Sometimes the hardest games to win are the ones you're supposed to.
Jared Goff threw for two touchdowns and the Los Angeles Rams held on to defeat the Arizona Cardinals, 32-16, on Sunday afternoon in Glendale.
Goff, who passed for 220 yards and two touchdowns, did not show the flashes of brilliance he's shown over the past month, as he was hurried and sacked throughout the day.
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Linebacker Kareem Martin intercepted Goff in the first quarter, and the 23-year-old fumbled in the fourth quarter when Chandler Jones recorded a strip sack on Goff, but thankfully the ball was recovered by the Rams.
For the first time since 2003, the Rams (9-3) are guaranteed to finish the season with a winning record, and will remain in sole possession of first place in the NFC West regardless of the outcome between the Seahawks and Eagles on NBC's Sunday Night Football.
The Rams extended their scoring streak on the opening drive to six consecutive games after Greg Zuerlein nailed a 56-yard field goal on the first possession to give the Rams a 3-0 lead.
Zuerlein, the NFL's scoring leader, converted four field goals in the game, but snapped a streak of 33 consecutive extra points made when he missed after the team's first touchdown of the game.
Goff gave the Rams a 9-0 lead when the team went for it on 4th and goal from the Cardinals 1-yard line. Rather than run the ball, head coach Sean McVay dialed up a pass play to tight end Gerald Everett for the score.
The Rams defense continued to show why they are among the best units in the league as the "Mob Squad," intercepted Cardinals' quarterback Blaine Gabbert on his first passing attempt of the game.
One possession later, Alec Ogletree intercepted Gabbert and took it all the way to the house for a pick-six that gave the Rams a 16-0 lead.
The Rams defense finished the game with four sacks and two turnovers.
Gabbert finished the day throwing for 2065yards, with two interceptions and one fancy touchdown strike to veteran receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
The future Hall of Famer passed former Rams' receiver Isaac Bruce for fourth all-time on the NFL's receiving yards list, and finished the day with 10 catches for 98 yards and a touchdown.
Kerwynn Williams played well for the Cardinals in place of the injured Adrian Peterson, rushing for 97 yards on 16 carries.
As they did in their dominating, 33-0, victory over Arizona in London earlier in the year, Goff and the Rams pulled away late as the sophomore quarterback found Sammy Watkins for a 13-yard score.
The Rams improved to 6-1 away from Los Angeles this season, including a win in London that was considered a "home game."
The battle for NFC supremacy and potential a first round bye in the postseason begins next Sunday when the L.A. Rams host the 10-1 Philadelphia Eagles at the Coliseum. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:25PM PST.
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