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Getting the inside info from Jess Root of Revenge of the Birds, the SB Nation community for fans of the Arizona Cardinals.
Short weeks are short. We're midway through the business week, and tomorrow's game night. Kinda strange.
With so little time to read up on the Cards, I linked up with Jess Root of Revenge of the Birds to get up to speed.
So you guys are 4-0. Ok. How in the hell did that happen? I mean, I'm not trying to demean you guys and the record is what it is, but...but how in the hell did that happen?
It is a valid question. No one really believes that it is real. What we know is that the defense is fantastic, special teams is very good and the team just doesn't quit. Heading into Week 4, they had the number one third down defense and number one red zone defense. When you stop drives and keep teams out of the end zone, it's not hard to win games, even with a weak offense. The defense is average against the run, but has not allowed a 100-yard rusher. It is near the top of the league in sacks, but no one player has more than three.
What the offense is is opportunistic. They are hot and cold. The skill players are there, but the offensive line is more or less bubble gum and chicken wire. It is doing the job, but you never know how long it will last. Sunday was a perfect example. The line had only allowed five sacks in three games and then gave up eight to Miami.
But the lack of respect is insane. Sure they are a surprise 4-0, but look back at recent history. They have won 11 of their last 13 games. That's the best mark in the league. So...say what you like. This isn't a fluke.
Ok. So how do Cards fans feel about Kevin Kolb these days? He wasn't the opening day starter, so there were obvious concerns. How would you qualify his play for four weeks? What do Rams fans need to know about his performance on Sunday?
He is what we want him to be. The boo birds are gone (and they were out in full force with no reason to be there). He can make every throw. He can place balls in small windows, but he is erratic in his decision making because he wants to make plays. He toes the line between trying to make plays and being reckless.
He is tough and he looks nothing like he did in the preseason. He is poised in the pocket, he throws very well on the run and the pressure does not seem to faze him anymore. He is the unquestioned starter now.
What about the ground game? The Rams' running defense is a major concern. Are you confident in the Cards' rushing attack with Beanie Wells on IR for a few months?
The running game has been non-existent. The line does not get any push. We are not confident at all, but it is just effective enough to give the team success on play action. Watch out for that. Kolb is good at it. 10/14 for 201 yards and four touchdowns.
The defense looks very stingy. What's the bigger strength - the front seven or the secondary?
The entire unit is very strong. I honestly can't say which is better. The weakest link in the defense is CB2, and even that isn't bad. The line is very good. There is great linebacking play. The safeties are playing at a high level and so has Patrick Peterson. But if you had to make me pick, I would say the front seven.
Who is a player who Rams fans might not know about now but will on Thursday night? Is there a breakout candidate who is primed for a big performance on Thursday?
Well, since you haven't seen him and the rush defense is not historically good, watch out for Ryan Williams and William Powell. Just as Beanie Wells had his career day last season, Williams can do that. On defense, just watch Daryl Washington. The rest of the league doesn't know much about him yet, but he is on the verge of stardom. By the end of the season he will be named among the best linebackers in football.
Thanks again to Jess for taking the time to answer these.