Sports

Stafford, Rams beat Cardinals through the air in thrilling victory

Stafford, Rams beat Cardinals through the air in thrilling victory

GLENDALE, Ariz. — From the first play to the final, Aaron Donald and the Los Angeles Rams showed they’re unexcited a heavyweight within the NFC West.

The six-time All-Reliable performed with three sacks — the first on the preliminary play from scrimmage and the final as time expired — while Matthew Stafford threw for 287 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Rams past the Arizona Cardinals 30-23 on Monday night.

“That’s what the becoming originate. They play their glorious when the becoming is required,” Rams coach Sean McVay stated. “We talk about aggressive greatness the whole time and this guy is the epitome of aggressive greatness. If truth be told proud of Aaron. In no blueprint stunned.”

The Cardinals (10-3) will must wait as a minimal one more week earlier than clinching their first playoff station since 2015. Kyler Murray threw two interceptions that led to Rams touchdowns.

Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr. both caught touchdowns for the Rams (9-4), who won their 2nd straight, pulled interior one recreation of the Cardinals within the division and learn about rejuvenated following a three-recreation shedding drag in November.

Kupp had 13 catches for 123 yards, the eighth 100-yard recreation this season for the NFL’s receiving leader.

The Cardinals had a gamble to tie the recreation within the closing seconds after improving an onside kick. But a retaining name worn out Murray’s future on the first play of the force and Arizona couldn’t put a final-2nd miracle. On the closing play, Donald charged toward Murray and the quarterback fell to the turf as an different of getting traipse over by the 280-pound defensive lineman.

“We had a recreation opinion, we stuck to it and it was once fun,” Donald stated.

Stafford — who had a couple of safety and time to throw loads of the night — hit Van Jefferson on a excessive-arching circulate for a 52-yard touchdown to push the Rams forward 20-13 early within the third quarter. The outdated quarterback dissected a Cardinals defense that had been among the becoming in opposition to the circulate within the NFL this season.

Just a few performs later, Murray was once picked off for the 2nd time. Leonard Floyd tipped the ball into the air, caught it after which rumbled downfield to the Arizona 19. Seven performs later, Stafford hit a diving Kupp for a 4-yard touchdown and the Rams led 27-13.

James Conner sliced by blueprint of the Rams’ defense for an 8-yard touchdown early within the fourth quarter to lower the deficit to 27-20.

Murray performed with 383 yards passing because the Cardinals tried to gain up slack.

Arizona’s Matt Prater made his 2nd 53-yard self-discipline draw of the first half — moments after Murray scrambled for 16 yards and bought out of bounds with 1 2nd left — to tie the recreation 13-all at halftime. The six-play, 35-2nd force ended a motivate-and-forth first half that saw both groups possess shut the lead after which lose it.

“Now not very neat however I believed the bother was once as fair as we’ve had as a ways as originate to enact,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury stated. “Some detrimental cases and guys persisted to combat and forestall within the recreation, however factual now not neat adequate in any piece.”

Prater opened the scoring along with his first 53-yard kick. Arizona was once threatening to rating again later within the first quarter, however Murray was once picked off by Ernest Jones on 2nd-and-draw from the 4 after Donald deflected the circulate.

Donald had a colossal first quarter that also integrated a sack, a kind out for loss and a quarterback traipse. He has 10 sacks this season.

The Rams converted Jones’ interception exact into a touchdown when Stafford stumbled on Beckham for a 2-yard rating. Stafford performed all seven of his passes on the force.

“The guys we wished to play smartly stepped up,” Stafford stated.

It was once Beckham’s third touchdown since joining the Rams final month. He didn’t possess a touchdown in six games with Cleveland this season. It was once also the first time he’s scored touchdowns in three straight games since 2015.

NOSE FOR THE END ZONE

Conner scored his first TD from 1 yard out slack within the 2nd quarter, bursting into the end zone on a 2nd effort after bouncing off a pile. He has scored a touchdown in seven straight games, tying a Cardinals file space by John David Crow in 1960.

COVID-19 PROBLEMS

The Rams performed with out defensive motivate Jalen Ramsey and tight end Tyler Higbee, who had been both set aside on the COVID-19 listing earlier Monday. It was once the first recreation both gamers possess passed over this season.

Ramsey got here into Monday main the crew with three interceptions. Higbee has 44 receptions for 395 yards and three touchdowns.

HOME WOES

The Cardinals are 7-0 away from home however 3-3 at Mumble Farm Stadium.

THIS IS 40

LA’s Andrew Whitworth made NFL ancient past by turning into the first participant to originate a recreation at left kind out at age 40.

INJURIES

Rams: LA welcomed motivate linebacker Justin Hollins, who had passed over nine games thanks to demolish.

Cardinals: Arizona activated DL Rashard Lawrence (calf) and long snapper Aaron Brewer (broken arm) earlier than the recreation. Left guard Justin Pugh was once also filled with life, though he didn’t originate. … DeAndre Hopkins and Conner both limped off the self-discipline after the recreation however Kingsbury stated he didn’t think the accidents had been serious.

UP NEXT

Rams: Host Seattle on Sunday.

Cardinals: At Detroit on Sunday.