Tuesday 17 July 2018

Rams have 'performance of the season' with big win over Cardinals

Los Angeles Rams 33-0 Arizona Cardinals

Ian Parker

Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay called their London rout of the Arizona Cardinals the best performance of the season so far after watching a 33-0 win at Twickenham.

The Rams made it third time lucky in the capital with a one-sided victory over their NFC West rivals, who limped away licking significant wounds as quarterback Carson Palmer was ruled out for eight weeks with a broken arm.

Los Angeles broke the game open in a six-minute stretch before half-time that saw running back Todd Gurley and quarterback Jared Goff score touchdowns before Zach Guerlein's third field goal of the night made it 20-0.

Asked if it was the best his team have played, McVay said: "I think so. Being able to put all three phases together, you look at the defence getting a shutout, and some of the ways we moved the football. Now the challenge is, can we sustain some good things moving forward? Because the truest measurement of performance is consistency."

The 31-year-old McVay, the NFL's youngest ever head coach, has been credited with engineering a revival of the Rams offence, but their defence was just as impressive as they closed down a Cardinals unit that includes two surefire future Hall of Famers in Larry Fitzgerald and Adrian Peterson.

"Going against an offence like that, they've got All-Pro calibre players all over the board and a great system," McVay said. "We did a great job, we got a couple of turnovers and were able to get them off the grass on third down. Hopefully Carson will be okay."

Palmer was hurt when he was hit by Alec Ogletree, a tackle that resulted in Lamarcus Joyner's interception, with Gurley scoring the first touchdown of the night on the next play.

After the game, the Cardinals confirmed their veteran quarterback would need surgery on his arm.

"It's a really heavy blow for us," said Peterson, who was held to just 21 yards on 11 carries. "He's a leader of the offence, everything pretty much rolls through him.

"It's a good thing we have a bye-week so we can sit back and make our adjustments. Drew (Stanton) is our next guy up so we're going to need to ride it out with him."

Goff called news of Palmer's injury "terrible".

"You hate to see that happen to anybody, especially a fellow quarterback," he said.

"He's a guy I respect tremendously. His game is really, really impressive, the way he plays. There's a lot of little things that go unnoticed to guys who don't play quarterback. I wish him the best in his recovery, I'm a big fan of his."

Almost a year ago to the day, the Rams left London with their tails between their legs after a 17-10 loss to the New York Giants in Twickenham's first ever NFL game, but this time the mood on the flight home will be very different with their record improving to 5-2.

"You can call it whatever you want, we're just trying to win games," Goff said. "We're never content with where we're at. Offensively, we played okay, we ran the ball really well but there's a lot of things we can clean up and that's the exciting thing. Defensively, playing with zeroes, it's pretty nice to play with that."

Subway® are lead sponsor of the NFL London Games in the UK for the next three years.

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