INGLEWOOD, Calif. (News4usonline) – The Los Angeles Rams made stops when they needed to against the Arizona Cardinals. The official stat sheet from the NFC West Division game showed that the Cardinals were able to move the football against the Rams.
Arizona generated 345 yards in total offense and had some opportunities where it was in position to score more points than the 9-spot the Cardinals managed to throw out against the Rams.
But when it mattered, the Rams tightened up and kept the Cardinals out of the endzone the entire game, including pitching a shutout in the second half of a grind-it-out 26-9 win at SoFi Stadium. The defense of the Rams held the Cardinals to three field goals and forced a couple of turnovers.
“I thought we were able to affect and influence (Cardinals QB Joshua) Dobbs all day,” Rams head coach Sean McVay said. “I thought the rush did a good job. We rushed with integrity. I thought we really played 11 as one on defense and to be able to get a couple of those turnovers…the (LB Christian) Rozeboom one was critical.”
The contest was still in doubt when Rozeboom came up with a game-changing interception. With the Rams leading the Cardinals, 16-9, Dobbs took his team down the field into the red zone.
With the Cardinals threatening to score, Dobbs threw a pass that was slightly behind his intended receiver and bounced right into the hands of Rozeboom for his first career NFL pick. Rozeboom was trailing Zach Ertz on the play when the ball went off the Arizona tight end’s hands and landed in his.
Rozeboom’s interception officially closed the door on any comeback hopes that the Cardinals had. Los Angeles finished off the Cardinals with another 10 points to end the game with a 15-point advantage. Rozeboom said it was a matter of timing.
“A little bit of right place at the right time,” Rozeboom said in describing the play. “I think Rah (Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris) made a good call in the red zone there, too. I know Ernest (Jones) got some pressure on the quarterback, so a lot of things kind of came into fruition to come up with a turnover in the red zone. It’s a pretty big deal for the team.”
Denying Arizona a chance to come up with points, or worse, have an opportunity to tie the game, was big, Rozeboom added.
“They had a nice drive…to come out with zero points for them, it’s a big momentum swing,” Rozeboom said. “The crowd was really good for us today. So I think that played a big role, and then the offense got the ball, had a long drive, and scored. So I think to go from zero points to seven points for us is a big deal.”
Rozeboom’s interception was one of many plays the Rams defense made to help secure the team’s third win of the season. The front seven harassed Dobbs all afternoon, getting to the Arizona quarterback twice for sacks. It felt like the Rams had more takedowns of Dobbs with the way Los Angeles was putting the hammer and knocking around the Cardinals signal-caller.
Dobbs finished the game completing 21 of 41 passes for 235 yards and that one interception.
McVay talked about how big of a deal it was to keep Dobbs and Arizona’s offense out of the endzone.
“I think it’s big. Their offense has done a really good job,” McVay said. “I have a ton of respect. When you flip the tape on and you look at the way they’ve been able to efficiently move the football. They’ve mixed personnel groupings. They were one of the top teams in the league rushing-wise.
“Obviously, (Cardinals RB James) Conner wasn’t there today and he’s a great player, but I thought (Cardinals QB Joshua) Dobbs’ ability to just be able to read, recognize coverage, get his different playmakers the ball, and then whether it be some of the design runs or some of the different things where he can create off schedule, he did that in the first half. I thought we did a good job of being able to make some adjustments.”
Lead Image Photo: Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Jonah Williams (92) gets a sack on Arizona Cardinals quarterback Joshua Dobbs during an NFL game played at SoFi Stadium on Oct. 15, 2023. Photo by Sammy Saludo/News4usonline
Dennis has covered and written about politics, crime, social justice, sports, and entertainment. Dennis currently covers the NFL, MLB, NBA, NCAA, and Olympic sports. Dennis is the editor of News4usonline.com and serves as the publisher of the Compton Bulletin newspaper. He earned a journalism degree from Howard University.