Sam Bradford had two shots to pull off a come from behind win in his first career NFL start, but an interception inside the Arizona 15 yard line with less than two minutes to play and another interception on the final play of the game sealed the Rams season opener with a 17-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
Derek Anderson starting for the Cardinals, went 22 of 41 for 297 yards and hit Larry Fitzgerald on a 21 yard pass with 6:18 to go in the fourth quarter to put the Cardinals on top.
Kerry Rhodes picked off Bradford, (three on the day) and returned it 65 yards deep into Rams territory with under two minutes to play. However, Cardinals running back Tim Hightower fumbled on their first play from scrimmage and the Rams took over at their own 24 with 1:21 to play and three timeouts. Replays appeared to show that ground caused the fumbled, but the ref didn’t see enough evidence to overturn the play. Arizona fumbled six times and lost four of them.
The Rams had two timeouts and let the clock run down to :20 and they had the ball near midfield. The Rams mismanagement of the clock left five seconds for Bradford who had one shot from the Cardinals 36 and heaved an interception in the end zone.
The Rams weren’t much better either with holding onto the football. They fumbled once when Clifton Ryan picked up a fumble by QB Anderson at the Cardinals 36 and was caught from behind at the five. He fumbled into the end zone to give the Cardinals the ball back on a touchback. That would have put the Rams up 20-10.
Bradford threw the ball 55 times and connected on 32 of them for 253 yards. He did throw one touchdown pass. That came with five seconds left in the first half on a 4th and goal from the five which tied the game 10-10.