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Arizona Cardinals 7-18 Los Angeles Rams

John Walford overcame a disastrous opening to lead the Los Angeles Rams to the playoffs with victory over the Arizona Cardinals in his first career start, as he triumphed in the battle of the backups.

Kyler Murray got an ankle injury from a Morgan Fox sack on the opening drive, missing nearly three whole quarters, and backup Chris Steveler could not create anything.

Wolford, in because of Jared Goff’s broken thumb, threw an interception to Jordan Hicks on his first NFL pass, but recovered to pass for 231 yards and rush for 56 more.

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After Steveler’s third NFL pass was a touchdown to Jonathan Ward, the teams’ fortunes switched.

Wolford grew into the game, using his arm and legs, first setting up a Matt Gay field goal, then leading an 81-yard drive only for Cam Akers to lose a fumble at the Arizona one-yard line.

Arizona’s offence imploded behind Stevelar as the next three drives ended with a safety from Justin Pugh holding in the endzone, a Leonard Floyd sack, and an 84 yard interception-return to the house by Troy Hill as Los Angeles took the lead on their first turnover in three weeks.

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With the season on the line Murray returned in the fourth quarter, after two Gay field goals stretched the lead to 11, sparking the offence, but A’Shawn Robinson blocked a Cardinals’ field goal attempt.

Clearly limited thereafter, Murray was unable to bring Arizona back, allowing Chicago to join Los Angeles as a wildcard, while the Rams have a viable option if Goff cannot return in the post-season.

Click here to read the report on the Cleveland Brown’s victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers earlier in the night.

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