clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Rams-Cardinals: What Both Teams Had to Say After Last Night's Defensive Battle

Here's what the Rams and Cardinals had to say after the 12-6 loss.

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Head Coach Jeff Fisher

(Opening Statement)
"I guess you have to credit the Cardinals. It’s hard to win football games when you don’t score touchdowns. And they won it and we didn’t. We knew we were going to face a tough defense. Their defense has been playing well all year. The difference in this ball game was the ability to get the ball in the end zone. I thought our defense played well enough for us to win, but in situations like this when your offense is struggling against a good defense, somebody’s got to make a play. You kind of expect those kind of things out of your defense with a close one. Nearly had that fumble recovery (DB Janoris Jenkins) Jenks almost had it, what could have been a difference maker. Just very disappointed that we just couldn’t get anything going offensively."

(On why Arizona’s defense was so effective)
"They played well up front and we had difficulty getting the run game going. Everything we do, most people do, is build it off that run game. Get the run game going then you get your shots, you have your opportunities. I think we’ll look back and say we had the ball down there several times and didn’t get seven, had to come away with three. We needed points, if I go for it on fourth and goal on the ½ and we don’t get it then we’re in trouble. We needed points. Elected to get the points there and with the timeouts and the two-minute warning, you have a potential solid field position change down by six. (QB) Shaun (Hill) sailed that ball to (WR) (Stedman) Sted (Bailey), could have been a big play for us in that drive."

(On consideration given to going for it on 4th down)
"We’re down there first down, and down their second down, and down their third down. We had opportunities. But if we don’t get points then we’re in trouble. So we needed 10, we got three thinking that we had plenty of time and would have a shot.

(On no offense in third quarter)
"No it wasn’t. I looked up and there we had seven first downs it seemed like mid-way through the second quarter. And it stayed up there until the fourth quarter, we just couldn’t get anything going."

(On if turnovers effected outcome)
"Well it does. I mean credit the defense from the standpoint of sudden change going out there and keeping it to a field goal. When you turn the ball over deep in your own territory like that they’re going to get points. That was unfortunate for us and then we just didn’t get our hands on any balls."

(On why it was so hard to move the ball)
"We had opportunities. We made some plays, but we just couldn’t consistently put drives together. We couldn’t convert third downs to keep drives alive. And they’ve got an outstanding defense. Outstanding defense."

(On the Jenkins interception)
"I thought that was a good call. The ball was loose on the ground. You have to maintain possession throughout and it looked like that ball was loose on the ground. I thought that was the correct call."

(On the late Cardinals fumble)
"That was the play that we needed in this game. We got the ball out, but we just couldn’t get on it. If Jenks turns one way and not the other he might have a better chance to get it, but that’s football."

(On if these are the kind of games he expects versus division rivals)
"We’ve had several like this now. Their field position, their run game, stop the run, get off the field on defense, and play good special teams. That’s what our division’s coming down to."

Rams QB Shaun Hill

(On if this loss was disappointing)
"It was very disappointing. It was the next opponent on the schedule and we wanted to win. It was a divisional opponent, a home game, all of those things. It’s very disappointing."

(On what led to the offense’s struggles)
"Lack of execution. We had a breakdown here or there. Some of it was mental errors, which was the bad part. Physical errors are going to happen. We’re human. On a short week, we have to be dialed in that much more and not have the mental errors and mental breakdowns. That was very discouraging."

(On the final plays of the two scoring possessions)
"You’d certainly like to have those plays and convert those drives into touchdowns. That changes the game. We’ve got to give them credit, too. They’re a very good defense. The one in particular, third down there late in the game (on the 1-yard line), they did a good job of taking it all away. They really did. You’ve got to give them credit, too."

(On Arizona’s coverage of the Rams’ receivers on 3rd-and-goal from the 1-yard line)
"Yeah, they played it well."

(On if this is a game that highlights the importance of small details)
"Absolutely. That’s what was lacking tonight was the details. You can’t beat a good team without hitting those details and being dialed in on those. That’s where we came up short."

(On if Arizona presented something different defensively this week)
"They do something different every week. That’s how they are on defense. They’re a game-plan defense, and they’re going to bring something that you haven’t seen. That’s just the way they are. You have to be able to adjust on the fly in order to execute against them, and just follow your rules—the things you’ve just been taught to do. We didn’t do that well enough."

