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Efficient Palmer leads Cardinals past Rams
Glendale, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Carson Palmer completed 27-of-32 passes for 269 yards and a touchdown to lead the Arizona Cardinals to a 30-10 win over the St. Louis Rams at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Larry Fitzgerald caught 12 passes for 96 yards and a touchdown while Andre Ellington and Rashard Mendenhall added one rushing score apiece for the Cardinals (8-5), winners in five of their last six games.
John Abraham, who had three sacks, passed Lawrence Taylor and Leslie O'Neill for ninth on the all-time list with 133.
Arizona rookie safety Tyrann Mathieu was carted off the field in the third quarter with an apparent leg injury. Mathieu attempted to return to the sideline after he was tackled awkwardly fielding a free kick, but collapsed in pain.
Kellen Clemens was 16-for-27 passing for 181 yards and two interceptions, and Zac Stacey added a rushing score for the Rams (5-8), who have dropped two straight and five of seven overall.
The Rams also lost a rookie to injury as Tavon Austin left the game early in the fourth quarter with an apparent right ankle injury. Austin broke a 56-yard rush off an end around, but was injured after he was tackled inside the Cardinals' 5-yard line.
The Cardinals found the end zone on the opening possession of the game. Patrick Peterson took an end around 12 yards and was hit late out of bounds for a 15-yard penalty to bring the ball to the Rams' 23.
After a 15-yard completion to Fitzgerald got the ball down to the Rams' three, Mendenhall ran it in for the score.
St. Louis responded with a 44-yard Greg Zuerlein field goal after its drive stalled out on the Cardinals 35.
Arizona added to its lead right before the end of the first half as Palmer found Fitzgerald for a 7-yard touchdown with 50 seconds left.
Karlos Dansby made it 21-3 just 10 seconds into the second half as he picked off Clemens at the 23 and took it in for the score.
Later in the third, Dave Zastudil pinned the Rams inside their own 1-yard line, and three plays later Abraham brought Clemens down in the end zone for a safety.
The Rams found the end zone on the first play of the fourth quarter. Austin broke off his long run, and two plays later, Stacy pounded it across the goal line.
Andre Ellington added a 6-yard TD run with 1:55 left to account for the final margin.
Palmer completed 77.1 percent of his passes, the second highest completion percentage in franchise histroy ... Fitzgerald has just one 100-yard receiving game this season (Week 6) ... Arizona is 1-3 against the NFC West this season ... Sunday marked Arizona's first division win since Sept. 9, 2012 ... The Cardinals remain one game back of the San Francisco 49ers for the final NFC Wild Card spot ... The Rams will host the Saints next week.
12/08 20:22:34 ET