J.J. Watt reflected on the Arizona Cardinals' 34-11 playoff defeat to the Los Angeles Rams as "a massive failure".

The Cardinals ended their season with a whimper at SoFi Stadium on Monday as the Rams dominated the Wild Card round clash between the NFC West rivals.

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford ended his wait for a first playoff win, throwing touchdown passes for Odell Beckham Jr. and Cooper Kupp while running in another.

Los Angeles will face defending champions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Florida next Sunday in the divisional round. 

The Cardinals, on the other hand, are left to lick their wounds following a fifth defeat in seven games that brought their campaign to a juddering halt.

Watt returned from a shoulder injury to face the Rams and the defensive end pulled no punches with his verdict on the Cardinals' performance.

He said: "It was a massive failure from what we were capable of doing and from what we showed we can do [up until the game Monday], there's no other way to describe it than as a failure.

Quarterback Kyler Murray endured a game to forget, passing for 137 yards and throwing two interceptions in the Cardinals' first playoff game since 2015.

He said: "I play to win the Super Bowl. That's the goal, that's the mission, is to win the Super Bowl not to make the playoffs or go to the second round. We fell short."

He added: "It's disappointing that we didn't make it a game and come out and play the football we know we're capable of playing, that's really the most disappointing part.

"Losing is one thing, but when you don't even make it competitive, it's another thing.

"I put a lot on my shoulders, put a lot on myself and to dream of this moment and then be in the playoffs, the first game of the playoffs and then to play the way I did, to play the way we did, it's, like I said, disappointing."

Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury: "When you're dropping back against that that group, it's not a good recipe.

"And that's what we've found ourselves in. So, we just made it a tough night."

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay is thrilled that quarterback Matthew Stafford will no longer have to face questions about never winning a game in the NFL playoffs.

NFC West rivals the Arizona Cardinals were convincingly swatted aside by the Rams in the Wild Card round on Monday, the hosts triumphing 34-11.

The Rams will now move on to face Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a huge Divisional Round game with a place in the NFC Championship up for grabs.

Stafford had only previously reached the playoffs three times in 12 years with the Detroit Lions before his trade to LA ahead of the 2021 campaign and had been winless in each of those postseason appearances.

"I thought he did a great job leading the way," McVay said, per ESPN, after Stafford threw touchdown passes to Odell Beckham Jr. and Cooper Kupp.

"He's still the same great player to me, and he always was before this game.

"So I think it's good so you guys don't have to talk about [him not having a playoff win] anymore. So he can get that one out of the way. 

"I am really proud of him. Just so lucky to be able to do this with him. He's our leader. We wouldn't be here without him."

Stafford only had to throw a season-low 17 pass attempts, but he was impressive in completing 13 of them, with three of his four incompletions being dropped passes.

The Rams' defense played a big part in the win too. The Cardinals were 21-0 behind before they were even able to record a first down, while cornerback David Long had a three-yard pick six on Kyler Murray, the shortest in playoff history.

"I'm just excited for our team to get the win," said Stafford. 

"What a team effort. Our defense played outstanding, special teams basically set up a score with [punter] Johnny [Hekker] pinning them down there, we did a great job on field goals. 

"And we were good enough on offense to score some points and come away with the win. Just happy to be moving on."

The Rams must now beat the defending NFL champions on the road to progress further in a postseason schedule which will culminate with the Super Bowl being hosted at their own SoFi Stadium.

LA were one of only three teams who beat the Bucs in the regular season but Stafford is under no illusions over the size of the task facing them.

He added: "It is a huge challenge. Obviously, a fantastic quarterback, great defense, a really good football team.

"I think their team is different than when we played them last [in Week 3], and I think we are, too, both [in] personnel and scheme a little bit. You always evolve throughout the season. 

"So it'll be interesting to see what they look like here as of late, and we'll go out there, attack and see what happens."

Matthew Stafford celebrated the end of his long wait for an NFL playoff win as the Los Angeles Rams sealed a stress-free victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Monday.

The quarterback produced an immaculate performance as the Rams won 34-11 at SoFi Stadium, the venue for this year's Super Bowl, in the first match to be played on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Stafford was 0-3 in playoff games over 12 years with the Detroit Lions but threw touchdown passes for Odell Beckham Jr. and Cooper Kupp while running for another to ensure there would be no disappointment this time.