(On what happened on the final drive on his pass to WR Stedman Bailey)
"I don’t know, I’ll have a look at it. Obviously, I missed him."

Rams RB Tre Mason

(On fumbling the ball)
"There’s really no excuse for a fumble. I’ll never give an excuse for a fumble no matter how it happened. That’s my job as a running back to hold on to the ball."

(On how tough it was to get the running game going)
"They really had a nice scheme on defense. They played us well today and kept us in check in our run game, guys like (Cardinals DE) Calais Campbell, their front seven, their DBs. They’re pretty good players up front."

(On if once they made the Rams one dimensional it was tough to get the passing game going)
"We were just trying to find things to work around their defense. We didn’t really come up with the right things at certain times that we needed it."

Rams DE Chris Long

(On the Rams’ defense struggling to get to the quarterback)
"It’s just getting the ball out. They get the ball out pretty well. Their line played well, but I think it was just a function of them having a good offense, a good system, and they have good weapons to get the ball to."

(On if the defense felt like they needed to make a play)
"Yeah. We’re a team and you want to bail out your buddies and we didn’t make the big play to do it, whether it’s a strip sack or a ‘pick 6’ or something. Something had to be done and we just flat out didn’t answer the bell on it and it’s crushing because we wanted that one."

(On whether or not the team felt like they could win going into the second half)
"Yeah, it was 6-3. You are a play away from being up. We can make that play on defense. We thought we made some good adjustments in the second half. We got a lot of stops, but sometimes stops aren’t enough and you have to take the ball away or make a big play."

Rams LB James Laurinaitis

(On how small the margin for error was tonight)
"I mean, you’re playing this team, you know they’ve got a good defense. Typically, you go into a football game and you say, ‘Hey, we’ve got to hold a team to under 17 points.’ But, I’ve been raised under the thought process from my coaches in college and even here quite frankly, that if we get six we’ve got to hold them to three. I just think they made more plays than we did tonight. I think our defense played well, but we didn’t play well enough to win this football game. I think that’s always our goal going into every game is how do we play well enough at the end of the day to have more points than they do?"

(On if there was ever a sense that the defense needed to force a turnover)
"Yeah man, we kept saying it. It’s our goal every week, regardless of the game to score on defense. We put those standards on ourselves and we just didn’t come up with that play. That’s the difference. They got the fumble and we didn’t get one. Little things in these games, especially when you play good football teams. Just seemed like they got it tonight."

(On how tough it was to get to the quarterback)
"I think we tried a couple different rush things different from the first time we played them. Just tried to get the ball out quick, make them throw it quick. It was just tough. (Cardinals QB) Drew (Stanton) made some plays. He escaped a couple of times. We had our opportunities to get him down in the pocket, we just didn’t do it. The thing I’m most upset about is all the rushing yards that we gave up. However, I don’t think it was anything that killed us, but it was just knowing how well we played the run the first time. We had that ability to do it again and for whatever reason we didn’t do it. Like I said, it didn’t kill us, but I’m proud of the way these boys keep fighting. I know the pride that the group has in this room and we’re going to continue to fight. We’re going to rest up this weekend. We’ll go in tomorrow, we’ll watch it, we’ll correct it and we’ll take the weekend off and then come back and really focus on beating New York. There’s a ton of pride in this locker room."

Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians

(On game)
"I think that was one of the best wins I have ever been around, ever been a part of in my coaching career.  I thought that as a football team, the special teams were lights out they were covering kicks, returning kicks, giving us the field position that we needed.  Our kicker got it between the poles this time and did a heck of a job kicking off.  Our defense was lights out, offensively we ran the ball.  For two weeks in a row I thought the offensive line was outstanding.  Other than the play where QB Drew Stanton got sacked and injured, they were not near our quarterback.

Everybody wanted to say how great their defense is, but I think they saw a good defense tonight, and it was in red and white.  I am very proud of our guys.

