TWICKENHAM, England — The Rams' defense has played well, shutting out the Cardinals through the first two quarters. Here are a few notes from the first half, as Los Angeles leads in London, 23-0.
INTERCEPTION LEADS TO TOUCHDOWN
Midway through the second quarter, the Rams' offense and defense worked together to get the club's first touchdown of the day.
Playing in his first game since Week 3 after suffering a hamstring injury, Lamarcus Joyner picked off a Carson Palmer deep ball at about midfield and returned the pick to the Arizona 18-yard line. Middle linebacker Alec Ogletree had a big hit on Palmer on the play, inducing the errant throw.
It didn't take long for Los Angeles' offense to take advantage of the red-zone opportunity. On 1st-and-10, quarterback Jared Goff handed off to running back Todd Gurley to the left. Gurley bounced the ball outside, got a nice block from wideout Tavon Austin to spring him, and finished the play by diving past an Arizona defender into the end zone.
Check out the photos during Week 7 Cardinals vs. Rams in London.
Palmer suffered a left arm injury on the play, and was replaced on the Cardinals' next drive by backup signal-caller Drew Stanton.
Los Angeles extended its lead with an outstanding two-minute drive.
Starting the possession backed up on their own 12-yard line, Goff engineered a 88-yard drive that took just over a minute off the clock. The signal-caller induced a neutral-zone infraction to make a 3rd-and-9 play 3rd-and-4 instead, and took advantage with a strong throw for a first down.
The drive finished with Goff keeping a zone read and running the ball to the right deep in the red zone for a touchdown, making the score 20-0.
Linebacker Mark Barron then started the ensuing drive with an interception off Stanton. Zuerlein hit a 53-yard field goal as time expired in the half to give L.A. a 23-0 lead.
EARLY RED ZONE ISSUES, BUT HAVE THEY BEEN FIXED?
The Rams scored on two of their first three drives, but only came away with six points.
On Los Angeles' opening drive, Goff connected with wide receivers Robert Woods, Sammy Watkins, and Cooper Kupp for first downs. Though L.A. advanced the ball all the way to the five-yard line, Goff couldn't connect with Kupp on 3rd-and-4 and L.A. had to settle for a Greg Zuerlein 23-yard field goal.
Then in the second quarter, the Rams again got the ball into the red zone with a bit of help, as Goff's hard count induced an offsides penalty and a neutral-zone infraction flag. But after running back Todd Gurley's six-yard run brought up 2nd-and-4, the Rams had a piar of incomplete pases, and had to settle for a 33-yard field goal.
All that said, the Rams did get into the end zone on one play on their third red-zone opportunity. So it's possible those issues have been corrected.
Wide receiver Josh Reynolds has been ruled out with a concussion. The rookie may have suffered the injury on the game's opening kickoff.