Originally published by RamsNewswire.com
When the Los Angeles Rams clinched a playoff berth in Week 17, it was almost a foregone conclusion that the team would rest their key starters in the 2023 regular season finale against the San Francisco 49ers.
Even with a chance to secure the No. 6 seed, the Rams opted to rest Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Kyren Williams and Aaron Donald, among others against the 49ers. However, San Francisco went the same route as they sat most of their offensive players since they wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
With Stafford out, Los Angeles granted Carson Wentz his first start in over a year and he delivered with a clutch performance to give them the win. Wentz had a solid day passing the football, but his real value came in the rushing game as he carried the ball 17 times for 56 yards and one crucial touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Wentz has been appreciative of his time with the Rams and admitted it was exciting to start an NFL game again, via Stu Jackson of TheRams.com:
“It was fun. It was a lot of fun,” Wentz said. “It’s been over a year for me since I got game action and it’s been a weird year and season for me, but I had a lot of fun out there. It was fun to get to win, especially. But just playing with these guys, some of the guys I’ve been taking practice reps with on scout team, different faces out there. We all had a lot of fun and getting the win was even nicer.”
The rivalry between L.A. and San Francisco has grown into one of the league’s biggest and Wentz was happy to play a part in it:
“It felt like football again,” Wentz said of the feeling of winning in a rivalry game. “For starters, I’ve barely been here, so to feel the sense of the rivalry is different. That’s a good football team over there and we’ll see if we run into each other again. It was fun to go down there and not only get the touchdown, but then get the two point conversion and see the defense get some stops like that. It was big. We knew we were playing some backups there. It’s a different type of ball game, but anytime you come away with a win in this league, it’s a good time.”
Although Wentz likely won’t be seen under center for the Rams again this year, he put on some good tape that should land him a job either in Los Angeles or somewhere else next season.
Matthew Stafford excited for Rams’ Wild Card matchup against Lions
The Rams and the Lions will be linked forever after their blockbuster deal that swapped their quarterbacks, though it’s going to be more emotional for Stafford to head back to Detroit. The emotions will surely be flowing for him, but Stafford said he’s excited for the highly-anticipated matchup.
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