By Nithinya Simuong — November 14, 2022 at 1:33 am
The Rams may have lost more than a game with Cooper Kupp’s injury. The playoffs are moving away for the defending champions.
Los Angeles Rams (3-6) – Arizona Cardinals (4-6): 17-27
Two disappointing teams this season faced each other at Sofi Stadium. The objective of these 2 teams: to break the current series of 2 consecutive defeats.
And in this game, it is the Cardinals who drive the Rams who no longer seem to respond. Even without Matthew Stafford, the Rams have felt like they’ve been searching for their identity on offense since the start of the season. The playoffs are moving away for the defending champions with this 3rd consecutive defeat.
Opposite, without Kyler Murray, Arizona did not offer a flamboyant game but was effective. Clean, Colt McCoy (26/37, 238 YDS, 1 TD) proved he’s a solid understudy and James Conner (21 carries, 69 YDS, 2 TDs) found his way back to the end zone from Week 1 of the season. Arizona is recovering, but will have to be much more consistent on a meeting in the next games.
At the very beginning of the meeting, we observe each other and we try to take our marks. Consequently, few big plays and 2 field goals on the scoreboard.
A first quarter that will not go down in the annals of this sport where the statistics of the 2 teams on their first 2 series are similar: 14 games, 57 yards. (3-3)
Vintage AJ Green
After a series of punts, Arizona will then accelerate. Colt McCoy finds DeAndre Hopkins (10 REC, 98 YDS) then Rondale Moore (9 REC, 94 YDS). And on a run from James Conner, Arizona opens the scoring.
The momentum is taken by the Cardinals with a fumble caused by the rookie Mijay Sanders which allows AJ Green to register his first touchdown of the season. A touchdown that reminds us of his good old days at the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Rams can’t do it, with only 5 first attempts won in the 1st half. The ground game is still non-existent and Cooper Kupp has a negative reception statistic with -3 yards. (17-3)
AJ Green keeps the feet in bounds for the TD! 😱
— NFL (@NFL) November 13, 2022
Rams defense takes matters into their own hands
If the Los Angeles attack produces nothing, the defense tries to plug the gaps with pressure from Leonard Floyd and Aaron Donald in particular. Their work is rewarded with a ground touchdown from Darrell Henderson, helped by the indiscipline of JJ Watt.
Despite this little highlight of the Rams, the Cardinals have control and notably convert a 4th attempt by Rondale Moore. This converted attempt results in the touchdown on the ground by James Conner, the 2nd for the running back, which again gives 2 possessions in advance to Kliff Kingsbury’s men (24-10)
Cooper Kupp injured
And if that wasn’t enough for the Rams. After Cooper Kupp lost to injury, John Wolford threw an interception on Budda Baker that sealed the game.
The quarterback saves the honor with a touchdown for Van Jefferson but that consolation prize is insufficient in a season that looks like a long hangover for the defending champions. And the rest of the season hardly encourages optimism.