There is no way to make excuses for this one. The referees didn’t call a face masking on a clear sack of LA Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford. The same referees turned a blind eye on offensive pass interference as Rams defensive back Darious Williams was in place to intercept a late Arizona Cardinals pass, but DeAndre Hopkins climbed up and over his back to knock the ball to the ground.
The LA Rams were on the road for Week 14. But they didn’t have RT Rob Havenstein, RB Darrell Henderson, TE Tyler Higbee, DB Donte Deayon, nor DB Jalen Ramsey, all of whom were assigned to the Rams COViD-19 reserve roster, some just hours before game time.
This was a game that the LA Rams were not supposed to win. This was a team whose quarterback Stafford could not beat a good team. This was a team that, despite an 8-4 record, followed up every game by swarming to social media demanding defensive coordinator Raheem Morris be fired. This was a game where the Arizona Cardinals needed to win, and the LA Rams just could not afford to lose. This was the Cardinals’ first loss in the NFC West Division.
Rams discovering the ability to win at the right time
When the smoke cleared, the LA Rams dealt the Arizona Cardinals just their third loss of the season. But there is more to it than just a crucial game in the NFC West Division. This was a game that proved the Rams are rediscovering their identity.
The LA Rams’ defense caused two crucial turnovers, which led to the offense scoring two touchdowns. Defensive lineman Aaron Donald came up with three quarterback sacks in the game, including the one to send the game. The Rams passed 30 times and ran 21 times, a far more balanced attack.
The only blemish in this one was the horrific onside kick coverage that gave the Cardinals the football for one last drive from their own 48-yard line. But two penalties and a sack pushed the ball the wrong way, allowing the Rams to claim a victory.
The LA Rams winged it. There was no way for the Rams to come into this game with a scripted offense, and a fool-proof defense. The team was down to backups in the secondary, and two offensive linemen were fresh off the bench. Did the Rams deserve this win? You bet they did. This was not about All-Pro players. This was about a Rams roster that wanted this win more.
The LA Rams guaranteed another winning season. But perhaps now, there is something more on the horizon.