Los Angeles Rams defensive end A'Shawn Robinson (94) tackles Arizona Cardinals tight end Darrell Daniels during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game in Inglewood, Calif., Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Arizona Cardinals Fall to Los Angeles Rams in Playoff Rout

The Los Angeles Rams defeated the Los Angeles Rams with a final score of 34-11 on Monday night. In the NFL wild-card round, the Rams’ quarterback Matthew Stafford finally earned his first playoff victory. Stafford’s 13-year quest for a playoff win was fulfilled as the Rams were dominant on both sides of the ball.

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Stafford Gets First Playoff Win

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford walks off the field after the Rams defeated the Arizona Cardinals in an NFL wild-card playoff football game in Inglewood, Calif., Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The number one overall pick from the 2009 draft finally has his first NFL playoff win almost 13 years later. Stafford passed for 202 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another in the win. Stafford completed 13 of his 17 passes without an interception despite having three drops. The Rams had a 20-point lead over the Cardinals with four and a half minutes remaining in the game. The win solidifies the Rams as the NFC West’s top team (but San Francisco still does remain) and will face the defending Super Bowl champions on Sunday to compete for a spot in the NFC championship game.

Kyler Murray Could Not “Even Make It Competitive”

The Cardinals’ quarterback, Kyler Murray, went 19 of 34 for 137 yards. This was only the second road loss for Arizona this season in 10 games under coach Kliff Kingsbury. In a slow first half for the Cardinals, Murray went 7 of 17 for 28 yards and threw two interceptions. The Cardinals were trailing 21-0 with only 40 yards of offense before halftime.

“You’ve got to be able to run the ball against those guys. They are a good team, good defense, and we didn’t execute our game plan,” said Murray.

Odell Beckham Jr. had four catches for 54 yards, including his first career playoff touchdown catch to put the Rams on the board. The Rams’ second offensive drive was a 4-yard pass to Beckham, giving him a total of six touchdown catches in his last eight games since he joined the Rams halfway through the season.

The Rams added their third touchdown after linebacker Troy Reeder had major pressure on Murray, forcing him to release the ball blindly, only to have it intercepted by David Long Jr. Long only took one stride to score the shortest pick-6 in NFL playoff history.

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“Losing is one thing, but when you don’t even make it competitive is another,” Murray said. “I put a lot on shoulders, and I put a lot on myself. To dream of this moment and then be in the first game of the playoffs, and then to play the way I did and play the way we did, it’s disappointing.”

Up Next for the Rams

Stafford paid respect to Tom Brady, his next competition, in a post-game interview.

The Cardinals promising season ended with a disappointing loss. The team’s focus now will be to assess what went wrong late in the season. The Rams are headed to Tampa to face the Buccaneers on January 23 for the NFL Divisional Round. This will be a much tougher matchup for LA considering Tom Brady’s experience and record in the playoffs.

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