His reward is a showdown with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Florida next Sunday in the divisional round. The Rams were one of just three teams to beat the reigning champions in the regular season – a 34-24 win back in Week 3.

A 52-yard drive in the first quarter ended with Stafford finding OBJ with a four-yard pass for the opening TD of the game, the latter's first in the postseason.

It marked what would prove to be a display of efficiency from Stafford, who threw 13 of 17 passes – his lowest of the season – for 202 yards but did not commit a single turnover.

Von Miller – playing in his first postseason game since being MVP of Super Bowl 50 – sacked Kyler Murray as the Cardinals failed to respond, and in the first drive of the second quarter, Stafford found Beckham again for a 31-yard gain that led to his chance to run in touchdown number two.

Things went from bad to worse for the Cardinals as a Rams punt ended on the Arizona 1, and Murray thought he finally had a first down when he threw to AJ Green, but Nick Scott tackled the ball away from him to what was eventually called an incomplete pass. On the next play, Murray was panicked into rushing his throw from his own endzone, leading to a pick six as David Long intercepted and ran in for the TD.

It took until more than halfway through the second quarter for the Cardinals to get a first down as they fell 21-0 behind at halftime, and they were not back on the scoreboard until a little over four minutes remained in the third quarter.

Having surrendered a 17-0 lead over the San Francisco 49ers last week, the Rams were determined to avoid a repeat, Beckham making NFL history as the first player in the postseason to finish with 30-yard receptions and completions in the same game.

Stafford's seven-yard pass let Kupp, who finished with a team-high five catches for 61 yards, quell any fears of a late Arizona response.

The Arizona Cardinals have activated J.J. Watt from injured reserve in time for him to make an unexpected return for their Wild Card round clash with the Los Angeles Rams.

Watt was placed on injured reserve in November having undergone what was thought to be season-ending shoulder surgery in October.

However, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year has expedited his recovery and will line up for the Cardinals on Monday as they look to upset their NFC West rivals at SoFi Stadium.

Despite playing only seven games, Watt ended the regular season with the third-most quarterback pressures among Cardinals defenders with 32.

The Cardinals are looking to claim their first playoff win since the 2015 campaign when they lost the NFC Championship Game to the Carolina Panthers.

Eric Weddle is showing "great energy" after coming out of retirement and is primed to play a part against the Arizona Cardinals, says Sean McVay.

In a stunning move, six-time Pro Bowler Weddle re-joined the Los Angeles Rams this week for the playoffs, having previously retired after the 2019 season.

The safety will make his comeback against NFC West rivals the Cardinals on Monday, which will be 750 days since his last NFL appearance.

The roster move with Weddle came with the Rams having issues in their secondary.

Jordan Fuller was ruled out for the season due an ankle injury, while free safety Taylor Rapp has not cleared concussion protocol and will miss the game.

That could lead to significant snaps for the 37-year-old Weddle, who quit two years ago after 13 successful seasons in the league.

Rams head coach McVay revealed there are a range of outcomes over how involved Weddle will be in his first game back but is convinced the veteran will be ready.

"He's done a great job," McVay said, per ESPN, when asked about Weddle's progress. "He's brought a great energy. He's a great communicator. He's a great leader. 

"He'll be ready to go. What exactly that role looks like, we're still working through, but I do know as a competitor when he's out there, if he's going and he gets into the flow, he's gonna want to go.

"If he's feeling good and there's no risk and we're in a good flow, we'll kind of just take it a snap at a time. 

"It's hard for me to realistically put a parameter around it because this is something that's never been done before. 

"It could be 10 [snaps]; it could be 30. I think in a lot of instances too, it depends on what kind of personnel groupings we're presenting to the Cardinals' offense as well.

"[Rapp] is a big loss. He's doing everything in his power to get back as quickly as possible, but we have got a lot of confidence in Nick Scott and Terrell Burgess as well."

 

Weddle discussed his return earlier this week, insisting he had kept physically fit in retirement.

He said: "Even though I haven’t been playing football, I still train like I’m playing football.

"It [returning] was never even a remote possibility ever over the last year and a half because I was pretty much set in my decision and very happy. 

"This is by no means me having an itch or anything like that. It was just the opportunity of a lifetime.

"I just kept coming back to I would regret it if I didn’t come and take this chance to try to help out the guys that I love, a coach that I love and try to help this team out, whatever role that is.

"It didn't take much persuading. It was kind of just going through the avenues with all the coaches and reaching out to some players.

