St. Louis Rams defensive back Janoris Jenkins accomplished a feat that had not been done by a rookie in over 50 years; return two interceptions for touchdowns in a single game.
The Rams (4-6-1) earned their first road victory of the season by defeating the Arizona Cardinals (4-7) by the score of 31-17 on Sunday. Sunday also marked the first career start for Cardinals rookie quarterback Ryan Lindley. Lindley threw for 312 yards on 52 pass attempts. He failed to throw a touchdown but threw four interceptions in the game (two returned for touchdowns). Lindley said after the game that he tried staying on an even keel and not getting too down on himself after the turnovers. “You have to roll with the punches in this league and keep fighting,” Lindley said. Lindley added that the two interceptions returned for touchdowns were mental errors on his part and that he is “just off a little bit” right now.
The loss was the Cardinals third straight at home and seven straight games overall after beginning the season 4-0 (3-0 at home). Cardinals Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt said in his post-game press conference that no one feels worse about the losses than they [the players and coaches] do and that the team will work to fix the mistakes.
“There are no more excuses,” said Cardinals defensive back and punt returner Patrick Peterson after the game, “We are just not winning enough plays we need to, to win the ballgame.” Those sentiments were echoed by fellow teammate Larry Fitzgerald who admitted that he is at a loss for words after losing seven in a row.
The Cardinals led the Rams on three different occasions during the first half: 7-0, 14-7 and 17-14. Arizona ended the first half with a 17-14 lead after Cardinals kicker Jay Feely kicked a field goal as time expired. It would be the last time the Cardinals would score in the game. St. Louis rallied from the three-point halftime deficit to score 17 unanswered points in the second half. All three units scored for the Rams in the second half as both the offense and defense scored a touchdown and special teams added a field goal.
Cardinals running back Chris “Beanie” Wells returned for the first time after missing seven games with a turf-toe injury. Wells rushed for 48 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries in his first game in nearly two months. The team’s mistakes had not gone unnoticed while the running back was injured, “unfortunately when we have mistakes, they are not small ones, they are big ones.” Arizona went 1-6 while Wells was on injured reserve.
The Cardinals will travel across the country to play the New York Jets (4-7) next Sunday. Lindley will once again get the start at quarterback as former starting quarterback Kevin Kolb’s availability for the game is still uncertain. The last time the Cardinals played on the road against the Jets was back in 2008. Arizona lost 56-35 in a game that became infamous as then-Cardinals wide receiver Anquan Boldin was injured during a helmet-to-helmet collision that resulted in 40 titanium screws and seven plates being put into his face. Boldin missed two games with the injury. The Jets have never lost to the Cardinals while the franchise has been in Arizona.