The Los Angeles Rams dropped their third consecutive game after losing to the Arizona Cardinals 17-27.
Rams head coach Sean McVay noted how the team must play more “complementary football,” meaning getting stops and scoring from them.
“Not a lot of good to be able to take away from this, but we’re going to continue to try to figure it out,” McVay said. “This was a challenging one, but I still have the same mindset and mentality where we’re being tested … we got to be able to continue to have some resolve about ourselves.”
The Rams had six players sidelined due to injury, including quarterback Matthew Stafford, left tackle Alaric Jackson, and nose tackle Greg Gaines. McVay utilized both backup signal callers John Wolford and Bryce Perkins throughout the game.
Both the Rams and the Cardinals scored field goals in the first quarter. Cards quarterback Colt McCoy found success in targeting wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, which resulted in them scoring their first touchdown.
Wolford was sacked and he fumbled; Arizona defensive lineman J.J. Watt seized the ball. The turnover led to another score by Arizona with McCoy sending a six-yard pass to wideout A.J. Green. The Rams were down 3-17 by halftime.
While the Rams held Arizona to 26 rushing yards in the first half, they struggled to contain their passing game. Linebacker Bobby Wagner noted how the defense needs to be “stickier” when it comes to defending the pass.
“A lot of the passes coming up were critical damage,” Wagner said. “I think everybody can be much better, cover better.”
Los Angeles also struggled in gaining offensive yards, both Bryce Perkins and John Wolford combined for 40 passing yards in the first half.
Early in the third, Wolford slung to tight end Tyler Higbee and wide receiver Allen Robinson to move down the field to a first-in-goal situation. Penalties by Cards defensive lineman J.J. Watt pushed the Rams up to Arizona’s four-yard line, rusher Darrell Henderson Jr. ran in a touchdown soon after.
The Rams were within seven points of the Cardinals at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Despite linebacker Bobby Wagner sacking him for a loss of nine yards, McCoy made advances via the pass to edge their score up to 24-10.
The Rams could not catch a break as Wolford was picked off by safety Budda Baker, but the Rams forced them to kick a field goal. Los Angeles continued fighting in the final minutes of regulation with Wolford targeting rookie running back Kyren Williams. This is Williams’ first game since he was injured during the season opener against the Buffalo Bills. He finished the matchup with 30 receiving yards and nine rushing yards.
“It was a blessing … I don’t want to be selfish, but I’m just glad I got through my first NFL game,” Williams said. “I’m gonna give my mom my jersey, I just feel so happy and blessed that I was able to be out here and play football again.”
Wide receiver Van Jefferson made the final touchdown for the Rams with a three-yard reception.
“Great play by [Jefferson], just off schedule, working away and he made a great catch,” Wolford said. “Obviously, there’s no moral victories, we didn’t get the win, but at least we battled.”
The one lesson Williams learned since he was drafted by the Rams is the importance of work regardless of how the team is doing.
“I feel like that’s what we do best,” Williams said. “Come Monday, we’re gonna get back in the film room, we’re gonna figure out what we need to better, and come next Sunday, we’re gonna be able to execute those things at a high level.”
The Rams will battle the New Orleans Saints at Caesars Superdome on November 20 at 10:00A.M.