“What happened!?” The Los Angeles Times headline read Monday.

It’s a question the L.A. Rams were no doubt asking themselves again and again after their stupefying 23-20 loss to the New York Jets — yes, that 0-13 Jets team that lost 40-3 in Seattle a week earlier.

“This loss will demoralize us only as much we allow it to,” Rams coach Sean McVay told reporters. “It’s going to be embarrassing, sick to your stomach about it.”

The Rams (9-5) don’t have much time to dwell. The NFC West title is up for grabs when they visit Seattle on Sunday (1:25 p.m., FOX).

Three things to know about the Rams this week:

Akers ruled out vs. Seahawks

The Rams have been consistently inconsistent on offense throughout the season, and that was especially true in the loss to the Jets.

The Rams had just 97 yards in the first half and were 0-for-7 on third down. They didn’t score until getting a 45-yard field goal to close out the first half, and they trailed 13-3 at halftime.

“Offensively, just unbelievably poor to start the game,” McVay said, adding: “Dug ourselves in too deep of a hole. … I’ve got to do a better job of having our team ready to go.”


Jared Goff finished 22 of 34 for 209 yards with two second-half touchdowns and one interception.

“We didn’t execute. I didn’t execute,” Goff said. “We didn’t do a lot of the things that we had prepped to do, and that’s how you lose a game.”

The Rams got more bad news Monday when McKay announced that rookie Cam Akers, the team’s leading rusher, will miss Sunday’s game against the Seahawks. Akers suffered a high-ankle sprain in the first half against the Jets but managed to return and rush for 63 yards on 15 carries.

Akers had emerged as the favored back in recent weeks, ahead of Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown, who now figure to split carries in Seattle.

NFL’s No. 1 defense

How good has the Rams defense been under first-year coordinator Brandon Staley?

The Seahawks, by comparison, have allowed more passing yards (4,102) than the Rams have allowed total yards (4,005).


The Rams’ enter this week ranked No. 1 in the NFL in fewest yards allowed per game (286.1) and No. 1 in fewest passing yards allowed (192). The Rams are allowing 19.2 points per game, third-fewest in the league.

Defensive tackle Aaron Donald remains a favorite to win another defensive player of the year award, ranking among the league leaders in sacks (12.5) and forced fumbles (four). In 13 career games against the Seahawks, Donald has 12 sacks, 19 tackles for loss, 35 QB hits and two forced fumbles.

Donald and cornerback Jalen Ramsey were the Rams’ only two Pro Bowl selections announced Monday.

In the loss to the Jets, the Rams managed only two sacks (and two total QB hits) of Sam Darnold on Sunday and didn’t have any take-aways. The Jets were able to close out the final four minutes of the game by picking up two first downs.

McVay vs. Carroll

McVay, the Rams’ 34-year-old coach, is 5-2 head to head against Pete Carroll, and the Rams have scored at least 28 points in five of those matchups.

Seattle’s defense, in hindsight, began its midseason turnaround during the Seahawks’ 23-16 loss in Los Angeles on Nov. 15. The Rams had scored on four of their first six drives — with each scoring drive going 70 yards or longer — to take a 23-13 lead midway through the third quarter. But Seattle’s defense held after that, and has progressively gotten better in the weeks since.

Seattle’s offense struggled in that Week 10 loss. Russell Wilson did not throw a touchdown pass, committed three turnovers and was sacked six times, a season high. DK Metcalf, shadowed by Ramsey for most of the game, was not targeted in the first half and was limited to just two catches for 28 yards.

“We’ve got to get our act together,” Carroll said after that game. “We’ve just got to get better.”