Short Week? It's Time to Think AZ

Scott Kane-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

With the short week before the next game for the St. Louis Rams, it's never too early to think about the 4-0 Cardinals. They'll be traveling to the Edward Jones Dome, which has proven to be a surprisingly strong "12th Man" this season. Arizona has injury issues in their defensive secondary, and real trouble on their offensive line. Arizona's Kevin Kolb was sacked 8 times on Sunday by a decent Miami defense.

What was even more surprising, is how badly the Cardinals' secondary performed. The Dolphins absolutely shredded the Patrick Peterson led crew. Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill passed for a team rookie record 431 yards, and their wide receivers fairly owned the day. Brian Hartline set a team record with 253 receiving yards (21.1 YPC) and a touchdown. Devone Bess added another 123 yards (17.6 YPC). All in all, it wasn't a great day for the Arizona defense, who sorely missed Darnell Dockett's pass rushing skills, even though they still tallied 4 sacks.

Arizona's Andre Roberts bested his more famous wide receiving teammate - Larry Fitzgerald - with 118 receiving yards and two touchdowns, one tying the game for the Cardinals to send it into overtime. The defense only gave up 86 yards rushing to Reggie Bush and crew.

The most intriguing number of the game yesterday was the rushing yardage for the Cardinals. Running back Ryan Williams was completely shut down, and accounted for only 26 yards on 13 rushing attempts. Their right offensive tackle - rookie Bobbie Massey - had a terrible day. He'll face Chris Long this Thursday night, so he'll need help or Kevin Kolb could experience a night of eating faux-turf in St. Louis.

The Rams need to be concerned with the Cardinals linebacker corps. They've played out of their minds so far this year. Dockett should return from his injury by Thursday, so the Rams offensive line has yet another strong defense to contend with in some way. They've had to face four of the best defenses in the NFL so far this season (Washington was a top defense before injuries silenced them). They get another top defensive unit this week, so the trial by fire for the Rams patchwork offensive line continues.

The most amazing fail by the Cardinals was on special teams. 2011 Rams killer Patrick Peterson fumbled two punts (he recovered both), and made a fair catch at the three yard line on another. Patrick - keep your head wherever it was on Sunday for another five days, OK?

The Rams won't be able to take long field goals for granted this week, with the uber-talented Calais Campbell of Rams field goal blocking fame taking low angle kicks out of the question. He'll be the guy to contain for the offense too by the Rams beleaguered line.

This game will be physical, but I can see more points being scored than in the Rams-Seattle game. Cortland Finnegan and Co. will need to contain Fitzgerald, whose bound to break out one game very soon. Getting to Kevin Kolb will be at the top of Jeff Fisher's wish list this week, so I can see blitzs-o'-plenty coming the Cardinals' way.

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