St. Louis, MO- The higher you fly the harder you fall, just ask Icarus…and the Arizona Cardinals, they fell to 4-1, losing 3-17 to the Rams.
After an unexpected 4-0 start to the season the Arizona Cardinals were heading into Thursday night’s game with the St. Louis Rams not only favored to win, but also ready to prove to the rest of the country how good they were on a national stage. It hurt seeing my hometown team fail at both, but it hurt even more to finally see all of Arizona’s offensive flaws show up throughout an entire game. There are enough veterans and leaders in their locker room to avoid panicking just yet, but the offensive line continues to be the weakest link of the team and shows no signs of changing that.
The defense did their thing as usual last night, giving up only 17 points and holding Sam Bradford to 7/21 passing. However, those 7 passes went for 140 yards, including a 51 TD bomb to Chris Givens in the 4th quarter. Bradford’s performance might’ve looked better if WR Danny Amendola didn’t leave with an injured shoulder in the 1st half, he was tearing up Arizona’s secondary. The defense more than did their part last night, but getting only one turnover, one sack, and not hooking up the struggling offense with great field position as usual is the difference between last night and Arizona’s first 4 games. The defense deserves very little blame for the loss, but they’ll need to do more than just hold teams out of the endzone if they want to make the playoffs, as ridiculous as that sounds that is the truth.
The offensive line was exactly what their name implies last night, offensive. It was hard to watch Kevin Kolb drop back last week and it was even harder to watch him try last night. Kolb (28/50 289 yds 1 fumble last night) has been sacked 17 times the past two games, and this is with him rolling out and scrambling as much as possible. With a nonexistent threat of a running game, the offense becomes one-dimensional. A one-dimensional offense makes it easier for the opposing defense to rush the quarterback, and a rushed quarterback (that isn’t Rodgers, Brady, Brees, or the Manning brothers) makes expedited reads, bad decisions, and possibly turnovers. Kolb has done a very stand-up job with the pressure he’s been facing, especially considering his “soft” label heading into the year. If the line can’t plug the consistent holes in their protection Kolb probaly won’t even finish the season upright.
This Cardinals offense has serious problems. Larry Fitzgerald missed out on a tough, but still catchable TD recpetion, and Jay Feely missed a field goal he usually makes. Those two scores would’ve tied the game, but neither of them happened and the Cards barely avoided a shutout. 3 points for an entire game is an embarrassment and I’m sure any player on that team would agree. We all hope Ryan Williams (14 rush, 33 yds) can recover from that nasty hit he took last night that made him leave the game, but with nowhere to run when he’s out there maybe he won’t hurry back.
The Cardinals lack a running game and pass protection severely and everyone knows it. For a QB, that’s like asking a point guard on a basketball team to play with 4 guys on offense, scoring becomes extremely difficult. An extra 3 days to rest and prepare for a Bill’s defense that gave up 42 points in the 2nd half last weak may be exactly what this team needs, of course Bills DE Mario Williams is probably thinking the same thing when looking at this Cards O-line. Hopefully Arizona can rebound strong at home next week or chumps might start falling off our bandwagon.
About the Author
Written by Thomas Mitchell
Born & raised in Arizona, part of the MJ generation. Lifelong sports fanatic