I went with QB Ryan Lindley because of his experience, he has been in a stadium and played against these guys and this was not a time to put QB Logan Thomas out there.  He is going to be a great player someday, but he is not ready for this yet.  Ryan was more than ready; I really liked his poise and his confidence.  I didn’t feel like we had to scale it back, but I let him throw some balls and he made some nice throws.  Obviously he made a great throw, but he just didn’t get his knee down in time.  I still think he might have caught that ball.  Other than that it was a great team victory, one of the best I have been around.  I love it when nobody says that you will have a chance to win.  This is an 11-3 team and a team that is always 8-8, you figure it out."

(More on the injury of QB Drew Stanton)
"We know he has a knee injury, we have no idea what the extent of it is.  He has had a previous one, so there is no knowledge whatsoever.  We will take it very slow with him and see how it goes once we get an MRI and all of that information."

(On the Cardinals defense)
"I thought that our defensive line with their offensive line was pretty solid.  When they were making tackles behind the line of scrimmage they were using the offensive line and holding on to their legs but somehow those flags never got called.  We were tackling for losses so it didn’t matter.  Overall we had great coverage, it was a good solid team defense effort."

(On the play of RB Kerwynn Williams)
"Kerwynn is a great little spark.  RB Stepfan Taylor ran really well, I am really proud of Stepf.  He opened the game two weeks in a row with solid runs and then Kerwynn comes in.  He is a threat to pop one every time.  I thought he was going to take two of those to the house.  It jacks up that offensive line when they see a teammate make somebody miss and get down there for 10 or 15 and then it is blocked for five or six.  Very reminiscent of RB Andre Ellington last year.  He has been a great spark to us, he just has to learn how to catch a little better."

(On the determination of the team)
"They don’t blink.  They are so used to it now; they know we are going to play for 60 minutes.  Some people say it is ugly football, but I love it.  We are going to hit you in the mouth, we are going to play for 60 minutes.  Somebody is going to make a play that will turn the game.  Whether it is a punt return, a long pass, it may be pass interference.  We had 15 more yards in penalties that were taken off of our offense, but I thought the offense played pretty solid."

(On team winning 11 games with four different quarterbacks)
"It is not the best recipe for success, but we are going to continue to fight."

(On having 11 wins, the most for the Cardinals since 1976)
"I am very proud of our players.  These guys set a goal back in the spring and they knew this was a talented roster and that they were not going to be denied.  As a coach that is all I can ask of these guys, to play hard and we are playing smart.  I am extremely proud of them."
Cardinals QB Ryan Lindley
(On if he knew the severity of Cardinals QB Drew Stanton’s injury and what it was like coming into the game at that point)
"Yeah, I didn’t know. At first, it looked like it might have been his shoulder or something. It’s hard especially when it’s a friend of yours, but you’ve got to kind of go, snap back in there, get in backup quarterback mode and get on the field. The third down, ‘B.A.’ (Head Coach Bruce Arians) called a play and said, ‘Hey, we want to get a field goal here, so just get us in range.’ We just got a little chunk out of it and got some points, so at the end of the day we got the win. For me, that’s the No. 1 stat as a backup quarterback is not turn the ball over and winning the ballgame, so I only screwed that first one up but we got lucky on it so we’ll work on it as we go."
(On if he knew he was going to be the guy in the event of Stanton leaving the game)
"Yeah, (Quarterbacks Coach) Freddie (Kitchens) had talked about it and I think it was more just as the weeks went on. I think initially ‘B.A.’ came out, the first couple weeks (QB) Logan (Thomas) was the (No.) 2, which was justified because he had gotten the reps earlier, had been around. Some things change when you leave for eight, nine weeks, however long I was gone so that was justified. I think it was going in just preparing and knowing the way Drew prepared is pretty similar to how I get around it, so we just went through the week and the offense was expedited with the Thursday game, but we got it done at the end of the day. I guess that’s the message we’ll keep preaching."
(On how much the 2012 season helped him tonight)
"A lot. I took a lot of bumps, took a lot of lumps in 2012 and actually me and (Cardinals T) Bobby (Massie), we were just talking about it right after that game. That Thursday Night game in 2012 was a bad one and I don’t think we’d won here in I don’t know how long, so it was good to come in here and come on their turf and get a win."
(On how they will take this win and prepare next week for Seattle)
"Yeah, I just think we’re going to build on it. For me, it’s going to be…I haven’t gotten a ton of reps with the (No.) 1’s, so we’ll get in, luckily we’ll get an extra day of practice or two, so that’ll help get ready for Seattle. Seeing them, I saw them once in San Diego, saw them once when I came out here, so this is going to be be the third time around game planning for these guys so that should help a little bit. Obviously when you get on the field, you’ve just got to make plays, and that’s something that I think I left a few out there today on third down on a couple. We’ll improve as we go."
Arizona DE Calais Campbell

