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Sunday, September 8, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Rams 27, Cardinals 24

By Josh Weinfuss


ST. LOUIS -- A few thoughts from the St. Louis Rams' 27-24 win over the Arizona Cardinals at the Edward Jones Dome.

What it means: There’s a lot of work to be done, especially at left guard, where Levi Brown allowed a late-game sack that turned into a game-tying field goal. Overall, the Cardinals showed a productive passing game, solid running attack and a defense that will carry this team as far as it can in coach Bruce Arians’ debut.

Stock watch, Part I: Sunday wasn’t the type of return to the starting line up Brown envisioned. He was beaten early and often by Rams defensive end Robert Quinn, who sacked Carson Palmer three times, including two strips, the last of which the Rams recovered late in the fourth quarter. Arians called Brown "elite" in February, but there's a good chance Brown will be fighting for his starting spot in practice this week.

Stock watch, Part II: Andre Roberts spent the offseason toiling in the shadows of Larry Fitzgerald, who is poised for a breakout season with Palmer, and Michael Floyd, who was the chic pick for breakout player of the year. But Roberts showed you shouldn't sleep on him Sunday with eight catches for 97 yards.

Fitz is back: It’s got to be nice being Fitzgerald these days. He completed his first multi-touchdown game since Nov. 13, 2011, at Philadelphia. His first score came on a 4-yard fade to the back-left corner and the second on a 25-yard pass as he crossed the goal line.

New coach, old D: It didn’t take long for the Cardinals’ defense to show it doesn't matter who is coaching them. It was still a force, especially when the stakes were high. Take the strip by Tyrann Mathieu to save a TD or the interception and TD by nose tackle Dan Williams, the defense held the Rams at least three times on third down when all St. Louis needed was a few yards for a first down.

What’s next: The Cardinals will have to shore up their offensive line issues when the Detroit Lions bring one of the NFL’s best front fours comes to University of Phoenix Stadium for the home opener at 4:05 ET next Sunday.