ST. LOUIS -- Jared Cook admitted to feeling frustration about his somewhat limited role during the first four years of his NFL career, spent with the Tennessee Titans.
If Sunday's season opener is any indication, the new St. Louis Rams tight end might have made the right call in leaving Nashville.
Cook caught seven passes for 141 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Rams rallied in the fourth quarter for a dramatic 27-24 win Sunday over the Arizona Cardinals at the Edward Jones Dome.
Greg Zuerlein's 48-yard field goal with 40 seconds left capped St. Louis' rally from a 24-13 deficit after three quarters. The 6-foot-5, 254-pound Cook made the key play on the winning drive, taking a short pass near the right sideline and breaking a tackle on the way to a 25-yard gain.
"Most definitely," Cook said when asked if he envisioned an expanded role. "Coach Schotty (offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer) did a heck of a job. There's a lot of guys on this offense who contributed. It was awesome."
Thanks mainly to Cook, quarterback Sam Bradford hit on 27-of-38 passes for 299 yards, notching a quarterback rating of 100.7. He was 8-of-10 for 76 yards in the fourth quarter comeback.
What the Rams said
"We have a long way to go. We've got a lot of things to clean up, such as the self-inflicted wounds like penalties and turnovers. We do have a good chance to win games, but we have to do a better job with the little things." -- Coach Jeff Fisher.
What the Cardinals said
"I think we just fell short. There are plays that you want back on offense and there are plays that you want back on defense. Collectively, we fell short today." -- wide receiver Michael Floyd.
What we learned about the Rams
1. Tight end Jared Cook gives this offense a dimension it hasn't had -- a big guy who has the speed to outrun linebackers and safeties down the seam. You could tell quarterback Sam Bradford didn't hesitate to make him his first look in key situations. Cook was frustrated with his role during his first four years in Tennessee, but he might not have to worry about that in St. Louis.
2. Defensive end Robert Quinn had the best of Levi Brown at key parts of the game. Quinn tied a career high with three sacks, forcing a fumble and turnover on the last one that the Rams turned into the tying field goal, and also drew a holding penalty. Few left tackles will look forward to doing battle with the uber-quick Quinn in third-and-long.
What we learned about the Cardinals:
1. They at least have a legitimate NFL offense for the first time since Kurt Warner's retirement. Quarterback Carson Palmer was sharp, other than one brutal interception to Trumaine Johnson, as he hit 26-of-40 for 327 yards. If Arizona's line can do a bit better job of creating creases for new running back Rashard Mendenhall, Palmer could be even more efficient.
2. The Cardinals were very aggressive on defense, even though they didn't sack Sam Bradford. They blitzed often, forcing some early throws, and one of them led to a tipped pass that 314-pound tackle Dan Williams turned into a 2-yard interception return touchdown in the third quarter. But they'll have to turn some pressures into sacks or their defensive backfield will get burned frequently.