"I didn't want to come in and ruffle any feathers or be someone who gets in the way, but once all that was on the same page, it was a no brainer in my mind."

The Rams are at home for the Wild Card game after edging the Cardinals to win the NFC West.

Two games between the teams in the regular season were split, with each team winning on the road (37-20 Cardinals in L.A., 30-23 Rams in Arizona).

Arizona fared well on the road this season, going 8-1, but struggled to a 3-5 record at home.

Per Stats Perform data, in modern NFL history (since 1933), the only other team to have as many as five more road wins than home victories in a season is the Miami Dolphins, who went 6-2 on the road and 1-7 at home in 2010.

The Arizona Cardinals remain uncertain on the availability of running back James Conner for their Wild Card game against the Los Angeles Rams due to injured ribs.

Conner left Sunday's 38-30 defeat to the Seattle Seahawks nursing his ribs after 15 carries for 52 yards and two touchdowns.

Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said the side's medical staff were still evaluating Conner's condition ahead of Monday's game.

"He’s still being evaluated . . . hopefully, it’s not too serious," Kingsbury told Arizona Sports 98.7. "But we won’t know for the next couple days."

Conner had missed the Cardinals' previous two games due to a heel injury before making his comeback against the Seahawks.

The 26-year-old finished the regular season with an NFC-high 18 touchdowns, 15 rushing and three receiving. He ranked third in the NFL, behind only Austin Ekeler and Jonathan Taylor (both 20).

Conner has had 202 carries for 752 yards this season along with 37 receptions for 375 yards.

The Dallas Cowboys are fearing the worst with wide receiver Michael Gallup sustaining a suspected torn ACL in his left knee in Sunday's 25-22 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

Gallup landed awkwardly when he caught a touchdown in the second quarter of the defeat, before limping off the field and leaving for the locker room on crutches.

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones confirmed Gallup will undergo an MRI on Monday to confirm the severity of the injury but teammate Dak Prescott and head coach Mike McCarthy feared the worst.

"It was tough, very tough," Prescott said at the post-game news conference. "Coming in at half-time and going to see him, just unfortunate. A guy that I love. Can't get a better teammate than MG. Sick about it."

McCarthy added: "Feel terrible for Michael. Obviously made a huge play, but you could see just the way he came down."

Gallup has had 35 receptions for 445 yards and two touchdowns this season for the playoff-bound Cowboys.

The Arizona Cardinals continued their excellent road form as they edged the Dallas Cowboys 25-22 in a potential-playoff preview with Kyler Murray leading the way on Sunday.

The Cardinals improved their season record to 11-5 and their road record to 8-1, snapping a three-game skid, with Texas-born Murray throwing two touchdowns as he completed 26 of 38 attempts for 263 yards.

The Cowboys had trailed 22-7 at the final charge but stormed back into contention as Dak Prescott threw three TD passes for the game but Murray expertly managed the clock late.

Murray found Antoine Wesley for two TDs including a spectacular catch in the third quarter, while Jonathan Ward made a remarkable helmet catch on a fake punt.

The Cowboys lost Michael Gallup to injury upon his second-quarter receiving touchdown and did not return, not helping their cause.

Prescott, who completed 24 of 38 passes for 226 yards along with 20 rushing yards, found Cedrick Wilson and Amari Cooper for final-quarter TDs to tighten the game but he also had a costly fumble at 22-14.

Chargers snap skid as Williams scores 101-yard return

The Los Angeles Chargers snapped a two-game skid with a 34-13 victory over the Denver Broncos to boost their Wild Card hopes as they improve to a 9-7 record.

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert threw 22 of 31 passes for 237 yards with two touchdowns, breaking the franchise record for single-season touchdown passes at 35.

Andre Williams scored a 101-yard kickoff return touchdown in the fourth quarter, while Austin Ekeler returned to LA's line-up and was important, with 17 carries for 58 yards and a touchdown, along with three receptions for 54 yards.

 

Lance leads 49ers to key win in Wild Card race

Trey Lance stepped in for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo and provided two touchdown passes as the San Francisco 49ers won 23-7 over the Houston Texans.

Lance completed 16 of 23 passes for 249 yards with the two TDs and an interception to help the 49ers improve to 9-7 in the NFC Wild Card pursuit.

Deebo Samuel and Elijah Mitchell scored the touchdowns as the 49ers scored 20 second-half points to secure the win.

