Cardinals vs. Rams rating, takeaways: Protection spearheads Los Angeles to street victory in Arizona

After a so-so first two video games, the Rams put collectively their finest recreation of the younger season throughout Sunday’s 20-12 win over the Cardinals. Los Angeles loved an environment friendly offensive efficiency whereas leaning on a protection that didn’t enable the Cardinals to cross the tip zone.

The Rams are actually 2-1 on the season after dropping their season opener to Buffalo. The Cardinals fell to 1-2 following final Sunday’s thrilling comeback win towards the Raiders.

The visiting Rams took management of the sport after taking a 20-9 lead on Cam Akers’ 14-yard landing run with over a minute left within the third quarter. The Rams have been on the doorstep of icing the sport halfway by the fourth quarter earlier than Budda Baker pressured a fumble of Akers simply inches away from the aim line. The Cardinals drove down the sphere however needed to accept Matt Prater’s fourth subject aim of the sport with 1:07 left. Arizona’s hopes of a win have been extinguished after Los Angeles recovered the following onside kick.

The Rams jumped out to a 13-0 lead on Matt Homosexual’s two subject targets and Cooper Kupp’s 20-yard landing run with 4 minutes left within the first quarter. After punting on their first 4 drives, the Cardinals put collectively a 19-play drive on their fifth possession. The lengthy drive had a disappointing end, nonetheless, because the Rams protection have been in a position to maintain the Cardinals to a subject aim in what was a foreshadowing of issues to come back.

Arizona trimmed its result in 13-9 earlier than Kyler Murray misfired on a fourth-down cross to Marquise Brown with 11:35 left. The Rams scored on their ensuing drive on Akers’ landing run.

The Rams’ win got here with some historical past, as Aaron Donald grew to become the quickest defensive deal with in NFL historical past to succeed in 100 profession sacks.

Here is a more in-depth have a look at what went down within the desert.

Why the Rams gained

The Los Angeles protection didn’t enable a landing whereas holding Arizona to 0 of two within the pink zone. The Rams have been particularly robust towards the run, as they held the Cardinals to only 70 yards on 21 carries.

The Rams offense loved a strong efficiency from Stafford, who was sacked simply as soon as whereas going 18 of 25 for 249 yards. With Kupp drawing a lot of the consideration, Stafford had success getting the ball to Ben Skowronek and Tyler Higbee, who mixed to catch eight passes for 127 yards. His fumble however, Akers made a number of key runs and completed the sport with 61 yards on 12 carries.

Why the Cardinals misplaced

Murray and the Cardinals offense failed to attain a landing. Whereas he threw for 314 yards, Murray had a number of throws he certainly needs he had again from Sunday, together with his incomplete cross to Brown on fourth-and-4 from the Rams’ 26-yard line with 11:35 left and the Cardinals trailing by 11 factors.

turning level

The Cardinals trimmed their deficit to 13-9 with 5:10 left within the third down. Their protection, whereas strong for a lot of the recreation, was unable to cease the Rams offense on their ensuing drive. The massive play was an 11-yard completion from Stafford to Kupp on third-and-11 on the Rams’ 24-yard line. Stafford hit Higbee for a 26-yard acquire on the following play, adopted by Akers’ 4 consecutive carries for 39 yards that included his landing run.

play of the sport

Akers’ landing put the sport away whereas showcasing the Rams’ ever-improving dashing assault. Akers’ run was spectacular, however it was Skowronek’s key block that helped Akers on his option to the tip zone.

quotable

“It is a blessing. Any time you the physique of labor in, issues come into fruition and also you accomplish nice issues, you are going to be happy with it. However my job is simply to go on the market, play ball and attempt to assist my group win by slide safety, double groups, triple groups, attempting to be constant and attempt to assist my group win.” — Donald to Fox Sports activities on changing into the quickest defensive deal with in NFL historical past to succeed in 100 sacks

what’s subsequent

The Rams will journey to San Francisco to tackle the 49ers, the group they defeated in final 12 months’s NFC title recreation. Arizona will head to Carolina to face a Panthers group that picked up its first win of the 12 months after upsetting visiting New Orleans on Sunday.

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