7 crazy stats from Rams’ playoff-clinching win vs. Cardinals

Cameron DaSilva
·4 min read

The Rams closed out the 2020 regular season on a high note Sunday, beating the Cardinals 18-7. They finished 10-6 and earned the sixth seed in the NFC, setting up a date with the Seahawks in the wild-card round.

There were a bunch of feats accomplished by the Rams both on Sunday and in the season as a whole, which we’re here to recognize. John Wolford put together a strong performance in his debut, the Rams harrassed the Cardinals’ quarterbacks again and the defense saved maybe its best for last.

Here are seven crazy stats from the Week 17 win.

John Wolford made NFL history in first game

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Wolford didn’t have the best debut ever by a quarterback. He didn’t even score a touchdown, nor did he lead the Rams to a touchdown on offense. However, he did make NFL history as the first quarterback ever to throw for at least 200 yards and rush for 50-plus yards in his first game. It’s not a feat that will get his jersey commemorated in Canton, but Wolford did play better than expected against the Cardinals this weekend.

Troy Hill tied for Rams’ 2nd-most defensive TDs in a season

(AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Hill picked off Chris Streveler and returned it 84 yards for a touchdown, his third defensive score of the season. That puts Hill tied for second for the most defensive touchdowns in a single season by a Rams player. Only Janoris Jenkins, who scored four defensive touchdowns as a rookie in 2012, has more in Rams history. Hill’s touchdowns came by way of two pick-sixes and a fumble return.

Rams finished season No. 1 in points and yards allowed

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The Rams entered Week 17 ranked third in points allowed and first in yards, but they’ll finish the season No. 1 in both categories. After allowing only seven points and 214 total yards on Sunday, Brandon Staley and the Rams defense rank first in points and yards allowed. It’s just the fourth time the Rams have had the top-ranked defense in the NFL, and the first time it’s happened since 1978.

Rams have had four-plus sacks in half their games

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Needless to say, the Rams answered all the questions about their pass rush coming into the season. They finished the year with 53 sacks in 16 games, which is an average of more than three per game. In half of their contests, the Rams recorded at least four sacks, which is astounding. They had four against the Cardinals on Sunday, two of which were by Samson Ebukam. Aaron Donald led the way with 13.5 sacks, but Leonard Floyd had 10.5, while Morgan Fox and Michael Brockers had six and five sacks, respectively.

Jalen Ramsey saved his best for last

(AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

Ramsey hasn’t necessarily been a ballhawk for the Rams, but that’s only because quarterbacks rarely test him in coverage so he doesn’t get many opportunities to break up passes. But against the Cardinals, Ramsey made the most of his chances and recorded four pass breakups. That’s twice as many as he had in any other game as a member of the Rams, and just one shy of a career-high, which came in 2016 with the Jaguars. He was outstanding against DeAndre Hopkins and the Cardinals.

Wolford rushed for more yards than the entire Cardinals offense

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals were a top-five rushing offense coming into Week 17, but the Rams completely shut down that aspect of their game plan – along with everything else, too. Arizona rushed for a season-low 48 yards on 18 carries, which isn't even as many yards as Wolford had on the ground. Wolford had 56 yards rushing on only six carries, which is more than the entire Cardinals offense combined. His 56 yards are the most by a Rams quarterback since Roman Gabriel in 1967.

Rams are 1st team since 2007 to turn it over in every game and reach playoffs

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

When Wolford threw an interception on his first pass attempt of the game, he extended a dubious streak for the Rams. It was their 16th straight game with at least one turnover, giving the ball away at least once in each game this season. It’s hard to make the playoffs when you do that, but the Rams managed to finish 10-6 and got in as the sixth seed. The last team to turn it over in every game and still make the playoffs was the 2007 Giants, who went on to win the Super Bowl. The Rams are just the fourth team since 1994 to accomplish this feat, too.

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