Cooper Kupp made seven receptions for 148 yards and his first touchdown of the season, and Kyren Williams rushed for a career-high 158 yards and a TD in the Los Angeles Rams’ 26-9 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
Matthew Stafford passed for 226 yards for the Rams (3-3), who scored 23 unanswered points and shut out their NFC West rivals in the second half of their first home victory of the season.
Record-setting rookie Puka Nacua had only four catches for 26 yards, but Los Angeles’ offense got rolling after halftime behind a vintage effort from Kupp and a breakout game for Williams, who produced the Rams’ best rushing performance in nearly three years.
Joshua Dobbs passed for 235 yards for the Cardinals (1-5), who lost their third straight while attempting to remain competitive without Kyler Murray. Arizona led 9-6 at halftime, but Dobbs threw a red-zone interception and fumbled on a sack during the second half as Los Angeles rolled away.
Kupp caught a 13-yard TD pass in the third quarter for the first score of his season, which began only last week after a serious hamstring injury in training camp. The Super Bowl 56 MVP also missed the final eight games of last season.
Los Angeles coach Sean McVay rediscovered his running game with Williams, the second-year pro from Notre Dame whose play allowed the Rams to trade away Cam Akers last month. After McVay called only three running plays in the first half, Williams seized his opportunities in the second half, breaking off runs of 31, 27, 17 and 14 yards.
Williams put the Rams comfortably ahead with 8:19 to play with a gritty 5-yard TD run, stretching the ball past his tacklers and over the goal line near the pylon to end an 88-yard drive. His 158 yards were the most by a Rams running back since Akers had 171 against New England in December 2020, the season before Los Angeles’ Super Bowl championship run.
Williams missed the Rams’ final offensive series after injuring his ankle.
Neither team reached the end zone in the first half, with the Cardinals failing even after Los Angeles’ Austin Trammell fumbled away a punt return at the Rams 17. Arizona led 9-6 at halftime after the Rams ran out of time to get to the end zone following a 49-yard catch by Kupp in the final minutes.
After largely ignoring the run in the first half, McVay called eight straight runs to open the second half on a strong drive ending in Kupp’s TD catch. Los Angeles hadn’t scored a touchdown in the second half at home all season.
Arizona drove to the Rams 12 on its next possession, but linebacker Christian Rozeboom made his first career interception on a tipped pass thrown behind Zach Ertz.
Cardinals: CB Antonio Hamilton injured his groin in the fourth quarter. … Both starting safeties sat out. Jalen Thompson, a native of nearby Compton, missed his first game of the season (hamstring). Budda Baker (hamstring) is on injured reserve. … RB James Conner also sat out for the first time this season after going on injured reserve (knee).
Rams: Backup RB Ronnie Rivers injured his knee early in the second half. … Starting RG Joe Noteboom (groin) missed his second straight game. … Rookie NT Kobie Turner made his first career start and had five tackles in place of injured Bobby Brown.
Cardinals: Visit Seahawks on Sunday, Oct. 22.
Rams: Host Steelers on Sunday, Oct. 22.
Source: NBC Los Angeles