FINAL: Cardinals 37, Rams 20
For the first time since Sean McVay took over as Rams coach in 2017, it’s not the Rams dominating the Cardinals.
Matt Prater kicked a sand-in-the-face 23-yard field goal to complete a 12-play, 94-yard scoring drive to increase the lead to 24 points.
The Rams were in position to make it a two-score game when Matthew Stafford scrambled several times to move the Rams to the one-yard line early in the fourth quarter.
But Stafford was stopped on a sneak, and a fourth-down pass to tight end Tyler Higbee fell incomplete.
The Cardinals took over on downs, and essentially sealed the victory when running back Chase Edmonds broke free for a 54-yard gain on a third and seven.
Edmonds has rushed for 120 yards in 12 carries. His teammate James Conner had two rushing touchdowns. Ouch.
Kyler Murray has completed 24 of 32 passes for 268 yards. He has rushed for 39 yards in six carries.
Stafford hit Robert Woods on a 14-yard touchdown pass with 1:14 remaining to account for the final score.
Rams can’t punch it in from the one, trail 37-13
Matthew Stafford has a well-earned reputation for pulling off comeback victories.
That will be put to the test in the fourth quarter.
The Rams started the period with the ball at the Cardinals’ 27 yard-line and pushed the ball down to the one, but Stafford was stuffed on a third-down sneak and couldn’t connect with Tyler Higbee on a fourth-down pass.
This has easily been Stafford’s most uneven performance as a Ram. He has completed 18 of 30 passes for 205 yards, with an interception and several misfires on key plays.
Cardinals 37, Rams 13, 12:05 left in fourth quarter
James Conner’s second TD of the game gives Cardinals a three-TD lead
The Cardinals are proving legit.
James Conner’s one-yard touchdown run completed a nine-play, 64-yard drive.
Quarterback Kyler Murray continues to play mistake-free. He completed a key third-down pass to A.J. Green for 12 yards and then tight end Maxx Williams turned a mid-range catch into a 25-yard gain.
Murray has completed 24 of 32 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns. He has rushed for 42 yards on five carries.
Cardinals 34, Rams 13, 1:14 left in third quarter
Rams can’t keep Cardinals off the board, down two TD’s early in third quarter
The Cardinals picked up where they left off.
Matt Prater kicked a 55-yard field goal to increase the lead to 14 points.
Kyler Murray led a 10-play drive that used up 4 minutes 45 seconds.
Murray’s 10-yard completion to DeAndre Hopkins keyed a drive that stalled when Rams nose tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day sacked Murray.
Murray has completed 20 of 28 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns.
Cardinals 27, Rams 13, 10:15 left in third quarter
Two Kyler Murray highlights that tell the story of the first half
Kyler Murray hits AJ Green, looking like peak AJ Green, in stride for a 41-yard touchdown pass.
Murray finds an opening in a sea of Rams defenders for his second TD pass, to Maxx Williams.
Rams make late red zone stand, Cardinals boost lead back to 11
It was the Kyler Murray show in the first half at SoFi Stadium.
Matt Prater’s 23-yard field goal with seven seconds left gave the Cardinals an 11-point lead – either setting the stage for Matthew Stafford to engineer another comeback victory or for the Cardinals to defeat the Rams for the first time since Sean McVay was hired in 2017.
Murray has completed 17 of 24 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns. He also has rushed for 34 yards in three carries.
Murray turned two Rams turnovers – an interception and a fumble – into touchdowns.
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford has completed 11 of 21 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown, with an interception.
Darrell Henderson has rushed for 65 yards in nine carries.
Cardinals 24, Rams 13, Halftime
Rams drive inside the Arizona 5, but settle for field goal
The Rams once again drove deep into Cardinals territory, only to settle for a field goal.
Matt Gay’s 22-yard field goal pulled the Rams within eight points.
But the Rams missed an opportunity.
Matthew Stafford’s 35-yard pass to Cooper Kupp – placed perfectly between three defenders – moved the Rams to the Arizona 23-yard line. After a delay of game penalty, Stafford’s 18-yard pass to Tyler Higbee gave the Rams first and goal at the 10.
But after Darrell Henderson rushed for six yards, Stafford misfired on two passes.
Stafford has completed 11 of 21 passes for 141 yards.
Cardinals 21, Rams 13, 3:22 left in second quarter
Cardinals turn second Rams turnover into another touchdown drive
Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is showing off his full arsenal of talent.
Murray’s 18-yard scramble on a third-and-16 play set up James Conner’s one-yard touchdown run that increased the Cardinals’ lead to 11 points.
The Cardinals took advantage of a fumble by Rams running back Sony Michel that set up the drive.
It was the Rams’ second turnover. Matthew Stafford had a pass intercepted in the first quarter.
Murray has completed 12 of 14 passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns.
Cardinals 21, Rams 10, 8:44 left in second quarter
Cardinals re-take lead on Kyler Murray’s second touchdown pass
The Cardinals aren’t going away.
