Monday night, January 17, the Los Angeles Rams dominated the Arizona Cardinals from a well-balanced attack of offense and defense leading to a 34-11 win in an NFC West wildcard game hosted by the Rams in Sofi Stadium in Inglewood, CA. But before one play, the boisterous Rams fans had Sofi stadium rocking, as they made their claim for the Super Bowl championship to return home to L.A.
The Rams defense was aggressive and stingy, keeping a usually agile and evasive Kyler Murray (1) uneasy and rushed in the pocket the entire game. Where he usually finds room to scramble, he was sacked. The Rams handled their business early, as Rams linebacker, Von Miller had the first sack on Murray in the first quarter. Miller also had six tackles, as the Ram defense showed up big, keeping the Cardinals offense out of rhythm.
In a pivotal play, Murray attempted to avoid a sack in the endzone by Rams linebacker, Troy Reeder (51) but forced a pass that Ram defensive back, David Long, Jr. (22)., spotted hovering in the air, intercepted and ran three yards into the endzone for a touchdown. The Ram defense kept the Cardinals in check for most of the game.
Ram receiver, Odell Beckham, Jr. (3) caught a first-quarter touchdown pass from Matt Stafford (9) to ignite the Rams scoring early, as the Rams went up 28. Beckham’s skills are magical, with four catches for 54 yards, and a 40-yard pass on a Rams trick play.
The Rams needed this win in order to move on to the next round and look to win their next NFC divisional NFL playoff game on the road against the six-time and returning Super Bowl-winner, MVP Tom Brady, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While the Buccaneers are defending champs, the Rams have defeated the Bucs twice in the past two seasons.
Brady isn’t as agile as Murray who had little success avoiding the rush, so only time will tell if the Bucs’ offensive line can give Brady the time he needs to complete passes. With the Rams’ Donald and a speedy arsenal of pass-rushers and run-stoppers, the Rams do pose a threat. The Bucs have a solid defense themselves but are dealing with injuries and will depend on a polished Brady and company to pull them through.
The game will be at Ramond James Stadium on Sunday, January 23, at 12:00 p.m. PST.