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Rams run past Cardinals, reclaim lead in NFC West

QB Jared Goff bounces back, finishes with 351 passing yards

After a week of criticism and soul-searching, Los Angeles Rams quarterback got back to playing efficient football.

The Cal product finished 37-of-47 for 351 passing yards, including a 4-yard touchdown reception to tight end Tyler Higbee in leading the Los Angeles Rams to a 38-28 victory on the road to the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on Sunday.

Goff also ran for a score on a 1-yard quarterback sneak. Most important, Goff did not turn the ball over.

Rams head coach Sean McVay improved his record to 7-0 against the Cardinals. Also, McVay’s Rams upped their record to 33-0 when leading at halftime.

With the win, the Rams moved to 8-4 on the year. Combined with the Seattle Seahawks losing to the New York Giants 17-12 at home, the Rams reclaimed a share of the NFC West division lead. The Rams own the tiebreaker over Seattle by beating them earlier this year.

The Cardinals fell to 6-6 on the year.

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Rookie Cam Akers helped create some balance on offense for the Rams, finishing with 72 rushing yards on 21 carries, including a 9-yard run for a score. Darrell Henderson Jr. also chipped in 49 yards, including a 38-yard run for a score. The Rams finished with 119 rushing yards.

Key play: The Rams put together a 14-play, 85-yard drive to tie the game at 7-all with 10:35 left in the second half on a Cam Akers 9-yard run for a score. Jared Goff finished 9-of-10 for 62 yards on the drive and seemed to get into a rhythm that carried through the rest of the game.

Top player: Robert Woods had a good game, finishing with a game-high s10 receptions for 85 yards on 11 targets and keeping the chains moving.

What I liked: Aaron Donald did Aaron Donald things, finishing with three combined tackles (including a tackle for loss), a sack and a quarterback hit. … Cooper Kupp gets smacked over the middle every game but just keeps getting up. The Eastern Washington product finished with eight catches for 73 yards. ...The Rams’ defense keeps taking the ball away, forcing two turnovers by Kyler Murray, including a Troy Hill interception return for 36 yards and a score. ... The Rams held DeAndre Hopkins to eight catches for 52 receiving yards on 13 targets. Hopkins did score a TD on a 4-yard out route. 

What I didn’t like: Nsimba Webster fumbled late in the game, which led to a Kenyan Drake touchdown. The Rams now have a turnover in every game this season and 20 overall on the year. ... The Rams were 0-for-2 on fourth down offensively. … Kicker Matt Gay missed from 37 yards, bouncing the kick off the left upright. He’s 4-of-6 on field goals since joining the team. 

Injury report: Running back Darrell Henderson Jr. suffered a knee injury in the first half but returned in the second half. Defensive tackle Michael Brockers suffered an unspecified injury in the second half and to be helped off the field. He later returned.

Up next: The Rams return home to host the New England Patriots in a nationally televised, Thursday night game. The Patriots stayed in Los Angeles after defeating the Chargers at SoFi Stadium on Sunday, 28-0.