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Rams move to 2-1 with 20-12 victory over Cardinals

Mike Florio and Chris Simms look ahead to this week's Sunday Night Football showdown and don't like the Broncos' chances of fixing their offensive woes against a ferocious Niners defense.

The Rams have dominated the Cardinals since Sean McVay was hired as head coach in 2017, losing just once to the division rival.

Add another one to the win column, as Los Angeles beat Arizona 20-12 on Sunday.

The score could have been more lopsided, but Cardinals safety Budda Baker forced running back Cam Akers to fumble at the goal line in the fourth quarter.

That fumble turned into a late field goal, as Arizona was down by 11 and needed multiple scoring plays. But the Cardinals took 17 plays to go 84 yards and took 5:32 off the clock.

The Rams were able to bend but not break throughout Sunday’s game. While Arizona had scoring drives of 19, eight, 16, and 17 plays, the offense never reached the end zone. The Cardinals finished with 81 offensive plays to Los Angeles’ 46, going 6-of-18 on third down and 4-of-5 on fourth down.

Quarterback Kyler Murray threw a career-high 58 passes, completing 37 of them for 314 yards — averaging 5.4 yards per attempt. Receiver Marquise Brown finished with 14 receptions for 140 yards.

The Rams got an early lead and held onto it. After blocking a punt on Arizona’s first possession, L.A. scored a field goal. Then receiver Cooper Kupp ran in a 20-yard end around for a touchdown to put the Rams up 10-0. Matt Gay hit a 40-yard field goal early in the second quarter to give Los Angeles a 13-0 advantage.

In the third quarter, Akers punched in a 14-yard run for a touchdown. And the Rams were poised to score again before Akers’ fourth-quarter fumble. The running back looked like he was trying to extend the ball over the goal line when Baker punched it out.

Akers finished with 61 yards on 12 carries. Ben Skowronek was Los Angeles’ leading receiver with four catches for 66 yards. cooper Kupp caught four passes for 44 yards.

At 2-1, the Rams will have at least a share of first place when they take on the 49ers next Monday night.

The 1-2 Cardinals will head across the country to play the 1-2 Panthers in Week Four.