Aaron Rodgers made franchise history as he led the Green Bay Packers to a Christmas Day victory against the Cleveland Browns at Lambeau Field.

Rodgers overtook Packers legend Brett Favre for the most passing touchdowns in Green Bay history after finding Allen Lazard from 11 yards in the first quarter.

The 38-year-old threw for 202 yards and three touchdowns in the 24-22 win as the Packers extended their lead at the top of the NFC, moving to a 12-3 record.

Rodgers reached 445 career touchdown passes by the end of the game, beating Favre's haul of 442 for Green Bay.

Wide receiver Davante Adams made 10 catches for a total of 114 yards, scoring two TDs, the fourth time he has made 10 or more catches in a game this season.

Rodgers and Adams also became the Packers' most productive partnership in franchise history after combining for a TD for the 66th time, surpassing Rodgers and Jordy Nelson.

Baker Mayfield, meanwhile, struggled in his first game back since being activated from the Browns' COVID-19 list, being sacked five times and throwing four interceptions in Wisconsin.

Cleveland, now on a record of 7-8 for the season, gave themselves late hope with an Anthony Schwartz TD in the fourth quarter, but were unable to add further.

Meanwhile, the Arizona Cardinals lost a third game in a row after a 22-16 home loss against the Indianapolis Colts at State Farm Stadium.

Despite being sacked twice, Carson Wentz threw two TDs, one in the first quarter to T.Y. Hilton to give the Colts the lead, and then a 14-yard effort to Dezmon Patmon in the fourth to take the game away from the hosts.

Jonathan Taylor made over 100 rushing yards (108) for the Colts for the ninth time this season, and has now done so in six of his last seven outings.

Cardinals QB Kyler Murray saw plenty of the ball, making 43 throws in the game, but could only complete 27 of them, finding the endzone only once as he combined with Antoine Wesley as Arizona nudged ahead at the start of the second half.

Wentz and the Colts were able to wrestle control though, and move on to 9-6, while the Cardinals now sit at 10-5, dropping to fifth in the NFC.

Jared Goff was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday, less than 24 hours after leading the lowly Detroit Lions to a sensational victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

After an awful season, the Lions have shown fight in recent weeks, getting their first win of the year against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 13.

But Sunday's stunning 30-12 defeat of the NFC West-leading Cardinals came as a complete shock.

One-time MVP candidate Kyler Murray continued his uneven form at quarterback for Arizona following his return from injury, but Goff excelled for Detroit.

The former Los Angeles Ram completed 21 of 26 passes for 216 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions – albeit he tossed two pickable passes despite identifying an open target with 25 of his attempts. A passer rating of 139.7 was the fifth-best of Goff's NFL career.

But the Lions' hopes of ending the year with momentum were hit on Monday by news of Goff's move to the COVID list.

Goff has missed only one game since moving to Detroit this season, with deputy Tim Boyle in from the start for the Week 11 defeat to the Cleveland Browns, throwing zero TDs and two picks.

The Lions (2-11-1) go to the Atlanta Falcons (6-8) on Sunday.

The Arizona Cardinals were the best team in the NFL the first half of the season and had remained perfect on the road even after stumbling in recent weeks, leaving them in position to clinch a playoff berth with a win Sunday. 

Instead, the Cardinals turned in their most disappointing performance of the season, getting blown out 30-12 by a Detroit Lions team that had entered the game with an NFL-worst 1-11-1 record. 

So it was that an Arizona team that opened the year 7-0 slumped to 10-4 after a defeat no one saw coming. 

"This is an unacceptable loss," Cardinals linebacker Jordan Hicks told reporters. "We weren't ourselves today."

Added quarterback Kyler Murray: "They were hungrier than us. They played harder than us." 

It was a performance reminiscent of the Cardinals' ugly 34-10 home setback against the Carolina Panthers last month, but all the more galling given the quality of the opposition. 

The Lions were even colder than the Cardinals were hot to open 2021, dropping their first eight games before playing to a 16-16 draw with the Pittsburgh Steelers, then losing two more before finally beating the Minnesota Vikings two weeks ago. 

Yet Detroit managed to dominate the proceedings Sunday even though the teams finished the game virtually level in terms of key statistics. 

The Cardinals out-gained the Lions 398-338, while Detroit held a slight edge in time of possession (31:52 to 28:08) and each team had just one turnover. 

