During his years in Tennessee, tight end Jared Cook had a few moments where he expressed a desire to play a bigger role in the offense.
He signed with the Rams rather than feel underutilized again in 2013 and it took just one game to show what he’s capable of when used as a focal point. Cook caught seven passes for 141 yards, scored two touchdowns and set up Greg Zuerlein’s game-winning 48-yard field goal with a 25-yard catch late in the fourth quarter. Cook’s day might have been even bigger if not for a great strip by Cardinals rookie Tyrann Mathieu near the end zone, but he did more than enough in the Rams’ 27-24 win.
While that turnover helped the Cardinals on their way to a 24-13 lead to start the fourth quarter, another turnover helped turn the tide for the Rams. Robert Quinn forced his second fumble of the day on his third sack of the contest in the fourth quarter and the Rams recovered to set up Zuerlein’s tying field goal. Quinn dominated Levi Brown all day and the Rams had four total sacks to check a 327-yard, two-touchdown Cardinals debut for quarterback Carson Palmer.
Those numbers were mostly compiled in the first three quarters, however, and the Rams defense shut the Cardinals down in the fourth quarter. Arizona picked up three first downs in the fourth, but they could never threaten for the points they needed to put the game out of reach.
Sam Bradford had a costly turnover of his own — a pass tipped by Matt Shaughnessy was picked off for a touchdown by Dan Williams — but finished strong while leading the Rams to 14 fourth quarter points. He was 27-of-38 for 299 yards overall and ran in a two-point conversion to draw the Rams within a field goal early in the fourth quarter. That strong ending made for a good start to the season in St. Louis.