Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
The St. Louis Rams defense annihilated Arizona, ending the night with nine sacks and a huge division victory over the previously undefeated Cardinals
At the beginning, it looked like the Rams had everything going for them. Still doubted (by even Kurt Warner!), still under appreciated, the team came out and scorched Arizona's touted defense, quickly going up by seven. After that drive, however, the Rams decided to put it in neutral until the final quarter, and boy, was it awesome.
After that first drive, the offense couldn't get anything going. The Rams lost Danny Amendola to a broken collarbone, which is probably the biggest headline of the game. He was having an off game after a monster catch, but it still hurts the team that so desperately needs that security blanket. Brandon Gibson was impressive, fighting for a key first down and Chris Givens connected with Sam Bradford for a deep touchdown, but he still is going through growing pains. Lance Kendricks had a decent stat sheet, but did nothing to impress after putting on his best Randy 'Stone-Hands' McMichael performance.
On the ground, the Rams finally seemed to find something towards the end of the game. Wayne Hunter, Robert Turner and Harvey Dahl all had flashes of run blocking brilliance as the Rams carved out big gains. However, they did little to protect Bradford who made some terrible decisions with the ball (one of which resulted in an interception).
On defense, the Rams were merciless. They had nine official sacks, but a few were called off due to penalties, and possibly up to a dozen were prevented by uncalled holding penalties by the Cardinals offensive line. Kudos to Robert Quinn with a standout performance and an overall fantastic game. The Cardinals offensive line was simply overpowered. I can't say enough about how the front four played.
The defense also limited the run, something they haven't been able to do in the past four games. This, of course, is due to the Cardinals having no running attack, which was hurt even more so by injuries. The Cardinals had a few long drives, but were unable to do anything with them.
The secondary was impressive, but inconsistent. The Rams could have had a couple of interceptions, and were held to none for the first time this season. Janoris Jenkins was decent covering Larry Fitzgerald (who totally stole Jenkins' spotlight when he nearly took his head off when Jenkins had a clear pick six. No flag, I might add). However, it didn't matter all that much because Kolb was scatterbrained for most, if not all, of the evening.
On special teams, Young GZ/Legatron/Greg the Leg was his usual self, connecting for another kick that easily could have gone for 60, if not 65 yards. Hekker also had a great game punting, but it was marred by a bonehead blocking penalty on one of the returns.
With that all said, the defense deserves the spotlight. They weren't elite and made a few mental mistakes, but they dominated the Cardinals offensive line all night. Moving forward, the Rams have to figure out a way to respond on offense. Without Danny Amendola it's going to be hard to do, but at least they have 10 days to figure out where to go from here.