It was a crazy wild card weekend for the Los Angeles Rams as they clinched an easy 34-11 victory over the Arizona Cardinals at SoFi Stadium Monday night. These rivals weren’t the only NFC West teams duking it out on the gridiron this weekend as the San Francisco 49ers held off the Dallas Cowboys on the road.
TGIF* Turf Show Family!
*Thank Goodness It’s Football
49ers draw up victory against perennial playoff choke artist Cowboys
Before I continue on with the 49ers, I have to mention the Seattle Seahawks because I don’t want them to feel left out this week. In the Niners’ 23-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys, I believe Pete Carroll now has some company in Mike McCarthy and Kellen Moore after calling one of the dumbest calls in NFL postseason history. Take a look at how the game ended Saturday:
What a way to end the game! #SuperWildCard pic.twitter.com/esKKpbkrQn— NFL (@NFL) January 17, 2022
I don’t care if McCarthy won a Super Bowl, you can always count on him blowing it on the game’s biggest stages. Anyways, the 49ers won so that was a bummer. Jimmy Garoppolo didn’t play a superb game overall, finishing 16-of-25 for 172 yards with an interception. It didn’t matter as the ground game and defense got the job done.
The rushing offense ran the ball 38 times for 169 yards, a 4.4 average. Eli Mitchell led the team in rushing with 96 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries. San Fran’s defense held the league’s top-ranked offense in check, sacking Cowboys star QB Dak Prescott five times and forcing him into this bad interception compliments of cornerback K-Waun Williams:
49ERS INTERCEPTION. #FTTB #SuperWildCard— NFL (@NFL) January 16, 2022
: #SFvsDAL on CBS/NICK/Prime Video
: NFL app pic.twitter.com/iRWBOG7MfK
Deebo Samuel who finished second on the team in rushing carried the ball 10 times for 72 yards. Following the Williams pick, Samuel scored on this shifty 26-yard dash to the end zone.
DEEBO SAMUEL IS UNSTOPPABLE— PFF (@PFF) January 16, 2022
Deebo added three receptions for 38 yards which was good enough for second on the 49ers in receiving. Brandon Aiyuk led the team in receptions and yardage contributing 66 yards on five receptions.
Next Week: The 49ers head to Lambeau Field Saturday night for a rematch with the top-seeded Green Bay Packers. This will be a heavyweight fight from the start with the Niners playing nothing like an underdog so far in these playoffs. It’s worth mentioning that Jimmy G is going into the Frozen Tundra with a slightly sprained throwing shoulder to go along with the torn ligament he already had in his right thumb. Garoppolo should be good to go by game time but if he’s not, I’m sure Deebo could step in and throw a few passes here and there.
Cardinals drown in the Red Sea in blowout loss to Rams
No one will have a case of the Mondays (except for the Cardinals and their faithful) following the Los Angeles Rams’ 34-11 win on Super Wild Card weekend. Kyler Murray and the Redbirds offensively offensive offense had no chance against a determined LA team. To illustrate how ugly things were for Murray throughout the game, this tweet will sum it up quite nicely during one instance Monday:
OBJ has more passing yards than Kyler Murray @brgridiron pic.twitter.com/ELJMQnQAp9— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 18, 2022
Ouch, that’s gotta smart. Murray couldn’t get anything going in his playoff debut, finishing 19-of-34 for 137 yards and two interceptions, ending with a 40.9 passer rating. For a quarterback known as a mobile threat, he also got nothing on the ground as gained six yards on a mere two carries. Matthew Stafford looked more like the rushing threat as he scrambled six times for 22 yards and a touchdown. Both interceptions are worthy of being replayed so here we go. This first one ended in a pick-six that Kyler should’ve just thrown away or take the dang safety instead of giving up an easy score.
PICK-6. TO THE HOUSE. #RAMSHOUSE.— NFL (@NFL) January 18, 2022
: #AZvsLAR on ABC/ESPN/ESPN2
: NFL app pic.twitter.com/AlWNM7Zm1B
The other interception was simply a disaster from the start and absolutely worthy of being picked off.
Replay of Copeland interception#Cardinals 0 #Rams 21 Q2 pic.twitter.com/SG4ghJgstb— Sᴘᴏʀᴛs 24/7 (@Sports_24x7_) January 18, 2022
Running back James Conner ran one in for a touchdown but besides this heads-up play by Rondale Moore that nearly prevented a third Kyler interception, the Cardinals had zero highlights of note.
Rondale Moore STOLE the ball back for the catch pic.twitter.com/E5uCcFteHp— ESPN (@espn) January 18, 2022
Safety Budda Baker was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation following this scary collision with Cam Akers:
Budda Baker was tended to on the field after this scary collision with Cam Akers.— ESPN (@espn) January 18, 2022
He was stretchered off the field pic.twitter.com/W6EmzaHAEw
Baker was alert and communicative during his transport and was reported to have never lost any feeling or movement in his extremities. It’s a shame that this is how his season had to end which makes these hits all the more unnecessary, even if it was unintentional. No one ever wants to see these collisions on the field which only highlights what a violent game these field warriors play every week. I wish Budda a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him back on the field next season.
Next Week: The Cardinals will be sitting home watching and cursing at the TV while the Rams take on the Bucs next Sunday afternoon. Poor Arizona started out hot but crashed back down to earth with a thud. At least they can always drown their sorrows in pizza and ice cream. That’s what usually works for me.