Rarely in the NFL does a game go exactly the way most experts and fans think it will.
But that's pretty much what happened in Los Angeles on Sunday.
The Arizona Cardinals were embarrassed for the second time in as many weeks, falling 34-0 to the host Los Angeles Rams on Sunday afternoon. The loss dropped the Cards to 0-2 on the season. The Cardinals have scored a grand total of six points this season.
Let's just get this out of the way and identify three big takeaways from the defeat.
1. Anemic offense
For the second straight week, the Cardinals simply failed to move the football. They were shut out on the scoreboard by the Redskins in their season opener last weekend until very late in the game, and they were shut out for a full four quarters Sunday
Going up against possibly the best defense in the NFL, new quarterback Sam Bradford put out another poor performance, although he was playing behind an offensive line missing two of its starters. For the game, For the game, Bradford completed 17 of 27 passes for a measly 90 yards. Star running back David Johnson didn't find much room to run, rushing for 48 yards on 13 carries.
The Cardinals managed just 136 yards of total offense and five total first downs Sunday, and they didn't even manage to enter Rams territory until the final minute of the game. Ugly, ugly stuff.
Josh Rosen seen yawning on the sidelines as the Cardinals offense looks inept. Down 27-0 late 3rd quarter at the Rams. pic.twitter.com/Dpzuq06ykn
— Jason Barr KGUN (@JasonBarrTV) September 16, 2018
2. Goff goes off
Third-year QB Jared Goff made short work of the Cardinals secondary Sunday, throwing for 354 yards and a touchdown. He did a great job of marching the Rams down the field and allowing running back Todd Gurley to finish off those drives with three short touchdown runs. Gurley also ran for a pair of two-point conversions (the Rams decided not to attempt extra points with kicker Greg Zuerlein out due to injury).
Goff's only mistake was a third-quarter throw that was intercepted by Patrick Peterson. It was a phenomenal catch and easily the brightest moment of the game for the Cardinals.
Oh my. @P2 💯
— NFL (@NFL) September 16, 2018
3. Larry's health
It takes a lot to keep iron man and future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald off the field, but Fitz missed most of the second half vs. the Rams with a hamstring injury. Early in the fourth quarter, the Cardinals announced Fitzgerald is dealing with a hamstring injury, and he did not return to the game.
Fitzgerald seems likely to play through any kind of pain, and you have to wonder whether he would have returned if the game was closer. But the condition is worth keeping an eye on, especially for those who own Larry in their fantasy leagues. In the meantime, we can marvel at this grab made by Fitz in the third quarter -- his final reception of the game.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) September 16, 2018