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Rams Run Past Cardinals Without Todd Gurley

Notes: Rosen pulled again; Cunningham carted off; Cooper returns punts

Rams RB C.J. Anderson found plenty of room to run against the Cardinals
Rams RB C.J. Anderson found plenty of room to run against the Cardinals

Todd Gurley didn't play because of a knee injury on Sunday, but it was hard to tell.

Backup C.J. Anderson – a street free agent until Wednesday – looked like a Pro Bowl running back himself in the Rams' 31-9 win over the Cardinals. He carried the ball 20 times for 167 yards and a touchdown. The Cardinals gave up 269 rushing yards in the game, a season-worst.

"The run defense was just horrendous," coach Steve Wilks said.

The Falcons rushed for 215 last week and run-stopping issues have been a recurring theme throughout the year. The Rams averaged 6.6 yards per carry on 41 attempts a week after Atlanta averaged 8.0 yards per tote. Wilks, a defensive coach, was asked if the repeated issues are getting under his skin.

"It's like a virus right now," Wilks said.

Anderson isn't a speed demon but the lanes were wide and he broke multiple tackles. His longest run was a 46-yard scamper from the Los Angeles 5-yard-line in the fourth quarter. The Rams capped the 95-yard drive with a touchdown just three plays later.

Anderson has been released three times this year – by the Broncos in April, the Panthers in November and the Raiders 12 days ago – but looked at home with the Rams.

"If you watch the tape, that was nothing different than my game from what I've done plenty of times," Anderson said. "The big boys played really great up front. Obviously I get nothing going if it wasn't for them. That's been my game since I've been in (the league) for six years. If you ever paid attention to any football with C.J. Anderson in it, you wouldn't be surprised at all."

Backup running back John Kelly added 10 carries for 40 yards while wide receiver Brandin Cooks (27 yards), tight end Gerald Everett (16 yards) and wide receiver Robert Woods (15 yards and a touchdown) were used effectively on fly sweeps.

"We've got to do a better job," defensive tackle Corey Peters said. "No ifs, ands, buts about it."


Quarterback Josh Rosen left the game in the fourth quarter of the lopsided loss, the second straight game it happened. He finished the contest 12-of-23 for 87 yards without a touchdown or an interception.

Rosen does not like leaving games but said he forced Wilks' hand by playing poorly.

"It's frustrating, but it's my fault," Rosen said.

Wilks didn't want Rosen to get any more beat up than he was to that point. Rosen injured his arm on an incomplete pass midway through the third quarter and had it wrapped on the sideline, but returned to the game without missing any action.

"It feels like a bruise," Rosen said. "It hurt a little bit but I'm fine now."


Rookie left tackle Korey Cunningham left the game with a foot injury in the fourth quarter and was carted to the locker room. He was quickly ruled out for the remainder of the game. Will Holden replaced him the rest of the way.

Tight end Ricky Seals-Jones left with a shoulder stinger in the first half and didn't return.


New signee Pharoh Cooper took over as the punt returner. However, Los Angeles was only forced to punt one time and Cooper returned it for just one yard.

Running back T.J. Logan remained the kickoff returner but all six Greg Zuerlein kicks went for touchbacks.

Images from the Week 16 matchup at State Farm Stadium

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