The Arizona Cardinals put themselves in a hole even before the first snap from scrimmage
When your coach challenges whether you recovered a non-existent fumble on the opening kickoff return, you know it could be a long day. Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians challenged that the Los Angeles Rams fumbled the opening kickoff and lost the challenge.
That set the stage for the Rams to move the ball down the field for a 56-yard field goal from Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein. The Cardinals gave them the ball right back after that.
Cardinals quarterback Blaine Gabbert was intercepted on their first offensive play. The Rams went down the field and scored a touchdown, Zuerlein missed the extra point.
The Cardinals went three and out on the next possession. On the Rams third possession they stalled on a Jared Goff interception. A nice play by Kareem Martin picked Goff off.
Unfortunately Gabbert gave it right back. He threw a pick six to Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree and the rout was on. The Rams were up 16-0 before you could blink.
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Give the Cardinals some credit though. They were able to settle down in the second quarter and established a little bit of a run game.
The Cardinals were able to run the ball on the Rams and eventually end up with an Elijhaa Penny touchdown run after Kerywnn Williams found hole after hole on the drive. The 65-yard drive reduced the Rams lead to 16-7.
The defense did what they needed after the Penny score. They got the Rams to go three and out. Momentum had shifted to the Cardinals.
They took that momentum down the field and scored on a Gabbert to Larry Fitzgerald 15-yard touchdown pass. The Phil Dawson extra point was blocked. All of a sudden it was 16-13.
The Rams had one more drive in them though. They got running back Todd Gurley finally going. Some questionable time management by the Rams cost them a shot a touchdown. They did get a 20-yard field goal though to finish off the first half to give them a 19-13 lead.