ST. LOUIS -- The Arizona Cardinals continue to strum a winning tune. Getting 356 yards and two touchdowns from quarterback Carson Palmer on Sunday, Arizona moved another step closer to an NFC West title with a 27-3 beating of St. Louis at Edward Jones Dome.
Palmer completed 26 of 40 passes, finding wide receiver J.J. Nelson for a 22-yard scoring strike less than five minutes into the game and hitting rookie running back David Johnson on a 10-yard touchdown pass to cap a 98-yard drive in the third quarter.
Those were part of a dominant 60 minutes for the Cardinals (10-2), who outgained the Rams 524-212 and amassed 29 first downs to St. Louis' nine in winning their sixth straight game.
"Pretty complete game," Arizona coach Bruce Arians said. "We finished our drives in the second half, got a great defensive effort and another great game out of our special teams. Can't find much to complain about."
Meanwhile, the Rams (4-8) couldn't find much to boast about, save for a 35-yard field goal by placekicker Zach Hocker in the third quarter. A shorthanded defense gave up a spate of big plays, and the offense again struggled to produce first downs, much less points.
Quarterback Nick Foles, starting for the second straight game in place of Case Keenum (concussion), completed just 15 of 35 passes for 146 yards and an interception.
"Defensively, our mindset was just to make Nick Foles beat us," Cardinals free safety Tyrann Mathieu said.
Foles was particularly ineffective on third down, hitting on just 1 of 11 for 9 yards. After the game, St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher announced that Keenum would start next week against Detroit.
"I have to be positive about it," Foles said. "I respect coach Fisher. There is so much I wish I could have done to change what happened today, but the sun will come up tomorrow and I'll work as hard as I can to help us win next week."
Rookie running back Todd Gurley rushed just nine times for 41 yards, 34 of those coming on his first run of the second half that set up Hocker's field goal. Otherwise, Arizona's front seven constantly whipped the Rams' injury-plagued offensive line, consistently meeting Gurley in the backfield.
"We're all disappointed and frustrated right now," Gurley said.
What we learned about the Cardinals:
1. Rookie RB David Johnson made sure there was no dropoff after injuries to starter Chris Johnson and backup Andre Ellington. Johnson rushed for 99 yards on 22 carries and also caught a pair of passes for 21 yards, including a 10-yard TD grab in the third quarter. David Johnson ran hard between the tackles and gave Arizona the power running game it can't always offer with Chris Johnson and Ellington getting most of the carries.
2. Their defensive scheme was simple - focus on RB Todd Gurley and WR Tavon Austin, and force anyone else to beat you. Gurley got just nine carries for 41 yards while Austin had just three touches from the line of scrimmage for 38 yards. That duo basically beat the Cardinals back in October, but other than a 34-yard run by Gurley in the third quarter, neither was threatening on Sunday.
3. Arizona's depth at wide receiver is very impressive. Besides Larry Fitzgerald, who caught eight passes for 55 yards, it had two 100-yard receivers on the day in John Brown (6 catches, 113 yards) and Michael Floyd (7 catches, 104 yards). Rookie J.J. Nelson has also come on lately, notching a TD catch in the first quarter. Opponents have a hard time matching up with all these deep threats.
--TE Jermaine Gresham (shoulder) departed the game in the third quarter and his status for Thursday night's game with Minnesota isn't known. Gresham caught one pass for 13 yards.
--RB Andre Ellington (turf toe) was inactive and might not be ready for Arizona's game on Thursday night. But Ellington and starter Chris Johnson weren't missed in this one as the Cardinal reserves collected 178 yards on 33 carries.
--DE Frostee Rucker (ankle) was inactive and his status for the game on Thursday night isn't certain. Rucker has enjoyed another good season for Arizona, although he wasn't missed Sunday as Ed Stinson had four tackles, all in the first quarter.