What we learned in the Rams’ 34-0 victory over the Arizona Cardinals

Brandin Cooks is more than a deep-ball threat

The Rams traded for the speedy Cooks to give them a consistent pass-catcher on longer routes.

Cooks came through with a 57-yard play on a deep pass from quarterback Jared Goff.

But on shorter and mid-range routes in traffic, Cooks also made several difficult catches look easy.


Cooks finished with seven receptions for 159 yards, an average of 22.7 yards per catch.

Don’t mess with Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson

Goff completed 24 of 32 passes for 354 yards.

His only major mistake was challenging Peterson, a three-time All-Pro who has been selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his seven NFL seasons.


A few plays after connecting with Cooks for 57 yards, Goff did a nice job of evading a sack, rolled to his right and tried to sneak a pass past Peterson to Cooks.

Peterson intercepted the pass.

“I was mad at myself about that one,” Goff said. “That was probably the only one of the day I was really not happy with myself….

“He made a great play, as he does often. He made a great play and I’ve just got to be smarter there.”

Tight ends are back in vogue

Gerald Everett and Tyler Higbee were each targeted twice.

That might not seem like much, but neither was targeted in the season-opening victory over the Oakland Raiders.

Everett turned a catch into a 17-yard gain. Higbee caught a three-yard touchdown pass to cap the scoring.


John Johnson continues to make plays

A week after intercepting a pass in the end zone against the Raiders, the Rams’ second-year safety set the tone early by breaking up a third-down pass against the Cardinals.

Johnson also made a team-best seven tackles for a defense that limited the Cardinals to 137 yards and only five first downs.

Johnny Hekker is versatile

He’s a Pro Bowl punter and the Rams’ emergency third quarterback on game days.

Against the Cardinals, Hekker also proved a reliable place-kicker after Greg Zuerlein was sidelined because of a groin injury suffered during pregame warmups.

Hekker kicked a 20-yard field goal and also converted an extra point and handled kickoffs.


In his regular job, he averaged 51 yards for two punts.

Go beyond the scoreboard

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