The Los Angeles Rams are heading to the NFL playoffs again, and a punt return from Brandon Howell is a big part of the reason why. Howell’s 61-yard punt return for a touchdown in the third quarter put the Rams up 20-10 on the Minnesota Vikings, en route to a 30-23 win (their fourth consecutive victory). Here’s that return:
Brandon Powell with a HOUSE CALL on the punt return! #RamsHouse
— NFL (@NFL) December 26, 2021
Rams’ quarterback Matthew Stafford said afterwards the team took a moment to recognize Powell even before the final whistle:
Matthew Stafford, who was already familiar with Brandon Powell from brief time together in Detroit, says he pulled him into the huddle ahead of the final kneeldown and offense took a moment to applaud the difference he made in the game.
— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) December 26, 2021
The Rams’ win here improved their season record to 11-4 and clinched a playoff berth. They haven’t yet clinched their division, but the 10-5 Arizona Cardinals’ loss to the Indianapolis Colts Saturday put the Rams in good shape there. We’ll see what happens in their two season-closing games against the Baltimore Ravens (next Sunday) and the San Francisco 49ers (Sunday, Jan. 9). But Powell’s return here certainly played a big role in boosting their chances of winning the division.
[NFL.com; photo from Jeffrey Becker/USA Today Sports]