The Rams did what they were expected to do Sunday: They won.
The Rams didn’t shutout the Cardinals this time, although they appeared to be on their way to doing just that, up 16-0 in the first quarter. Los Angeles, which beat the Cardinals 33-0 on Oct. 22, did what it needed to do in a ho-hum, 32-16 victory.
Los Angeles moved to 9-3, increasing its lead over the Seahawks to 1.5 games with Seattle hosting Philadelphia on Sunday night. It guarantees the Rams a winning season for the first time since 2003 when they went 12-4. Their last playoff appearance came in 2004 when they got in with an 8-8 record.
It was an all-around team effort for the Rams against the Cardinals.
Todd Gurley had 19 rushes for 74 yards and caught six passes for 84 yards.
The Rams defense made five sacks of Blaine Gabbert, with Aaron Donald and Ethan Westbrooks getting two each. Alec Ogletree returned an interception 41 yards for a touchdown before leaving with a left elbow injury. Ogletree returned to the sideline in a sling for the second half. Lamarcus Joyner also had an interception.
But Gabbert and the Cardinals didn’t go away, scoring two touchdowns and getting a 54-yard field goal from Phil Dawson. The Rams special teams blocked an extra point and a 45-yard field goal to prevent Arizona from scoring more.
Gabbert finished 18-of-32 for 221 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.
Larry Fitzgerald caught 10 passes for 98 yards and a touchdown as he moved into fourth on the NFL’s all-time receiving yards list with 15,267 yards. He passed Isaac Bruce, who had 15,208 yards.
Fitzgerald’s 11-yard touchdown catch was the 1,200th catch of his career, the fastest any receiver has reached 1,200 catches. He has played 214 games in his 14-year career.