5 Keys To Victory: Revisited – St. Louis Rams Vs. Arizona Cardinals
By Mark Warren
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
1.) Win the turnover battle
The Rams lost the turnover battle 2-0. RB Tre Mason fumbled deep in the Rams zone and led to three free points for the Cardinals’ anemic offense. The other turnover was an interception by CB Patrick Peterson from the arm of QB Shaun Hill. In a game that did not feature a touchdown, those two turnovers proved costly. The Arizona defense did an excellent job of disrupting the Rams offense, both on the ground and through the air.
2.) Exploit a banged up secondary
CB Antonio Cromartie did end up playing in this game after his status was questionable throughout the week. Hill had his worst game since the San Diego matchup. He finished with 229 yards passing and one interception. Hill was also sacked twice and hit seven times. He completed some nice balls down the field but in the end Arizona’s front seven shut down the running game and harassed Hill all game long. Even without FS Tyrann Mathieu the Cardinals’ secondary was in control throughout.
3.) Offensive line communication
The Rams struggled in this area, specifically on the right side of the line. LG Davin Joseph got beat several times, as did RT Joe Barksdale, who has regressed quite a bit from last year’s level of play. As mentioned above, Hill was sacked twice and hit seven times. Arizona’s blitzes and defensive line stunts confused the Rams and didn’t allow them to establish any rhythm offensively.
4.) Make QB Drew Stanton uncomfortable
Stanton had great protection, up until he was sacked by DT Aaron Donald late in the game and left with a sprained MCL and a partially torn ACL. That sack was the only one on the day for the Rams. They blitzed plenty but just couldn’t get home against Stanton. This defensive effort reminds fans of the early season when countless blitzes yielded little results in the sack column.
5.) Guard against the deep ball
The Rams did a decent job against WR’s John Brown and Michael Floyd. Both are used on deep routes in Head coach Bruce Arians’ offense. Floyd caught a 49 yard bomb down the left sideline but that was it was far as the deep ball was concerned. Floyd had two catches for 55 yards and Brown had two receptions for 22 yards.
Check with us before the Rams vs. Giants game to see our 5 Keys to Victory.