The Rams looked terrible in the first week of the regular season in a 28-0 loss to the 49ers.
They haven’t lost since, though, and they join the Seahawks as NFC West teams with 3-1 records after a late score lifted them to a 17-13 victory over the Cardinals. Brian Quick caught a four-yard touchdown pass from Case Keenum to put them up 17-13 late in the fourth quarter and linebacker Mark Barron picked off Drew Stanton a few plays later.
Things weren’t quite over and the Rams’ penchant for drawing personal fouls handed the Cardinals 30 yards that moved them near midfield before the clock struck 12 on their hopes of winning when T.J. McDonald picked off a Hail Mary in the end zone.
Stanton was in the game because Carson Palmer went off with a concussion after being sacked by Aaron Donald and Eugene Sims. The injury came at the end of an up-and-down day for Palmer, who found great success throwing to John Brown but also turned the ball over twice in a game that the Cardinals should rightfully feel was there for them to win if they’d made fewer mistakes.
They didn’t, though, and they now sit at 1-3 in a season that started with far higher hopes. They’ll be in Santa Clara on Thursday and they host the 1-3 Jets in Week Six before hosting the Seahawks on a Sunday night. Getting to a point where they can hope to start rattling off wins will take better ball control — David Johnson also lost a fumble — and a better job on defense of limiting big plays through the air.
The quick turnaround to Thursday night could make Stanton the starter for Arizona against the Niners.
The Rams couldn’t get Todd Gurley on track on the ground at all, but Case Keenum was 18-of-30 for 266 yards and two touchdown passes to Quick. The first Quick score was a 65-yarder that Quick broke after a short pass and the Rams also hit big gainers to Kenny Britt and Lance Kendricks to keep their lack of a run game from biting them in the behind. It also helps that Donald was a continuous presence in the Cardinals backfield, recording his first 1.5 sacks of the year and forcing a fumble in the process, and that Tavon Austin ripped off a huge punt return to set up the winning points.
They’ll host the resurgent Bills next Sunday and then head to Detroit and London for a date with the Giants before a Week Eight bye that they hope finds their first year in Los Angeles continuing to unfold like a feel-good movie.