Mon, 08 Mar 2021

Cam Akers eager to build on historic playoff debut

Los Angeles Rams
14 Jan 2021, 17:24 GMT+10

Stu Jackson

In the Rams' wild card win over the Seahawks in Seattle, running back Cam Akers became the first rookie running back in franchise history to rush for more than 100 yards in a playoff game.

While pleased with the achievement, he knows a repeat performance will be needed for Los Angeles to win Saturday's divisional round playoff game against the Green Bay Packers (1:35 p.m. PT, FOX).

"Thank God for the opportunity, for allowing me to go out and do that," Akers said during a video conference Tuesday. "Plus we're going to try to do it again this week. Can't get comfortable, (got to) stack weeks on top of each other."

Against the Seahawks, Akers tallied 28 carries for 131 yards and a touchdown in a 30-20 Rams win, also adding two receptions for 45 yards in the passing game. Altogether, those 176 total yards from scrimmage were the most by a Rams rookie in their postseason debut in franchise history.

"It starts up front with our offensive line," Akers said. "Those guys had been getting great movement all day. That was a clear reflection of the run game. It doesn't go without those guys."

Akers got off to a fast start, rushing for the touchdown and 97 of his 131 yards by halftime. What impressed Rams wide receiver Robert Woods the most about Akers' performance was the vision he displayed.

"We know he was banged up a few weeks ago, and for him to bounce back how he did and take over for that running back room, he's been leading it," Woods said. "Really for a rookie to come in and make the right cuts and the right runs in critical situations, I think that's super huge and just really opens up this offense. I thanked him for my touchdown, (which was) really off of the run action, by creating it from pounding it so much with the run and (that) opening up some plays in our pass game."

Like Woods, Rams head coach Sean McVay said it was "big" to have a healthy Cam Akers against the Seahawks last weekend.

"I thought he was really getting into a rhythm early on in the game," McVay said postgame. "We were able to control the time of possession, able to just eat up yards a little bit at a time. He's a special player, he's really tough."

Successfully executing in a similar manner would bode well for Los Angeles this weekend. In its only three losses of the regular season - Tampa Bay, Minnesota and Indianapolis - Green Bay was outgained in rushing yards.

Akers already has the right mindset to do so, thanks to advice from the veterans in the Rams locker room with multiple playoff games under their belts.

"The biggest thing is don't get comfortable," Akers said. "That was just one game. Obviously it was a big game, but the next one is even bigger. You want to go out and come out prepared this week, (with) even more detail and more focus than you did last week. So not getting comfortable and keeping our foot on the gas."

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