(On if Thursday was Arizona’s best defensive performance of the year)
"It was a great team win.  The offense ran the ball well.  The defense played great and it was a solid team win.  It’s as simple as that.  Any time you play good football for four quarters you’ll win a lot of games."

(On how the Rams used WR Tavon Austin)
"We game planned for him and the Rams knew that and they used him as a decoy most of the time.  They got the ball in his hands a few times, but they knew we game planned for him."

(On the play of Arizona’s defense)
"The defense played their hearts out and we knew if we won this game, we’d give ourselves a chance to make the playoffs.  There’s a lot of guys who haven’t been to the playoffs and today it was a hard fought battle."

(On having another quarterback injured)
"We just keep taking blows.  We’ll respond. What else can you do?  This game is a team game and it’s all about the next guy up.  It’s always been that way and if the next guy comes in and plays his heart out on the field we’ll be okay."

(On Arizona winning 11 games for the first time)
"This is huge.  We’re taking control of the situation.  A lot of people doubted us and expected us to win only eight games.  But, any time you can play consistent football for 60 minutes, week in and week out and get to 11 wins – it’s hard to get to 11 wins in the season. It’s beautiful, but now we have to get to 12."

Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson

(On playing a hot Rams defense)
"It fired us up a lot. I mean we’re the number one team in the NFL and the NFC and we don’t get nearly as much coverage. It doesn’t matter to us, we just want to keep going out and playing football, keep winning games, and get into the playoffs."

(On having 11 wins)
"This is my first time having eleven wins. I am ecstatic. We have a lot more work to do though. We’re not pleased with 11 wins, we have 2 more games we have to get through."

(On getting into the playoffs for the first time in his career)
"It’s good, but we’re not there yet. We are very close and there are a lot of teams still looking in. We want to continue doing what we need to do. Last year we got a taste of it, but not really winning the ball games early on like we did this year. We were also not playing from behind this year and teams are now trying to catch up with us this year. We got to continue winning ball games, we do a great job each and every week preparing for the teams we’re playing. We are just ready to win."

(On the Rams defense getting national coverage)
"I mean it is what it is. We’re the Arizona Cardinals and a lot of media doesn’t respect us. We don’t mind that at all because at the end of the day whoever wears the birds on the helmet is all we got. We don’t care about anything else."

Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald

(On the injury to QB Drew Stanton)
"I’m glad we don’t have to play the Rams anymore. Both times we played them they bang our quarterbacks up. It’s unfortunate, you feel terrible for Drew going down. Hopefully tomorrow the MRI reveals something more positive. It was great to come here and get a win. We came here to get to 11 wins and we were able to do it."

(On the play of the defense)
"Our defense has been big for us all season. Those guys rush the passer, they’re opportunistic, they cause turnovers, they do so much to keep us in ball games when we aren’t performing up to our full capabilities. It’s a different guy every single week it seems, stepping up and making plays for us."

(On QB Ryan Lindley coming into the game)
"’Linny’ hasn’t gotten any reps probably since training camp in the offense. For him to come in in this type of situation, in this hostile environment with all of the implications going into the game, he did an amazing job. You couldn’t be more happy for the guy. He’s worked extremely hard to put himself in a position of being well-prepared, and we’re going to rally around him."

(On the running game)
"Not only today, but last week we showed we can run the football effectively. We’ve got (running) backs that will hit it in there in timely situations, which is nice to see. We’ve got to continue to do that and keep pushing forward. We’ve got two tough games coming up against two really good defenses. We’ll have to run the ball effectively against those guys."

(On being the youngest player to reach 900 career receptions)
"I’m glad to get it behind me so I can worry about the things that really matter. It’s nice to be able to accomplish that in 11 years. I’m glad we got to do it in a win."