70 on Tuesday night. Brown went 13 of 20 from the field for the Ragin’ Cajuns (6-1). Terence Lewis II added 12 points while shooting 6 of 9 from the field, and he also had 17 rebounds. Joe Charles finished 4 of […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Mains’ 19 lead Northern Arizona past Ottawa (AZ) 82-51

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Nik Mains had 19 points in Northern Arizona’s 82-51 victory over Ottawa (Ariz.) on Tuesday night. Mains also added five rebounds for the Lumberjacks (3-6). Xavier Fuller scored 16 points while shooting 6 for 14, including 4 for 7 from beyond the arc, and added seven rebounds. Keith Haymon shot 3 […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Dufault scores 19 as St. Thomas beats North Central 111-63

SAINT PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Ryan Dufault’s 19 points helped St. Thomas defeat North Central (Minn.) 111-63 on Tuesday night. Dufault also had five rebounds, nine assists, and five steals for the Tommies (6-3). Dom Martinelli scored 18 points while shooting 6 for 10 (2 for 3 from 3-point range) and 4 of 4 from […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Safford’s 26 lead Miami (Ohio) past Jackson State 95-78

OXFORD, Ohio (AP) — Morgan Safford had 26 points in Miami of Ohio’s 95-78 victory over Jackson State on Tuesday night. Safford was 9-of-14 shooting, including 3 for 6 from distance, and went 5 for 6 from the line for the RedHawks (3-4). Ryan Mabrey scored 15 points, going 5 of 10 (4 for 8 […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Tarleton State defeats Weber State 75-65

STEPHENVILLE, Texas (AP) — Lue Williams had 16 points in Tarleton State’s 75-65 win against Weber State on Tuesday night. Williams shot 5 for 9 (3 for 5 from 3-point range) and 3 of 4 from the free throw line for the Texans (4-3). Freddy Hicks added 14 points while going 5 of 11 and […]
20 hours ago
LA Rams rally in 2nd half to beat Wilks, Panthers 24-10