Chandler Catanzaro kicks Cardinals over Rams

ST. LOUIS -- Chandler Catanzaro kicked four field goals and the Arizona Cardinals overcame the loss of quarterback Drew Stanton with stifling defense, moving closer to clinching a playoff spot with a 12-6 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Thursday night.

The Rams (6-8) were held to Greg Zuerlein's two short field goals and had five three-and-out series in the third quarter. Catanzaro's 23-yard field goal early in the second quarter ended nine quarters of shutout defense by St. Louis, which beat Washington and Oakland by a combined 76-0 the previous two weeks.

Ryan Lindley was ineffective in his first appearance since 2012 in relief of Stanton, who injured his right knee on a sack in the third quarter, but it didn't matter. The Cardinals lost Carson Palmer to a season-ending knee injury during their 31-14 victory over St. Louis at home last month.

The Cardinals (11-3) entered tied for the top overall record in the NFC and will clinch a playoff spot if Sunday's Dallas-Philadelphia game doesn't end in a tie, or a Detroit loss combined with a Green Bay victory.

Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press

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