Sunday, December 5, 2010
Rapid Reaction: Rams 19, Cardinals 6
By Mike Sando
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Thoughts on the St. Louis Rams' 19-6 victory against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 13:
What it means: The Rams held onto first place in the NFC West by improving to 6-6. The Cardinals ensured they will finish with a losing record for the first time since Ken Whisenhunt became coach. The Rams have now won two in a row on the road after failing to win away from the Edward Jones Dome all season previously. The Rams won a game on the road comfortably despite not playing their best game. That stands as progress even though the Cardinals aren't a good measuring stick.
What I liked: Rams quarterback Sam Bradford showed toughness, bouncing back from hard hits to make important throws. This wasn't his prettiest game by any means, but Bradford did enough. The Rams showed toughness throughout their roster, come to think of it. Billy Bajema, Ron Bartell and Jason Smith returned to the game after suffering injuries.
What I didn't like: The Cardinals' quarterback situation devolved into more of a mess. Arizona replaced Derek Anderson with Max Hall. Hall promptly threw a pick and suffered an injury while fumbling. The team turned to third-stringer John Skelton a week after coach Ken Whisenhunt said Skelton would not play this season unless injuries forced him onto the field.
Tomorrow's Talker: Who should the Cardinals start at quarterback? Is there any reason for them to go with Anderson at this point? Why not take a longer look at Skelton? The Cardinals know they're going to finish with a losing record. They're out of it.
Toe-to-toe battle: The Rams' Josh Brown made four field goals without a miss. The Cardinals' Jay Feely made two without a miss. Brown has had some troubles recently, particularly from the right hash. He appeared to overcome whatever was bothering him.
Running hard: Steven Jackson's 27-yard touchdown run was a back-breaker in this game. Jackson finished with 102 yards on 28 carries. He ran tough despite not having much room. The Cardinals had some success on the ground as well. Tim Hightower carried 15 times for 81 yards, with a long run of 32 yards. His 20-yarder from four-receiver personnel caught the Rams off-guard, it appeared.
Beanie in background: Hightower started the game after Wells lost a fumble early in the game last week. Wells got only three carries against the Rams.
What's next: The Rams visit New Orleans in Week 14. The Cardinals are home against Denver.