Arizona coach Bruce Arians watched Todd Gurley’s second-half NFL coming-out party and proclaimed him ‘‘a heck of a back.’’
And a backbreaker for Arians’s Cardinals.
The St. Louis rookie rushed for all but 5 of his 146 yards after halftime and the Rams held on to hand the Cardinals their first loss of the season, 24-22 on Sunday in Glendale, Ariz.
Gurley saw his most extensive action and his 52-yard run set up the winning touchdown.
‘‘It is just football,’’ he said, shrugging off the performance. ‘‘I have played it my whole life and you ready your keys and study the game and everything will slow down for you.’’
Nick Foles threw for three TDs, two after Arizona turnovers, and St. Louis’s defense held the Cardinals (3-1) to field goals on four of five trips inside the red zone.
Arizona had a third-and-2 at the Rams 43-yard line in the final minutes, but Carson Palmer overthrew receivers on consecutive plays to turn the ball over on downs.
‘‘You’re not going to win many games kicking field goals in the red zone and losing the turnover battle,’’ Arians said, ‘‘especially in our division.’’
The Rams (2-2) are 2-0 against the NFC West.
It was only the fourth loss in the Cardinals’ 19 home games under Arians, and Palmer lost for the first time in 10 starts. He completed 29 of 46 passes for 352 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Gurley, who was delayed in his pro debut by a knee injury, gained 9 yards in six carries in his debut last week against Pittsburgh.
With the Rams clinging to a 17-15 lead, Gurley burst through the line for a 52-yard gain to the Arizona 16, Foles threw 12 yards to Tavon Austin for a TD, and the lead was 24-15 with 8:16 to play.
Saints 26, Cowboys 20 — Drew Brees hit C.J. Spiller with a short pass that the running back turned into an 80-yard touchdown — the 400th of Brees’s career — on the second play of overtime, and host New Orleans earned its first win.
Dallas tied the game with 1:51 left in regulation when Terrance Williams made a diving 17-yard touchdown catch. The Saints had an opportunity to win it in the final seconds of regulation, but Zach Hocker’s 30-yard field goal attempt hit the upright.
Giants 24, Bills 10 — Rashad Jennings eluded three would-be tacklers to score on a 51-yard catch-and-run midway through the fourth quarter to secure New York’s road victory.
Buffalo’s offense had just 77 total yards and two first downs on its first nine possessions.
The Bills were flagged 17 times for 135 yards, with two of the penalties negating touchdowns.
‘‘Can we play a lot smarter? Absolutely,’’ Buffalo coach Rex Ryan said. ‘‘Say what you want, but I'll take a team that will fight.’’
Bills safety Corey Graham called it ‘‘embarrassing.’’
‘‘One after another, dumb penalties,’’ Graham said. ‘‘It’s terrible. We can’t win games like that.’’
Jets 27, Dolphins 14 — Chris Ivory had 166 yards rushing and a TD, Brandon Marshall had 128 yards receiving, and New York stifled Miami in the first London game pitting division rivals.
Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill ended up with 198 yards and two touchdowns on 19-of-44 passing. But Miami went 0 for 12 on third downs and 0 for 4 on fourth downs.
Colts 16, Jaguars 13 — Matt Hasselbeck threw for 282 yards and a TD in place of Andrew Luck, who missed the first game of his career due to injury, and host Indianapolis edged Jacksonville in OT.
Hasselbeck, 40, made his first start in three years. Adam Vinatieri, 42, made three field goals, including the winning 27-yard boot.
‘‘We kind of hugged it out for a second,’’ Vinatieri said. ‘‘[Hasselbeck] does a great job. Watching him have the opportunity to go out there — hate saying ‘at his age’ because he’s younger than I am — but I know he wanted that.’’
Jaguars kicker Jason Myers missed a 53-yarder with six seconds left in regulation and a 48-yarder with 8:13 left in overtime.
Redskins 23, Eagles 20 — Kirk Cousins capped a 90-yard drive with a go-ahead 4-yard TD toss to Pierre Garcon with 26 seconds left, lifting Washington in Landover, Md.
Sam Bradford threw three second-half touchdown passes for Philadelphia, which trailed, 13-0, at halftime.
Cousins finished 31 of 46 for 290 yards and no turnovers. He also rushed for a score.
Falcons 48, Texans 21 — Devonta Freeman continued his hot streak, piling up 149 total yards (68 rushing) and three touchdowns in Atlanta’s demolition of visiting Houston.
According to STATS, Freeman is the first player younger than 24 to post back-to-back games with at least three rushing touchdowns since Jim Brown in 1958. He also is the only player since at least the 1970 NFL-AFL merger to rush for at least three touchdowns in each of his first two starts.
Texans running back Arian Foster made his season debut after tearing his groin early in training camp, but managed just 35 yards of offense and lost a fumble.
Bengals 36, Chiefs 21 — Andy Dalton threw for 321 yards and a score, Jeremy Hill rushed for three touchdowns, and Cincinnati sent visiting Kansas City to its third straight loss.
The Bengals were outgained, 461-445, but held the Chiefs to seven field goals.
Packers 17, 49ers 3 — Green Bay recorded six sacks and Aaron Rodgers had an efficient day in defeating San Francisco in Santa Clara, Calif.
Rodgers was 22 of 32 for 224 yards and a touchdown, and he had a 17-yard scamper that set up a second-half touchdown by John Kuhn.
Chargers 30, Browns 27 — Given a second chance due to a penalty, Josh Lambo kicked a 34-yard field goal as time expired, lifting host San Diego.
Lambo was wide right on a 39-yard attempt with two seconds left, but Cleveland’s Tramon Williams was whistled for offside.
Philip Rivers threw for 358 yards and three touchdowns. Cleveland counterpart Josh McCown threw for 356 yards and two scores.
Bears 22, Raiders 20 — Jay Cutler, who missed last week’s loss to Seattle with an injured hamstring, drove host Chicago 48 yards in the waning minutes, setting up Robbie Gould’s winning 49-yard field goal with two seconds left. It gave coach John Fox his first win with the Bears.
Cutler, who passed for 281 yards and two scores, had thrown an interception on the Bears’ previous possession, which led to an Oakland field goal with just over two minutes remaining.
Panthers 37, Buccaneers 23 — Cornerback Josh Norman had two of Carolina’s four interceptions, returning one for a touchdown, and Cam Newton threw two TD passes in sending Tampa Bay to its 11th straight home loss.
Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston threw for a career-high 287 yards and two touchdowns.