Rams D Suffocates Cardinals, Hands Them 1st Loss.
October 5, 2012
On Thursday night, the Rams defense shined in an ugly 17-3 win over the Cardinals. Arizona came into St. Louis as one of the hottest teams in the NFL. They were coming off back to back impressive wins against the Patriots on the road and the Eagles. St. Louis didn’t seem to care however, as the defense played big and the offense was efficient enough to pull off the huge upset on prime time.
Kevin Kolb spent most of last night running for his life. The Rams sacked Kolb 9 times and forced a fumble. St. Louis held Arizona’s running game virtually ineffective, holding them to only 45 total rushing yards. This forced the Cardinal offense to become one dimensional, as Kolb threw the ball an uncharacteristic 50 times. Despite having the ball for 34+ minutes, they failed to score in 3 trips to the red zone and could only manage a field goal. After getting his helmet knocked off twice and failing to establishing any type of offensive rhythm Kolb admitted, “I’m glad we’ve got the weekend to heal up, mentally and physically.”
The Rams offense had their struggles as well. QB Sam Bradford threw a TD on the opening drive, then missed on 12 straight passes and threw an interception in the redzone. After scoring a 53 yard field goal in the 2nd quarter, the Rams didn’t score again until the 4th quarter on a Chris Givens 51 yard TD catch. They only had 12 first downs, 131 passing yards, and 242 total yards (less than the Cardinal’s 282). It wasn’t pretty, but it was enough Thursday night as the Rams are over .500 for the 1st time since 2006.
I like the direction coach Jeff Fisher has the St. Louis Rams headed. Their defense is starting to find their niche and has emerging playmakers like DE Robert Quinn, who had 3 sacks and a FF against Arizona. Their offense will only get better as Sam Bradford adjusts to yet another offensive coordinator. Surprisingly, the Rams are right in the mix of NFC West. They are only a game back of the 49ers and Cardinals for the division lead. The schedule gets a little tougher though, they have Green Bay and New England up next, and then what will be a much needed bye week. After the bye week, the Rams’ 2nd half schedule features a lot of games against divisional foes. If the Rams can find a way to split their games against the 49ers and take care the rest of the division games, don’t be surprised if St. Louis steals a NFC wild card spot.