5 Keys To Victory: Arizona Cardinals At St. Louis Rams
By Mark Warren
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
1.) Win the turnover battle
When the Rams win the turnover battle they win and when they lose the battle they lose the game. Last time they played the Cardinals they allowed Arizona to score on two defensive touchdowns. That cannot happen if you want to beat a division leader, no matter how injury plagued they seem to be. QB Shaun Hill needs to keep the ball out of harms way and allow the Rams to lead in time of possession. On the other side, the Rams would do well to recover a fumble or get a pick to give themselves extra drives and start off with good field position.
2.) Exploit a banged up secondary
FS Tyrann Mathieu will miss this game due to a thumb injury and CB Antonio Cromartie is fighting an ankle injury. The Rams should use this to their advantage and attack the Cardinals via the deep ball. Hill has good accuracy on deep throws and he torched Washington last week and Oakland the week before.
3.) Offensive line communication
The Cardinals will look to confuse the Rams blockers with different blitzes and alignments. Sometimes they will drop back and sometimes they will come after Hill. C Scott Well needs to communicate with the rest of his fellow big men and make sure they are all on the same page. Against Denver OLB Demarcus Ware came untouched and put a clean shot on Hill that nearly caused a turnover and a serious injury to the QB. With an injured back end, Hill will pick Arizona apart if given adequate time.
4.) Make QB Drew Stanton uncomfortable
Stanton will make mistakes when pressured. He has a bunch of weapons to play with, but if he is harassed enough to throw of his rhythm and timing the Rams defense could be in for another big day. Head coach Bruce Arians loves to attack deep down the field, but there is a good chance Stanton will not have enough time to let those routes develop on Thursday night.
5.) Guard against the deep ball
WR’s Michael Floyd and John Brown have great speed which allow they to run the fly’s and posts that Arians loves. Safeties Rodney McCleod and T.J. McDonald are playing great football right now and they will need to provide support for their corners while also covering the seams against an offense that is not shy about taking shots deep.
Check with us after the game to see our Keys to Victory: Revisited.