BALTIMORE – It took contributions from numerous players and all three phases for the Rams to claw out a win over the Ravens on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.
Among those who shined the brightest: Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and outside linebacker Von Miller.
In arguably the biggest two moments of the game, Los Angeles' big midseason acquisitions stepped up in a major way in its 20-19 victory at Baltimore.
"Big time," Rams head coach Sean McVay said. "So proud of those guys."
After the Rams defense held the Ravens to a field goal to make it a five-point game with four and a half minutes to play, quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Rams offense got the ball back with the chance to engineer a game-winning drive.
A 15-yard completion to tight end Tyler Higbee, 24-yard catch-and-run by wide receiver Cooper Kupp and 15-yard completion to wide receiver Ben Skowronek quickly moved the Rams into Ravens territory, reaching their 17-yard line. However, it eventually came down to 4th and 5 from the Ravens 12 to keep their comeback hopes alive.
It was Beckham on the receiving end of the five-yard completion for the conversion kept the drive afloat, then the 7-yard touchdown pass from Stafford that ultimately won the Rams the game.
"I think the people in this building, they give me that trust," Beckham said. "Knowing that they believe in me to make those plays, that's just a great feeling."
It would be Miller's turn to do the same soon thereafter.
After the Ravens got the ball back with 57 seconds left and only need to get in field goal range to have a chance to win the game, Miller took down Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley with 19 seconds left for his second sack of the game. The 1st-and-10 takedown resulted in an 8-yard loss, driving Baltimore back to its own 30, and they were unable to manage anything over the final three plays of the game.
"They brought me here – I said this several times – to get sacks and tackles for loss and all that stuff," Miller said. "It feels good to do my job for my boys, man. I enjoy rushing with Aaron Donald and Greg Gaines and Leonard Floyd. It feels good to do my job. I'm here to take it one play at a time and earn the respect of my teammates."
Both players are well into their Rams tenures now, yet they still can't get over the fact that they're teammates.
On days like Sunday, the Rams likely shared similar excitement.
"Odell has done nothing but keep his head down and work, man," Miller said. "That's my boy. Every time I see him, we say, 'Man, we on the same team! We on the same team!' And to go out there and make plays together for our teammates, it's wonderful."
Added Beckham: "I love it. We walk past each other every single day and we're like, 'Man, we're on the same team.' Like, we talked about this when we were training together in the offseason, this was 2015 or 2016, and here we are on the same team. To see him come up big time, (with) probably the biggest play in the game, you gotta love this."
Collectively, those plays victory allowed the Rams to earn a victory that kept them ahead of the Cardinals – who defeated the Cowboys on Sunday – and maintain first place in the NFC West, with a chance to clinch the No. 2 seed in the NFC next week.
"I love both of those guys," Rams head coach Sean McVay said. "They've come in, they've really bought into the culture. I think their teammates love these guys. They've done everything that we've asked, and I couldn't be more pleased with those guys shining as bright as they did today, in a win that we had to have."