Rams get right in Arizona, defeating Cardinals 38-28
Last week, Sean McVay said flatly that Rams quarterback Jared Goff had to take better care of the football. Los Angeles got that better play out of their former No. 1 overall pick with a 38-28 win over the Cardinals.
Goff finished 37-of-47 passing for 351 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions — his first game without a pick since Los Angeles’ Week 10 win over Seattle. Goff also had a one-yard rushing touchdown with a QB sneak in the fourth quarter.
Though Arizona took a 7-0 lead on the opening possession, Los Angeles was in control from then on. The Rams tied the game with rookie running back Cam Akers’ nine-yard touchdown early in the second quarter. The Cardinals stuffed Akers on fourth-and-goal from the one in the second quarter. But on a later drive, tight end Tyler Higbee caught a one-yard touchdown to give L.A. a 14-7 lead at the break.
Following a Rams field goal, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins caught his fifth touchdown of the season in the third quarter. Los Angeles responded with a touchdown drive, but then returner Nsimba Webster fumbled a punt to put Arizona in scoring position. Running back Kenyan Kenyan Drake cashed in with a four-yard touchdown run to make the score 24-21.
But L.A. put the game out of reach with running back Darrell Henderson’s 38-yard touchdown run and cornerback Troy Hill’s pick six to go up 38-21 with about 4:30 left in the contest.
Quarterback Kyler Murray had a poor first half, hitting only one of his first eight passes — though that completion was a 59-yard touchdown to tight end Dan Arnold. Arnold caught only two passes on Sunday, but scored on both, as Murray hit him with a two-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Murray’s final line was 21-of-39 passing for 173 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. He had just 15 yards rushing on five attempts.
Hopkins finished with eight receptions for 52 yards with one touchdown.
With the win, the Rams improve to 8-4, good for a first-place tie with the Seahawks after they lost to the Giants on Sunday. Additionally, Los Angeles improves to 33-0 under McVay when entering halftime with a lead and stay undefeated against the Cardinals under McVay at 7-0. L.A. will next face New England at home on Thursday Night Football.
The Cardinals fall to .500 at 6-6, with their playoff hopes still alive for the No. 7 seed. But Minnesota is also 6-6 and San Francisco has a chance to improve to .600 with a win over Buffalo on Monday Night Football.