What we learned in the Rams’ 33-0 victory over the Arizona Cardinals

What we learned in the Rams’ 33-0 victory over the Arizona Cardinals:

Sean McVay made a good call on the travel itinerary

The Rams’ first-year coach decided that it would be best to remain in Jacksonville, rather than traveling directly to London, after the Rams played the Jaguars.

The players said throughout the week that they preferred remaining stateside before making a relatively short trip to England on Thursday.


Whether there was a correlation to their performance against the Cardinals is debatable, but there is no arguing the result.

McVay still needs work managing timeouts

McVay indicated that one of his assignments during the bye week was to review and be critical of his use of timeouts.

In the first half, he burned all of them by early in the second quarter, preventing him from possibly challenging an officials’ call that appeared to be wrong.


Fans will be watching closely when the Rams play their next game against the New York Giants.

The offensive line continues to shine

During player introductions before the game, the offensive line comes out in a group rather than individually. They are functioning well as a unit.

Todd Gurley rushed for more than 100 yards for the fourth time in five games, back-up Malcolm Brown rushed for 48 yards in 11 carries and quarterback Jared Goff seemed to have an abundance of time and was sacked only once.

Tackles Andrew Whitworth and Rob Havenstein, guards Rodger Saffold and Jamon Brown have remained physically sound. Center John Sullivan has had a few issues, but Austin Blythe stepped in once again and played well.

Third-down efficiency improved

A week after converting only four of 13 third downs against Jacksonville, the Rams were 13 of 19 against the Cardinals.

Quarterback Jared Goff completed multiple passes for first downs in third-down situations.


The Rams also improved their efficiency from inside the 20-yard line, scoring three touchdowns in six visits to the red zone.

Lamarcus Joyner is a playmaker

Joyner played for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury in Week 3 against San Francisco, and he intercepted a pass.

Joyner started at safety and picked off a pass thrown by Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer. Linebacker Alec Ogletree helped cause the turnover when he hit Palmer, who suffered a broken bone in his non-throwing arm on the play.

Joyner’s interception was his second of the season. He returned an interception for a touchdown in the opener against Indianapolis.

Mark Barron is tough

Barron did not practice most of the week because of a thumb injury. When he did, his left hand was in a cast.

But Barron started at inside linebacker and intercepted a pass by Drew Stanton. He also broke up a pass.


Barron should benefit from the bye week before playing the Giants in two weeks.

The Rams can stop the run

Since the second half of a Week 4 victory over the Dallas Cowboys, the Rams have shut down opponent’s running game.

Yes, they did give up a 75-yard touchdown run to Leonard Fournette on the first play against Jacksonville. But they controlled him the rest of the way.

A week after Adrian Peterson rushed for 134 yards and two touchdowns, the Rams limited the future Hall of Famer to 21 yards in 11 carries.

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