Matthew Stafford threw for 229 yards and a season-high four touchdown passes, two each to Tyler Higbee and Kyren Williams, and the Los Angeles Rams rolled to a 37-14 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
Williams had a huge game in his return from an ankle injury, running for 143 yards and catching six passes for 61 yards, including touchdown receptions of 15 and 3 yards. Los Angeles scored 30 unanswered points after falling behind 8-7 in the first quarter.
The Rams (5-6) won their second straight game overall and continued their recent dominance in the NFC West rivalry, winning nine straight games in Arizona going back to 2014.
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Los Angeles took a 21-8 lead at halftime. Arizona thought it had cut the margin to 10 points on Matt Prater’s 56-yard field goal just before the break, but it was negated by a holding call.
The Rams stretched their lead to 37-8 by midway through the fourth quarter.
L.A. moved the ball with ease during most of the first half and had 287 yards. The Rams scored a touchdown on the opening drive, covering 75 yards on nine plays, capped by a 7-yard touchdown pass from Stafford to Higbee. Stafford kept the drive alive on third-and-8 when he threw a perfectly placed ball to Tutu Atwell, who caught it over his shoulder for a 42-yard gain.
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The Cardinals (2-10) responded with a long touchdown drive that ended on the 12th play when quarterback Kyler Murray ran 2 yards to the end zone. Arizona jumped ahead 8-7 after backup quarterback Clayton Tune pushed the pile for a 2-point conversion.
It was one of the few highlights for Arizona, which has lost eight of its past nine. Murray completed 27 of 45 passes for 256 yards and a touchdown in his third game since returning from an ACL tear in his right knee.
Arizona is 1-2 in those games, beating the Falcons but losing to the Texans and Rams. This setback was one of the most embarrassing of the season — the Cardinals showed little fight after the first quarter.
L.A. jumped back ahead 14-8 in the second when Stafford hit Higbee for another touchdown, this time on a 5-yard score. Stafford’s 15-yard pass to Williams made it 21-8 with 59 seconds left in the first half.
It was Williams’ second standout game this season against the Cardinals. He ran for 158 yards and a touchdown in a 26-9 win in Week 6, but hurt his ankle late in that game, which caused him to miss the next four games while on injured reserve.
Williams was one of the team’s most productive players during the season’s early weeks, running for 456 yards over his first six games. His return gives the Rams — who won the Super Bowl two seasons ago — hope that they can make a late-season playoff push.
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Veteran quarterback Carson Wentz made his Rams’ debut late in the game after being signed two weeks ago.
Cardinals WR Michael Wilson (shoulder) and CB Antonio Hamilton (groin) were among the team’s inactives. … Cardinals CB Starling Thomas V (ankle) left in the third quarter and didn’t return. … Rams S Quentin Lake (hamstring) was one of six inactives.
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Rams: Host Cleveland on Sunday.
Cardinals: Travel to face Pittsburgh on Sunday.