Week 13: Rams Roll Over the Cardinals; Clinch First Winning Season Since 2003
Two early Cardinal turnovers enabled the Rams win for the sixth time in seven games
Rams 32 Cardinals 16
The Rams picked up where they left off after they blew out the Cardinals 33–0 in London during their first match up in Week 7. Special team woes were the real culprit this time around as the Cardinals had a field goal and extra point blocked while giving the Rams excellent field position on kick returns. Add in two early interception by Cardinals’ Blaine Gabbert along with an inactive Adrian Peterson (neck) and you have a recipe for disaster.
Cardinals quarterback Blaine Gabbert put the team in some real bad situations early on which set precedent for the rest of the game. On their first possession after the Rams scored a field goal, Gabbert sailed a pass right to Rams safety Lamarcus Joyner in coverage. The Rams would later score a touchdown from that blunder and just like that, the Cardinals were down two scores, 0–9. On the very next drive, Gabbert threw another horrid pass right into the hands of Alec Olgetree for an easy pick-six to put the Rams up 16–0. Just like that, the Cardinals were down three scores which makes you wonder how this competitive this game could have been; they brought it back to respectability with a 13–19 score in the second half. The Ogletree interception absolutely devastated the Cardinals.
The Sean McVay offense has revitalized the talents of Rams running back Todd Gurley. Coming off an utterly disappointing sophomore seaosn, Gurley’s talents as both a runner and receiver have been put on full display all season. Gurley finished the game with over 150+ all purpose yards (74 rushing, 84 receiving) which now puts him at 1,500 all-purpose yards for the season. Gurley led the teams in both carries (19) and catches (six) which includes forcing five missed tackles and the majority of his yards coming after contact (56 yards). Former Rams’ Steven Jackson was the last player to accomplish such a feat for the franchise in 2010.
Larry Fitzgerald Continues to Shine
Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald continues to produce at an elite level despite lackluster quarterback play. Sunday was no different as he hauled in all 10 targets thrown his way for 98 yards and one touchdown on a post route. Fitzgerald is now fourth in NFL history for the all-time receiving yards and the fastest player to reach 1,200 career receptions — seven games faster than Jerry Rice.
It was a relatively competitive game if you take out the early Cardinal blunders in the first half. However, the game isn’t played on if’s and hypotheticals as those early turnovers did happen — which ultimately decided the outcome. The Cardinals were neck-and-neck in offensive yards, time of possession, and 1stdowns but the final score says otherwise. With the Rams now boasting a 9–3 record, they’ve officially surpassed the Jeff Fisher line of .500 mediocrity and are guaranteed to have a winning season for the first time since 2003.
The Los Angeles Rams host the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Arizona Cardinals host the Tennessee Titans.