Goff leads Rams to shutout victory over the Cardinals
LONDON — Already one of the more dynamic offenses in the NFL, the Los Angeles Rams found a new gear against the Arizona Cardinals.
Jared Goff ran for a touchdown and threw for another and Greg Zuerlein made four field goals as the Rams won for the first time in three appearances in Britain, beating the Cardinals 33-0 at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday.
Goff completed 22 of 37 passes for 235 yards with an interception and Todd Gurley ran for 106 yards and a touchdown for the NFC West-leading Rams (5-2), who finished with 425 yards of offense — their most in a game in more than three years.
Los Angeles has also won five of its first seven games for the first time since 2003, which was the last time the Rams finished with a winning record.
“We haven’t been in this position, but we’re definitely grateful,” Gurley said. “We’ve just got to take it game by game.”
Arizona (3-4), meanwhile, heads home with significant questions after quarterback Carson Palmer broke his left arm in the second quarter.
Palmer will require surgery, coach Bruce Arians said, and is expected to miss eight weeks. The quarterback finished 10 for 18 for 122 yards after being hit by Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree and intercepted with 5:48 remaining in the first half.
He was replaced by longtime backup Drew Stanton, who completed 5 of 14 passes for 162 yards and an interception and was unable to close what began as a 6-0 deficit.
“Obviously, not what I anticipated seeing,” Arians said.
Gurley’s 18-yard touchdown run immediately followed Palmer’s interception, and Goff helped push the Rams’ lead to 20-0 after he took a zone-read keeper 9 yards for a touchdown.
Zuerlein, who set a franchise record by making all seven field goal attempts in a win against the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 1, connected from 23, 33, 53 and 34 yard, and Kupp, a rookie out of Eastern Washington, finished off the scoring by taking a screen pass 18 yards for a touchdown with 3:53 remaining.
Los Angeles finished with 228 passing yards and 197 rushing yards, and under first-year coach Sean McVay, there’s a feeling among players that things will only continue to get better.
“We kind of say it every week — we can do more, we can do more,” wide receiver Robert Woods said. “I think we’ve got that mindset that we can always do better. I think that will be great for this offense and this team.”
PETERSON SHUT DOWN
Adrian Peterson, in his second game for the Cardinals since being acquired via a trade with the New Orleans Saints, was held to just 21 yards on 11 carries.
It was a contrast from a week ago, when he ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns in a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Kerwynn Williams handled the bulk of pass-protection duties with Andre Ellington out because of a quadriceps injury, but he did not have a rushing attempt.
A SECOND SHUTOUT
The Rams’ shutout of the Cardinals marked the second time in as many games in Britain that an opponent has failed to score. The Saints defeated the Miami Dolphins 20-0 at Wembley Stadium on Oct. 1 — the 18th game held in the country.
Los Angeles had not shut out an opponent since a 24-0 road victory against the Washington Redskins on Dec. 7, 2014, while the Cardinals had not failed to score since a 58-0 loss at Seattle on Dec. 9, 2012.
With his first catch, a 16-yard reception over the middle on the fourth play from scrimmage, Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has now caught a pass in the NFL in 40 different stadiums.
Fitzgerald finished with just three catches for 29 yards.
DANSBY, SULLIVAN HURT
In addition to Palmer, the Cardinals lost two players to injury who later returned: inside linebacker Karlos Dansby (left hand) and defensive tackle Frostee Rucker (right knee). Meanwhile, Rams center John Sullivan (left knee) and rookie wide receiver Josh Reynolds (concussion) left the game and did not return.
Cardinals: Will have their bye week before visiting the San Francisco 49ers on Nov. 5.
Rams: After a bye week, will visit last year’s Twickenham opponents, the New York Giants.