Two weeks after missing a game because of what has been described as a family issue, receiver Robert Woods tied a career best for receptions and established a career best for yards receiving Sunday in the Rams’ 34-7 victory over the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium.
Woods caught 13 passes for 172 yards as the Rams improved their record to 7-5.
“You never know when it’s going to happen,” Woods said of the breakout performance.
Woods was instrumental in helping quarterback Jared Goff and the Rams offense re-emerge after weeks of poor production. Goff passed for 424 yards.
“He was just in the zone,” Goff said, “as was I with him. He was able to get himself open a lot and came into my vision a lot. It was great.”
Woods had seven receptions for 107 yards in the first half as the Rams took a 20-0 lead. By the end, he had seven catches of 15 yards or more and averaged 13.2 yards per reception.
Woods made his biggest play in the third quarter when he caught a screen pass on the left side and then cut back across the field and up the right sideline for a 48-yard gain.
Goff was one of his blockers.
“Saw Jared out in front of me, trusted his block and just able to just run,” Woods said.
Receiver Cooper Kupp caught six passes for 65 yards, Josh Reynolds four for 39 yards and Brandin Cooks two for 24 yards.
Todd Gurley finds a rhythm
In 2018, Todd Gurley did not play against the Cardinals at State Farm Stadium because of a left knee issue that sidelined and then slowed him late in the season and the playoffs.
He looked fit Sunday.
Gurley rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown in 19 carries. His one-yard touchdown in the second quarter gave the Rams a 17-0 lead.
“Just try to do my job,” said Gurley, who has rushed for eight touchdowns. Gurley said offensive linemen and receivers blocked well.
“Gave me a chance to get started and hit some holes,” he said.
The Rams sacked Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray six times.
Lineman Aaron Donald had one sack and shared another with lineman Michael Brockers. Lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day, and linebackers Clay Matthews, Dante Fowler and Cory Littleton each had one.
“Great day,” said Littleton, who made a team-best six tackles. “Came in and did exactly what you talk about the whole week.”
Safety Marqui Christian improved his record to 6-0 against his former team.
The Cardinals selected Christian in the fifth round of the 2016 draft, but put him on waivers after three games to make room for an extra punter. The Rams claimed him and he has been a valuable contributor for three-plus seasons.
Christian made two tackles.
“It’s a good feeling,” he said of beating the Cardinals. “You get the whole team on the winning side, it feels good.”
Pharoh Cooper, a Pro Bowl kick returner for the Rams in 2017, returned one punt for five yards for the Cardinals. Six kickoffs went for touchbacks.
The Cardinals signed Cooper last season after the Rams released him following a return from an ankle injury.
“I was over there for three years,” said Cooper, who was drafted by the Rams in 2016. “It’s a close-knit crew over there and I have respect for everybody in that organization. Football can come and go, but the relationships will be there for a lifetime.”
Hall of Fame bound
Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald, second in NFL history in receptions and yards receiving, caught six passes for 56 yards. Fitzgerald said the Rams have good players, and also complimented coach Sean McVay and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.
“When you play against teams that are that talented, there is no margin for error,” said Fitzgerald, a 16th year pro. “When you come out and get off to a slow start and come out in the second half and can’t get anything going, it’s an uphill battle against a team like that.”