Kyler Murray connected with tight end Maxx Williams on a 14-yard touchdown pass to put the Cardinals back in the lead.
Murray found receiver DeAndre Hopkins for completions of 14 and 10 yards during the 11-play, 75-yard drive.
Murray showed his mobility on a key third down, keeping a play alive before completing a seven-yard pass to running back Chase Edmonds.
Murray has completed 12 of 13 passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns.
On the first play of the Rams ensuing drive, Sony Michel fumbled and the Cardinals recovered on the Rams’ 21.
Cardinals 14, Rams 10, 10:35 left in second quarter
Rams counter Cardinals’ touchdown with long scoring drive of their own
Matthew Stafford fired a 14-yard touchdown pass to Van Jefferson with 52 seconds left in the quarter to put the Rams back in the lead.
Running back Darrell Henderson, who sat out last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because of a rib injury, carried the load during the nine-play 75-yard drive.
Henderson had three carries for 39 yards and also caught a short pass. Sony Michel came on and carried twice before Stafford patiently waited for Jefferson to break free in the end zone.
Henderson has rushed for 55 yards in six carries.
Stafford has completed seven of 10 passes for 71 yards and a touchdown, with an interception.
Rams 10, Cardinals 7, end of first quarter
Kyler Murray hits AJ Green on 41-yard touchdown pass
For the first time this season the Rams are behind.
Kyler Murray connected with receiver A.J. Green on a 41-yard touchdown pass to put the Cardinals ahead.
The Cardinals capitalized after cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. intercepted Matthew Stafford’s long pass that was intended for DeSean Jackson.
Murray drove the Cardinals 87 yards in six plays for the touchdown. The drive included a 25-yard reception by All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
Murray has completed five of six passes for 84 yards.
Cardinals 7, Rams 3, 5:50 left in first quarter
Rams take 3-0 lead on opening drive
The Rams got off to a fast start, only to have their first drive stall, forcing them to settle for Matt Gay’s 42-yard field goal.
Matthew Stafford completed passes of 20 yards to Van Jefferson and 18 yards to Robert Woods as the Rams moved crisply up the field.
But Cooper Kupp dropped a pass on a second-and-five play at the Cardinals’ 23-yard line, and Stafford overthrew tight end Tyler Higbee in the end zone on third down.
Stafford has completed four of six passes for 48 yards.
Rams 3, Cardinals 0, 11:18 left in first quarter
Rams post inactives for today’s game
Hit Rams reporting maestro Gary Klein with all your questions
Times beat writer Gary Klein has been at SoFi since the gates opened early this morning. With a little less than an hour until kickoff, he’s taking all of your questions on Twitter. Hit him up, you’ll be smarter for it.
Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals: NFL betting picks, odds and analysis
Money has been coming in on the Cardinals in the early going. Perhaps bettors are expecting a letdown from the Rams after the big win over the Bucs. Maybe bettors are also looking at the close game against the Colts two weeks ago and see reasons for concern in this spot.
Arizona beat Jacksonville last week and gave up only 12 offensive points. Jamal Agnew’s 109-yard “kick-six” was easily the biggest play of the game for the Jaguars. The Cardinals scored 30 again, though a pick-six was part of the equation.
McVay is 8-0 straight up against the Cardinals since taking over the Rams, but this is probably the best version of the Cardinals that he has faced. It is certainly the best version of quarterback Kyler Murray, who is now the MVP front-runner in the betting markets at most books with a price of around +750.
The Rams have a strong MVP candidate of their own in quarterback Matthew Stafford in the 8-1 range. Stafford isn’t the dual threat that Murray is, but the teams are neck-and-neck in yards per play, as Arizona has 6.8 and Los Angeles has 6.7. The Rams, though, have scored on nearly 59% of their possessions, while the Cardinals have scored on 45.7%. Los Angeles leads the NFL in points per drive with 3.28. Arizona is fourth with 2.74.
Rams vs. Cardinals matchups: Matthew Stafford, Kyler Murray set to square off
When Rams have the ball: Matthew Stafford is playing as well or better than any quarterback in the NFL, putting him front and center in the early MVP discussion. Stafford has passed for nine touchdowns, with one interception. He passed for 343 yards and four touchdowns in a 34-24 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as coach Sean McVay finally turned loose deep threat DeSean Jackson and worked in tight end Tyler Higbee. Cooper Kupp, who has scored two touchdowns in each of the last two games, has an NFL-best five touchdowns and 367 yards receiving. He is tied for the league lead with 25 catches. Running back Darrell Henderson is coming back from a rib injury, which sidelined him last week, so look for Sony Michel to start again and continue to provide a power-running presence. Left tackle Andrew Whitworth anchors an offensive line that has given up only three sacks. The line will be challenged by a Cardinals front that includes Chandler Jones and J.J. Watt. Jones began the season with five sacks against the Tennessee Titans. Watt, a three-time NFL defensive player of the year, has yet to record a sack. Safety Budda Baker leads a secondary that has helped the Cardinals force seven turnovers.