Rams vs. Cardinals – Match Summary – December 13, 2021
GLENDALE, Ariz -. –From the first to the last play, Aaron Donald and the Los Angeles Rams showed that they are still a heavyweight in the NFC West.
The six-time All-Pro finished with three sacks – the first on the initial play of the scrum and the last at the end of the allotted time – while Matthew Stafford threw for 287 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Rams to the Cardinals Arizona 30-23 Monday night.
“That’s what the best do. They play their best when the best is needed, ”said Rams coach Sean McVay. “We talk about greatness in competition all the time and this guy is the epitome of greatness in competition. Really proud of Aaron. Not at all surprised. “
The Cardinals (10-3) will have to wait at least a week longer to clinch their first playoff spot since 2015. Kyler Murray threw two interceptions that led to Rams touchdowns.
Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr. both touched touchdowns for the Rams (9-4), who won their second straight game, moved closer to a Division Cardinals game and look rejuvenated afterward. a three-game losing streak in November.
Kupp had 13 catches for 123 yards, the eighth 100-yard game this season for the NFL point guard.
The Cardinals had the opportunity to level the game in the dying seconds after recovering an in-play kick. But a waiting call shattered Murray’s long run on the drive’s first play and Arizona couldn’t produce a last-second miracle. On the last play, Donald charged Murray and the quarterback fell to the grass instead of getting run over by the 280-pound defensive lineman.
“We had a game plan, we stuck to it and it was fun,” said Donald.
Stafford – who had plenty of protection and time to pitch most of the night – hit Van Jefferson on a high pass for a 52-yard touchdown to push the Rams into the lead 20-13 early in the third quarter. The veteran quarterback dissected a Cardinals defense that had been among the best against the NFL’s pass this season.
A few games later, Murray was picked for the second time. Leonard Floyd flipped the ball in the air, caught it and then scolded towards Arizona 19. Seven games later, Stafford hit a diving Kupp for a 4-yard touchdown and the Rams led 27-13 .
James Conner sliced the Rams’ defense for an 8-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to reduce the deficit to 27-20.
Murray finished with 383 passing yards as the Cardinals tried to catch up late.
Arizona’s Matt Prater scored his second 53-yard first-half field goal – moments after Murray rushed for 16 yards and went out of bounds with 1 second left – to tie Game 13 at the half time. The six-game, 35-second practice ended a two-way first half that saw both teams take the lead and then lose it.
“Not very clean but I thought the effort was as good as we got as far from start to finish,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “Some unfavorable situations and the guys continued to battle and stay in the game, but not clean enough in one phase. “
Prater opened the scoring with his first kick from 53 yards. Arizona threatened to score again later in the first quarter, but Murray was knocked out by Ernest Jones in the second and goal of 4 after Donald deflected the pass.
Donald had a big first quarter that also included a sack, a loss tackle and a rushed quarterback. He has 10 sacks this season.
The Rams converted Jones’s interception to a touchdown when Stafford found Beckham for 2 yards. Stafford completed his seven assists on the route.
“The guys we needed to play well just stepped up,” said Stafford.
It was Beckham’s third touchdown since joining the Rams last month. He hasn’t had a touchdown in six games with Cleveland this season. It was also the first time he scored touchdowns in three straight games since 2015.
NOSE FOR THE FINAL ZONE
Conner scored his first touchdown from 1 yard late in the second quarter, bursting into the end zone on a second effort after bouncing off a pile. He scored a touchdown in seven straight games, tying a Cardinals record set by John David Crow in 1960.
The Rams played without defensive back Jalen Ramsey and tight end Tyler Higbee, both of whom were put on the COVID-19 list earlier on Monday. It was the first game both players have missed this season.
Ramsey led the team on Monday with three interceptions. Higbee has 44 receptions for 395 yards and three touchdowns.
ILLNESSES AT HOME
The Cardinals are 7-0 away but 3-3 at State Farm Stadium.
Andrew Whitworth of LA made NFL history as the first player to start a left tackle game at age 40.
Rams: LA hosted linebacker Justin Hollins, who had missed nine games with injury.
Cardinals: Arizona activated DL Rashard Lawrence (calf) and long snapper Aaron Brewer (broken arm) before the game. Left guard Justin Pugh was also active, although he didn’t start. … DeAndre Hopkins and Conner both limped off the field after the game, but Kingsbury said he didn’t believe the injuries were serious.
Rams: Hosts Seattle Sunday.
Cardinals: In Detroit on Sunday.