Rams Defeat Cardinals 38-28, Claim First Place in NFC West

Losses hurt, especially close ones. The remedy? Thoroughly handing it to a division rival. That’s exactly what the Rams did today against the Cardinals. A week after losing a close game to the 49ers, the Rams bounced back with an impressive 38-28 win over Arizona. Here’s what we learned from State Farm Stadium:

Clean Offense for Rams

Last week, the Rams coughed up the ball four times against the 49ers and looked discombobulated. This week, they totaled nearly 500 yards of offense (119 rushing, 344 passing). In that game against San Francisco, Goff was responsible for three of those four turnovers (two interceptions, one fumble); this week, he played a nearly mistake-free game, with 351 passing yards and one touchdown (and more importantly: no turnovers). Rookie halfback Cam Akers led the team in rushing yards (72) and rushing attempts (21). This was his second straight week leading the team in rushing yards. This was also the first time in six games that the team scored 30+ points (a 30-10 week 5 victory over the Washington Football Team).

Murray Magic Missing for Cardinals

Despite throwing three touchdown passes, Arizona’s Kyler Murray struggled against the Rams’ vaunted defense. After going three-and-out on offense, the Cardinals punted the ball to start the fourth quarter. A fumble by Rams punt returner Nsimba Webster set up Arizona at the Rams’ 15 yard line, which they punched in for a touchdown. Things seemed like they would swing in their favor, with the Rams’ lead cut down to three points (24-21). With the Los Angeles offense facing third and long, the Cardinals had a chance to get the ball back and get back in this game. It wasn’t to be, as Jared Goff found tight end Gerald Everett for a 22 yard gain and first down. Running back Darrell Henderson eventually found his way into the endzone with a 38 yard gallop, giving his team a 10 point lead. With just over five minutes left, you had the faintest feeling that the Cardinals could muster¬† some Murray Magic and get back in it. Any hopes of a Cardinals win were dashed when Rams cornerback Troy Hill picked off Murray and ran it in for a touchdown, icing the game for L.A.

McVay Keeps Rams Perfect Against Arizona

Since Sean McVay took over as Rams head coach, Los Angeles is 7-0 over Arizona. Jared Goff also improved to 7-1 against Arizona, his most wins versus any opponent, according to NFL.com. They are also now 33-0 in games where they lead at halftime. With the loss, the Cardinals drop to 6-6, having lost three straight games and four of their last five.

The win puts the Rams at 8-4 and atop the NFC West. Their next matchup will be against Ace Boogie and the New England Patriots, with the matchup taking place on Thursday Night Football. Kickoff will take place at 5:20 p.m. PST at SoFi Stadium.