Sunday’s tilt between the Arizona Cardinals and the St. Louis Rams turned into a severe mismatch as the Cardinals dismantled the Rams by the tune of 27-3. One of the most telling stats was Arizona holding St. Louis to only nine first downs on the afternoon.
The Cardinals managed to rack up 29 first downs and controlled the game throughout. Arizona reverted back to its balanced ways on offense and the defense stepped up to keep the Rams in check all game.
Further evidence of the beat down that Arizona gave St. Louis was the discrepancy in time of possession. The Cardinals held the ball for 39:47 while the Rams had their hands on it for just 20:13.
Arizona jumped out to a big lead early and never looked back thanks to the team’s passing attack, then salted the game away with arguably it’s best rushing performance of the season. That’s a formula that Bruce Arians and company will look to replicate from here on out.
The Cardinals offense racked up 524 total yards and like we mentioned above, the team got back to an extremely balanced offensive attack.
QB Carson Palmer threw for 356 yards and two touchdowns, spreading the ball around at will to his weapons on the perimeter. WR John Brown finally looks healthy and led Arizona with 113 yards receiving on six catches. Michael Floyd chipped in with seven grabs for 104 yards.
The majority of the balance in the Cardinals’ offense in the running game came from rookie RB David Johnson. Johnson has been hit or miss this year but with Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington out due to injury, he more than picked up the slack.
Johnson accumulated 99 yards on 22 carries while adding two receptions for 21 yards and a touchdown through the air. In total, Arizona gained 175 yards rushing on 36 carries.
While the Cardinals offense stole most of the headlines Sunday afternoon, the team’s defensive unit excelled as well. The most impressive feat was holding Rams rookie RB Todd Gurley to only 41 yards on the ground.
While Gurley has been slowing down of late, he’s certainly one of the brightest young stars that the NFL has to offer and keeping his output that low was quite an accomplishment for the Cardinals.