Stafford, Donald led Rams to a 30-23 victory over Cardinals

GLENDALE (AZ.) -- Aaron Donald and the Los Angeles Rams proved they are still a heavyweight in NFC West.

Stafford, Donald led Rams to a 30-23 victory over Cardinals


 

The six-time All-Pro ended with three sacks, the first on the initial play of scrimmage, and the last as time expired. Matthew Stafford was able to throw for 287 yards and three touchdowns to help the Rams beat the Arizona Cardinals by 30/23.

"That's what the greatest do. "They play their best when it is necessary," Rams coach Sean McVay stated. We talk about competitive greatness all of the time, and this guy is the epitome competitive greatness. Aaron is a great man. I'm not surprised at all."

The Cardinals (10-3), will need to wait at most one week to secure their first playoff spot since 2015. Two interceptions by Kyler Murray led to Rams touchdowns.

Odell Beckham Jr. and Cooper Kupp both scored touchdowns for the Rams (9-4), which won their second straight. They pulled within one game of Cardinals in the division, and look refreshed after a three-game losing streak.

Kupp caught 13 passes for 123 yards. This was Kupp's eighth 100-yard game of the season.

After recovering an onside kick, the Cardinals had a chance at tieing the game in the last seconds. A holding call ended Murray's long run on his first drive. Arizona was unable to produce a miracle in the last seconds. Donald ran towards Murray on the final play and the quarterback was pushed to the ground by the 280-pound defensive player.

Donald stated, "We had a plan and we followed it. It was great fun."

Stafford, who was able to throw for most of the night and had plenty of time and protection, hit Van Jefferson with a high-arching pass for 52 yards to put the Rams up 20-13 in the third quarter. He dissected the Cardinals defense, which had been amongst the best against the pass this season.

Murray was then picked up again just a few plays later. Leonard Floyd dropped the ball in the air and caught it. He then ran downfield to Arizona 19. Seven plays later, Stafford hit the diving Kupp for a 4-yard touchdown. The Rams were now leading 27-13

James Conner broke through the Rams' defense to score an 8-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. This cut down the deficit to 27-20.

Murray was able to pass for 383 yards as the Cardinals attempted to catch him up.

After Murray had scrambled for 16 yard and was out of bounds with one second remaining, Arizona's Matt Prater scored his second 53-yard field-goal of the first period. This tied the game at 13:13 at halftime. After a first-half that saw both sides take the lead, and then lose it, the 35-second drive was a six-play, 35 second affair.

Kliff Kingsbury, Cardinals coach, said that while the team was not very clean, he felt that the effort was commensurate with what we have had. "Some unfortunate situations were faced by the team, but they persevered and won the game. However, it was not enough clean in any phase.

Prater kicked his 53-yarder to open the scoring. Arizona threatened to score later in the quarter, but Murray was intercepted by Ernest Jones on second and goal from the 4, after Donald had deflected the ball.

Donald had a huge first quarter, which included a sack and tackle for loss. This season, he has 10 sacks.

Jones' interception was converted by the Rams into a touchdown when Stafford found Beckham and scored a 2-yard touchdown. Stafford completed seven of his passes during the drive.

Stafford stated, "The guys that we needed to play well stepped in,"

Beckham scored his third touchdown since joining Rams last month. In six games against Cleveland, he did not score a touchdown. He also scored his first touchdown in three consecutive games since 2015.

NOSE FOR THE EXTRUMENT ZONE

Conner scored his first TD late in the second half, from just 1 yard out. He rushed into the end zone with a second effort after bouncing off a pile. Conner has now scored a touchdown in seven consecutive games, breaking the Cardinals record established by John David Crow in 1960.

COVID-19 PROBLEMS

The Rams were without Jalen Ramsey, defensive back, and Tyler Higbee (tight end), who both had been placed on the COVID-19 List Monday. This was the first game both of them had missed this season.

Ramsey led the team on Monday with three interceptions. Higbee now has 44 receptions, 395 yards, and three touchdowns.

HOMEWOES

The Cardinals are 7-1 away from home, but 3-3 at State Farm Stadium.

This IS 40

Andrew Whitworth, a Los Angeles native, made NFL history when he became the first player to play left tackle at age forty.

INJURIES

Rams: LA welcomed back Justin Hollins (linebacker), who had missed nine games due to injury.

Cardinals: Arizona activated long snapper Aaron Brewer (broken elbow) and DL Rashard Lawrence, both of whom were injured in the calf. Justin Pugh, left guard, was also available but he did not start. ... Conner and DeAndre Hopkins both left the field shortly after the game, but Kingsbury stated that he did not believe the injuries to be serious.

UP NEXT

Rams host Seattle on Sunday

Sunday, Cardinals at Detroit

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