|1:05 PM PT2:05 PM MT3:05 PM CT4:05 PM ET20:05 GMT4:05 1:05 PM MST3:05 PM EST3:05 PM CT0:05 UAE (+1)16:05 ETNaN:� , September 16, 2018|
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California Weather: 86°, Clear Attendance: 66,515
Cardinals, Bradford try to bounce back against Rams
Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams
- Last season, the Rams swept the two matchups with the Cardinals for the first time since 2012, winning 33-0 in London and 32-16 in Arizona. In the Rams' last three "true" home games against Arizona, the Cardinals won all three and outscored them by a combined 83-15.
- Paced by Todd Gurley's 20 carries for 108 yards, the Rams offense averaged 5.4 yards per carry in Week 1, second only to the Chargers (5.6). Gurley now has active streaks of three games with at least 100 rushing yards and six games of at least 100 scrimmage yards, both tops in the NFL.
- Jared Goff was on top of his game as well, passing for two touchdowns and zero interceptions. Since the start of last season, he has 30 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. His 4.29 TD/Int ratio is third among qualifying QBs in that span behind Alex Smith (5.60) and Carson Wentz (4.71).
- The Cardinals put up just six points in their Week 1 loss to Washington. In franchise history, they've only had fewer points in Week 1 three times -- zero points in 1990 and 1977, and three points in 1969.
- Sam Bradford, a No. 1 overall pick of the Rams in 2010, debuted for his fourth team in Week 1, passing for just 153 yards. It was the fewest by a Cardinals quarterback in Week 1 since John Skelton had 149 in 2012.
- The Cardinals allowed 52 sacks last season, most in the NFC. Meanwhile, the Rams defense had 48 sacks, second in the NFC. Bradford was sacked twice in Week 1, while the Rams got just one sack in their win over Oakland.
Quarterbacks who were the No. 1 overall picks by the Rams in their respective NFL Drafts will be facing off against each other when the Los Angeles Rams play the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
The Rams and quarterback Jared Goff are brimming with confidence after a strong second-half showing in their 33-13 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Monday night. And even with the short week, they are heavily favored over the Cardinals, who got very little going offensively in a disappointing 24-6 loss to the Washington Redskins.
Much of the blame fell on quarterback Sam Bradford, leading to an early-season controversy whether he should be replaced by Josh Rosen, the team's first-round pick this year.
Bradford completed 20 of 34 passes for the Cardinals, but for only 153 yards, with no touchdowns and an interception.
"I think he's a little disappointed in his performance, which most of those guys in that locker room are, and they should be," first-year Cardinals coach Steve Wilks said Wednesday. "The way he came back today, along with the other guys, gives me a lot of hope. I say it all the time, we've got a lot of talent in that locker room, but the character is what's going to sustain us.
"I think those guys came out and shook it off. We're moving forward. We're not thinking about last week. We're thinking about the Rams and putting ourselves in position to win this game."
For his first five NFL seasons, Bradford was a member of the then-St. Louis Rams, who made him the first overall pick of the 2010 draft.
This is the first time he will be facing the team that drafted him, but Bradford is not making much out of it.
"Not really," he said. "I think if it would have happened sooner in my career, maybe there would be more, but the staff there is completely different. There's only a handful of guys on that roster that were there when I was there. So, there's just really not a lot of connection that's still there for me."
Bradford did not get much help in the opener from his running game as David Johnson, who recently signed a three-year, $39 million contract extension, rushed for 37 yards on nine carries.
Bradford will remain the starter this week, and the Cardinals will be facing a Rams' defense that is loaded with stars. The Rams shut out the Raiders in the second half and even scored a touchdown on Marcus Peters' 50-yard interception return.
"They're really talented. I think when you look at them on paper, they're probably one of the most talented units in the league," Bradford said. "The way they played in the second half last week, they played really well."
That defense made things easier for Goff, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 draft.
"You know eventually, down the stretch you get comfortable, settle in and guys make plays," Goff said. "And that's what we did towards the end."
Rams running back Todd Gurley, who rushed for 1,305 yards last season while earning first-team All-Pro honors, ran for 108 yards in the opener as Los Angeles shook off a sluggish start.
"I think to be able to go through some adversity, I think says a lot about our football team," Rams coach Sean McVay said. "Really hadn't had anything like that occur, obviously, just with it being the first game. But, I think when you take into account the elements, the atmosphere, some of the unknown with what they presented offensively, even some different things defensively the way that the half ended, they had a lot of momentum. I thought our guys just kind of really embodied that attitude of 'never flinch and never blink' and then they came out and they did an excellent job in the second half. I thought the coaches made some good adjustments as well."
McVay gave his team an extra day off after a physical game Monday.
"We'll try to get a good day's worth of work or really two good days of work on Thursday and Friday the way that we would normally practice," he said. "But, (Wednesday) will mostly be mental and we'll get a walk-through-type setting and try to get a lot of reps, but take that physical toll of the players' bodies."
Updated September 14, 2018