Ariz. -- Janoris
been known to make headlines for the wrong reasons. Not this
No NFL rookie since 1960 and no Rams rookie ever
accomplished what the young St. Louis cornerback did
Jenkins, who slipped to the second round of the draft
-- the 39th pick overall -- because of off-the-field issues during
his college career, returned two interceptions for touchdowns and St.
Louis dominated the second half to hand the Arizona Cardinals their
seventh loss in a row, 31-17.
intercepted four times in his first NFL start.
returns of 36 and 39 yards emphatically ended the Rams' streak of
five straight games without an opponent turnover.
big relief," he said of ending the takeaway drought. "I
felt the defense came out and we played together."
talented defender had slipped to the second round for the Rams after
he was booted from the Florida team following a pair of
marijuana-related incidents and finished his career at North Alabama.
Then there was his acknowledgment that he fathered four children with
two weeks ago, he and fellow rookie Chris Givens were inactive for
the game against San Francisco for violating team rules.
that was mere history on this big day.
a great game by Janoris," Rams defensive end Chris Long said.
"I'm really proud of him. I'm happy for him. When you get one
turnover for a score, your chances of winning go up exponentially, so
if you get two, I don't know what the statistic is, but when you do
it two times with the same player, it's pretty awesome."
Bradford had a pair of 37-yard touchdown passes -- to Lance Kendricks
and Givens -- for the Rams (4-6-1), who snapped a five-game winless
streak and beat Arizona (4-7) for the second time this season.
Louis outscored Arizona 17-0 in the second half.
a sixth-round draft pick out of San Diego State and the third
quarterback to start for Arizona this season, completed 31 of 52 for
312 yards and no touchdowns. The interceptions, especially the two
returned for scores, outweighed anything else Lindley did.
think you just have to understand he's a young player and he's got to
understand he can't make a couple of those throws, especially the
last one that was returned for a touchdown," Cardinals coach Ken
Whisenhunt said. "That was a bad throw because he had Larry
(Fitzgerald) down the sidelines. He's just got to step up and put it
Wells, back after missing seven games with a turf toe injury, had TD
runs of 1 and 12 yards for the Cardinals.
led 17-14 at the half on Jay Feely's 32-yard field goal as the second
third quarter, though, belonged to the Rams.
St. Louis pinned at its 8-yard line, Jackson ran 46 yards, doubling
his previous longest gain of the season. Two plays later, Givens beat
rookie Justin Bethel down the left sideline for a 37-yard scoring
reception to give the Rams their first lead, 21-17, with 9:58 left in
Rams threatened to extend the lead when Lindley threw right into the
hands of linebacker Harvey Dahl, who returned it 38 yards to the
Arizona 12. But after a holding penalty, Greg Zuerlein's 35-yard
field goal try was wide left.
Cardinals weren't so fortunate on Lindley's next bad pass. The rookie
underthrew Fitzgerald by 10 yards. Jenkins caught it and in a play
almost identical to his earlier TD, raced down the right sideline for
the score that made it 28-17.
interception also came when Lindley missed Fitzgerald.
two where I was going to Larry, the two picks, were just real mental
mistakes," Lindley said. "It was things that, it's
unexplainable right now, but I made a bad play. Larry is doing the
right thing. I'm just off a little bit on something, rushing
something, not trusting what I'm seeing out there."
Lindley throwing short passes over the middle, the Cardinals went 91
yards in 15 plays on their first possession, using up 8:55 of the
first quarter, to go up 7-0.
on the first play of the second quarter, Jenkins stepped in front of
intended receiver LaRod Stephens-Howling, intercepted the pass and
ran untouched 36 yards to the end zone to tie it at 7-7.
Amendola, who played despite a foot injury that prevented him from
practicing all week, made a diving grab of Bradford's 38-yard pass to
the Arizona 19 on St. Louis' next possession and two runs by Jackson
put the ball on the Arizona 7. But Patrick Peterson picked off
Bradford's pass over the middle in the end zone to end the threat.
25-yard pass to Rob Housler and Andre Roberts' 13-yard run set up
Wells' 12-yard scoring run that put Arizona back on top 14-7.
Rams tied it 14-all when Bradford threw over the middle to Kendricks,
who rumbled into the end zone on a 37-yard scoring play with 1:53
left in the half.
SAN FRANCISCO • Holder Johnny Hekker said he didn’t signal for the ball from long-snapper Jake McQuaide quickly enough in overtime, causing a delay of game that wiped out what would’ve been a game-winning 53-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein.
“I let the delay happen,” said Hekker, who also is the Rams’ punter. “Greg said he gave me the hand sign with 4 seconds (on the play clock). We’ve never had a snap, a nod to ‘hand flash,’ take more than 4 seconds.
"I’m still kind of puzzled as to how that happened."
The 'hand flash' is Hekker's signal for McQuaide to snap the ball.
The Rams had timeouts available to stop the play clock before it ran out, but coach Jeff Fisher did nothing as the clock ticked down.
Earlier in the game, Hekker kept the Rams’ offense on the field with two successful passes on fake punts, completing a 21-yarder to Rodney McLeod late in the first half, and tossing a 19-yard pass to Lance Kendricks. The pass to Kendricks kept alive a drive that set up the Rams’ final touchdown in regulation.
But Hekker also shanked a punt that traveled 13 yards in the second quarter.