Yet Arizona failed to convert on all four red-zone opportunities, most notably turning the ball over on downs at Detroit's three-yard line after a failed fourth-down try late in the first half. 

Goff engineered a 97-yard touchdown drive from there, giving the Lions a 17-0 lead at half-time, and Detroit never looked back. 

Arizona, meanwhile, may have tried to do too much after getting in that hole. 

"There's no such thing as a 17-point touchdown and we've got to approach it that way if we get in this situation again," said head coach Kliff Kingsbury.

Arizona had won all seven of their road games this season by double digits entering Sunday, and they face one more daunting test away from home, a trip to the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys in two weeks' time. 

They can only hope to figure out what adjustments need to be made before facing that challenge. 

"We know who we are," Murray said. "We know the guys we have in the locker room, we've got the talent, we've got the coaches, we've got the leadership. It's about locking in and playing to our capabilities.

"Screw everything else, pretty much. We have to be how we were at the beginning of the season."

The Pittsburgh Steelers defense showed up in bravura fashion to pave the way for a 19-13 victory over the Tennessee Titans at Heinz Field.

Despite the offense struggling, Pittsburgh forced four turnovers against a Titans side who continue to lead the AFC South but slip to 9-5 with this setback.

Linebacker T.J. Watt had 1.5 sacks to reach 17.5 for the season, establishing a new Steelers record as the home team improved to 7-6-1, getting the better of a side that blanked the Jaguars 20-0 last week.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin hailed the effort from his team to overcome their shortcomings and capitalise on their strengths, with Chris Boswell kicking four field goals and Ben Roethlisberger snatching a rare touchdown.

Roethlisberger (16-of-25 for 148 yards) also went fifth on the all-time NFL passing yards list in this game, jumping ahead of Philip Rivers with a three-yard pass to Najee Harris and boosting his career total to 63,562 yards by the end.

Tomlin said: "It's an exciting victory for us, a very necessary one. They won the battle of field position, their special teams were better than ours, but in spite of all those things I thought the guys continued to fight.

"The turnovers levelled the playing field in the second half. That was the catalyst for us to go ahead and secure victory. I like the way the guys collectively smiled in the face of adversity.

"We'll be thankful for this win. That's a really good football team we played and were able to beat today. Hopefully there's some growth associated with conquering challenges like that, and we are going to need that as we go on the road next week."

The Steelers tackle the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs on December 26, while the Titans are back in action against the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night.

Lions chew up Cardinals

Jared Goff threw three touchdown passes and kept the Arizona Cardinals waiting to nail down a playoff place as the Detroit Lions sprang a huge shock with their 30-12 win.

With just one win, Detroit headed into the game against the Cardinals, who were 10-3 for the season, as heavy underdogs, despite Arizona losing last week to the Los Angeles Rams.

Goff found Amon-Ra St Brown and Josh Reynolds for touchdowns in the first half as the Lions surge to a 17-0 lead at halfway – at that point their biggest advantage at any stage of any game all season and the Cardinals' biggest half-time deficit for three years.

The lead was even wider come the end of the game, with Goff finding Jason Cabinda for another touchdown, meaning Arizona's once-firm grip on first place in the NFC West is now far from that, as the Rams (9-4) lurk.

The NFL said the result marked only the third time since 1970 that a team with the worst record in the NFL had beaten a team with the best or joint-best record, taking into account only games when the sides had already played at least eight times in the season.

It was also the third-largest win all-time by a team with nine-plus fewer wins than an opponent, per Stats Perform.

Cowboys almost there

The Dallas Cowboys moved to the brink of a first playoff appearance since 2018 thanks to a 21-6 win over the New York Giants, improving to 10-4 as they continue to lead the NFC East.

Behind the arm of Dak Prescott (28-of-37 for 217 yards and one touchdown), the Cowboys had just enough to avoid any undue worries, with the scoring all wrapped up by the end of the third quarter.

While Prescott was far from perfect, he was streets ahead of Giants starting QB Mike Glennon (13-of-24 for 99 yards) who was picked off three times by the Cowboys. Trevon Diggs had the third of those interceptions to reach 10 for the season. Glennon was eventually benched to allow Jake Fromm (6-of-12 for 82 yards) a chance to impress.

Prescott lost both of his starts against the Giants as a rookie in 2016 but has now gone 9-0 in subsequent starts against New York.

Matthew Stafford hailed "always fantastic" wide receiver Cooper Kupp after the Los Angeles Rams star made NFL history on Monday Night Football.

