The Los Angeles Rams are 3-1 and in first place in the NFC West after their 17-13 victory over the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
The game was not pretty, as Rams star running back Todd Gurley was held to a horrid 1.7 yards per carry average. Fifth-year receiver Brian Quick, however, had himself a day. The Appalachian State product’s two catches in the game result in touchdowns – a 65-yarder and a four yard TD catch.
The defense held strong, but was aided by multiple turnovers. Key interceptions by corner Trumaine Johnson, linebacker Mark Barron, and strong safety TJ McDonald helped maintain points off the board or killed Arizona drives.
Back to our scheduled programming.... lets go back and take a gander at how the five Cardinals to watch performed.
WR Larry Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald was relatively quiet on Sunday. The Rams secondary kept him to five catches for 62 yards.
The receiver that gave the rams the most problems was the speedy third year receiver John Brown. The Pittsburgh State product sliced the Rams defense for 10 catches for 144 yards.
RB David Johnson
David Johnson did has expected against the Rams. The second-year running back gnashed through the Rams defense for 83 yards on 17 carries.
Though Johnson did not hit pay dirt, the 6-1 224-pound back made multiple big plays against a “top“ defense, including a 31-yard run (top is in quotes because, well, L.A. does not have a top defense).
Veteran running back Chris Johnson chipped in for 34 yards on six carries (5.7 ypc) before exiting the game with an injury.
S Tyrann Mathieu
The honey badger was relatively quiet against the Rams.
The fourth year defensive back/hybrid player secured two tackles with one of those made behind the line of scrimmage. But, that was quite about it.
G Evan Mathis
Evan Mathis had a long day against the Rams. Defensive tackle Aaron Donald ate against Arizona’s interior offensive line. The explosive interior defensive lineman was in on four quarterback hits and registered 1.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for a loss.
It was clear Donald was too much for Evan Mathis and the rest the Cards’ interior offensive line.
CB Patrick Peterson
Patrick Peterson assignment against the Rams was to shadow Tavon Austin. That resulted in Tavon’s complete shut down (yes, I saw the long catch he could have had, but he did not so it does not count).
At the end of the day, the former LSU Tiger registered one tackle and a pass defended to his stat-line.