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Rams

What we learned from Rams’ 17-13 victory over the Arizona Cardinals

What we learned in the Rams’ 17-13 victory over the Arizona Cardinals:

Brian Quick is playing with confidence

The veteran receiver has three touchdown receptions in the last two games.

A week after scoring the Rams’ first touchdown this season on a 44-yard play at Tampa Bay, Quick turned a midrange reception against the Cardinals into a 65-yard scoring play. He also used his leaping ability to outjump a defender for a four-yard touchdown that put the Rams ahead in the fourth quarter.

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Quick endured a long training camp that included chastising from Coach Jeff Fisher for dropping passes.

That has not been an issue the last two weeks.

The Rams need cornerback E.J. Gaines

Gaines played in a regular season game for the first time since 2014 and fortified the secondary with a physical style.

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Gaines was sidelined because of a foot injury in 2015 and sat out three games this season because of a thigh issue.

The Rams made Coty Sensabaugh inactive Sunday and again started Troy Hill opposite Trumaine Johnson.

But Gaines came on and made seven tackles and broke up two passes.

Hill has done an admirable job in Gaines’ absence. But the Rams’ defense prides itself on physical play and Gaines, who started 15 games in 2014, provides it.

Todd Gurley can contribute with his hands

The Rams running back has worked before, during and after practices to improve his pass-catching skills.

It paid off against the Cardinals.

He made a one-handed catch that he turned into a 33-yard gain. He caught four other passes for 16 yards, including one that set up the Rams’ go-ahead touchdown.

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Trumaine Johnson makes it look easy

The franchise cornerback intercepted a pass, nearly intercepted another and broke up or defended six pass plays.

Johnson’s diving interception in the end zone was balletic.

His plays came a week after he hit a Tampa Bay receiver, causing the ball to ricochet into linebacker Mark Barron’s hands for an interception.

Aaron Donald is a force

We already knew that, of course, but the two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle showed up in the box score with an obviously meaningful line for the first time this season.

Donald made five tackles, including 1½ sacks, and forced a fumble.

A week after playing all of the defensive line positions at Tampa Bay, Donald helped knock Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer out of the game.

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Greg Robinson remains a work in progress.

The left tackle was penalized twice, once for holding on a 27-yard scramble by quarterback Case Keenum and once for being an illegal receiver downfield on another play that Keenum extended.

Robinson is part of a line that has struggled to spring Gurley, who gained only 33 yards in 19 carries.

The Rams are learning how to win on the road

After losing to the San Francisco 49ers in the opener at Santa Clara, the Rams traveled across the country to defeat Tampa Bay and followed that by beating the Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium for the second year in a row.

The Rams cannot afford to let up against Buffalo in their second home game on Sunday.

After that, they return to the road for games at Detroit and in London.

There are safeties in numbers

Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams deployed safeties T.J. McDonald, Maurice Alexander and Cody Davis with great effectiveness.

Alexander made five tackles, including a sack.

McDonald broke up two passes and intercepted a Hail Mary as time expires.

Davis made one tackle.


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