The Rams improved to 9-4 with a key 30-23 road win against divisional rivals the Arizona Cardinals.

Kupp had a career-high 13 catches for 123 yards and the game-winning touchdown, one of three thrown by Stafford in the contest.

The 28-year-old, who has never previously reached the Pro Bowl, has racked up 90 or more receiving yards in nine straight games as part of an electric streak.

Per NFL Research, Kupp has tied the record held by Hall of Famer Michael Irvin (1995) and his Rams team-mate Odell Beckham (2014) for the longest such streak in the last 70 seasons.

Quarterback Stafford suggested Kupp would have had more yards but for two wayward pass attempts and paid tribute to his continued impact.

"He was fantastic – he always is," Stafford told ESPN when he was asked about Kupp. 

"Great player, great team-mate for us. Does a lot of the dirty work for us, too. 

"I missed him on a couple and I wish I would have put a couple out in front to give him a chance to run. I'm just excited for our team and we have got to continue to build on this."

Kupp has a chance to become the first receiver to end a season with the triple crown of the most receptions, yards and touchdowns since Steve Smith in 2005 with the Carolina Panthers.

He is leading the league in all three categories through Week 14.

The Rams' win came despite the absence of five players due to COVID-19 protocols, including Jalen Ramsey and Tyler Higbee who were both ruled out on the day of the game. 

"At the end of the day, you deal with all that stuff," Kupp said. "You just have to control what you can control. 

"By the time the game starts, that stuff is over and done with and you have just got to move forward. 

"Next man up, do your job play in and play out, just execute the best you can and we did well enough just to squeak out a W."

The Cardinals remain top of the NFC West – but now have the Rams in hot pursuit – and have dropped to the same record (10-3) as the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the conference standings.

"We lost, and obviously everybody wanted to win," Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray said. "It was a big game for us, but I'm not discouraged by what happened."

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford has labelled Monday's 30-23 win over division rivals the Arizona Cardinals as "big" but says it will mean little if they do not continue to improve.

The Rams toppled the Cardinals, who are ahead of them in the NFC West, to improve their record to 9-4, while Arizona go to 10-3.

Stafford's side had lost three in a row against the Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers before winning their past two and refused to get carried away.

"Obviously it's big. Obviously it's a great win for us but at the same time we've got to make it worth something," Stafford told ESPN after the game. "We win this one and don’t take care of business in other weeks, then it don't mean much.

"We're on to the next one. This is a nice win for us, a division opponent, at a tough place to play, without some big-time key players, it's a good win to get but we've got to continue to get some more of them."

Stafford had three touchdown passes, completing 23 of 30 attempts for 287 yards. He has an NFL-high six games without three TD passes and no interceptions this season, ahead of Kirk Cousins, Justin Herbert and Aaron Rodgers with four.

The win came with the Rams without five players due to COVID-19 protocols, including Jalen Ramsey and Tyler Higbee who were both ruled out on the day of the game. Rob Havenstein, Dont'e Deayon and running back Darrell Henderson were also unavailable.

"It's a total team win," Stafford added. "A lot of adversity this week and today with some stuff going on with the players and personnel, I'm just proud of our team and our coach, and everyone sticking together. Getting one at their place, it's a tough place to play."

Rams head coach Sean McVay reiterated Stafford's comments, with the side scheduled to face the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday after they had managed back-to-back wins.

"It's a measuring stick for tonight. I thought the guys answered the bell," McVay said at the post-game news conference. "We've talked about it throughout the course of the year, how do we build on this, this is one night, we'll enjoy this but we've got a short week.

"Seattle has really gotten rolling over these last couple of weeks. Big win over San Fran, they looked good versus the Texans yesterday. Really pleased with these guys but we want to continue to be totally and completely present. Enjoy this but let's keep building on it.

"That's what the good teams do, they get better in the month of December. That's our goal, you've got to continue to be relevant but you want to make sure that you're improving so if you do give yourself an opportunity to play after the regular season, you're playing your best ball."

The loss is Arizona's third in a row at home and they were left to bemoan their final possession, having got within seven points, as quarterback Kyler Murray ran out of options with the clock ticking down, before being sacked for a third time by Aaron Donald.

On the final play, Murray said: "It was a miscommunication between me and the line. They thought it was a spike. It was a heat of the moment deal. I don’t even recall what was being said in the helmet."

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