5 Keys To Victory: Rams At Cardinals – Revisited


Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Rams were out in front of the division leading Arizona Cardinals heading into the fourth quarter. As soon as the Birds lost their starting quarterback, they exploded for 21 points in the game’s final frame. The Cardinals ended with a 31-14 win to maintain their position at the top of the NFC West. Here are our Keys to Victory: Revisited for the St. Louis Rams:

Rams sticking with the run on offense, even if only moderately successful:

St. Louis rushed a combined 22 times for 70 yards and a touchdown. The Cardinals defense is third in the league in terms of rushing yards per game allowed, so the Rams didn’t have much of a chance to do serious damage in that area. RB Trey Mason led the backfield with 14 carries for 48 yards. The unit did just enough to keep the Rams in the game heading into the fourth quarter.

Keep Austin Davis upright:

After last week win when the Rams only surrendered one sack to San Francisco, they struggled to protect QB Austin Davis this time around. The Cardinals ended up producing six sacks while using a variety of blitzes and coverages. Davis was never really able to get into much of a rhythm. He ended with quarterback rating of 62.6.

Get pressure on Carson Palmer:

 Gregg Williams’ gameplan consistently had defenders rushing the quarterback, and St. Louis registered three sacks and nine quarterback hits. All too often, however, Palmer used his great footwork in the pocket to avoid pressure and complete passes. He finished completing 25 of 36 passes with an interception before exiting with a torn ACL.

Don’t give up “the big play” in the secondary:

On a day when the secondary couldn’t defend much of anything, they did a decent job of not allowing big, explosive plays. In the fourth quarter that changed, when rookie WR John Brown got behind the safeties and roasted the defense for a 48 yard touchdown pass.

 “Win” on special teams:

K Chandler Catanzaro converted on one of his two field goal attempts and K Greg Zurlien added his only contribution via two extra points. Nothing else notable happened on special teams this week. Both KR’s Tavon Austin and Ted Ginn Jr. were contained in the return game.

Check back with us before the Rams take on the Denver Broncos next week.