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Rams

Things you might have missed from the Rams’ 17-13 win over the Arizona Cardinals

Here are a few things you might have missed from the Rams’ 17-13 win over the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium.

FIRST QUARTER

Cardinals running back Chris Johnson’s weak block on Maurice Alexander led to  the first sack of Carson Palmer. The quarterback spun to his left to fake a handoff to Johnson, but the back was on the other side eyeing a blitzing Alexander. His hit didn’t slow the safety, whose first sack of the year cost the Cardinals nine yards.

On Brian Quick’s 65-yard touchdown catch, the Cardinals secondary overran the receiver. Cornerback Marcus Cooper was airborne and reached out to slow Quick, but the 6-foot-3 receiver flew by.  Safety Tony Jefferson over-pursued to the sideline and lost his footing as he tried to reverse direction.

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SECOND QUARTER

The Rams nearly gifted the Cardinals with a touchdown after Johnson’s 18-yard run deep into L.A. territory. Mark Barron shoved Johnson after he was out of bounds and was flagged for unnecessary roughness, extending the gain  by 15 yards. Johnson later rushed up the middle for an apparent 13-yard score, but the play was nullified by a holding penalty on tight end Jermaine Gresham.

On the same drive, nose tackle Michael Brockers came off the line of scrimmage to make a tackle on Cardinals running back David Johnson. Brockers’ quick feet kept Arizona in a third-and-long situation and the Cardinals were forced to settle for a field goal. 

The Cardinals secondary experienced some confusion on Kenny Britt’s 34-yard catch, his longest of the game. Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu both stepped up to defend Tavon Austin, which opened space for  Britt to make the catch. The play helped set up a Rams field goal for a 10-3 lead.

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THIRD QUARTER

Greg Robinson had a difficult day. The left tackle did all he could to slow down Arizona’s Chandler Jones, including holding the pass rusher, but he couldn’t stop him from knocking the ball from Case Keenum’s hands and recovering it. Robinson also was flagged for holding and later was called for being an ineligible receiver downfield on what would have been a pass that moved the Rams into field-goal range. Instead, they had to punt.

FOURTH QUARTER

E.J. Gaines was the Rams’ co-leader in tackles (seven) in his first game back from injury. He got on the stat sheet with a tackle of David Johnson on third down that  forced the Cardinals to settle for  a field goal in the second quarter. Other highlights included a ball-popping hit on Gresham and stopping Darren Fells from getting out of bounds in the final minute.

matt.wilhalme@latimes.com

Follow Matt Wilhalme on Twitter @mattwilhalme


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