The Arizona Cardinals snapped an eight-game NFC West losing streak on Sunday afternoon, defeating the St. Louis Rams 30-10 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. It was the first victory for the Cards over the Rams since 2011. Both the offense and the defense came up big for the Cards in the win.
The game wasn’t as close as the final score would indicate. The Cards lost out on a Jim Dray touchdown in the first quarter thanks to a fumble at the goal line. Kicker Jay Feely also missed a long 50-yard field goal and a chip shot 25-yard field goal. Otherwise the Cards would have found themselves over 40 points once again. The Cards are hitting on almost all cylinders at home this season.
Cards quarterback Carson Palmer again put in a workman-like performance and was not intercepted for the third time in the past four games. Only one of his passes came close to being picked off and that was in the fourth quarter when the game had been pretty much decided at that point. Really though, this game appeared to be over early.
Rams quarterback Kellen Clemons didn’t appear to be the world beater he had a looked like on a couple of recent Sunday’s. He threw two picks, including one being returned for a Karlos Dansby touchdown. It was Dansby’s second interception return for a touchdown in the last three weeks. The Cards also got a safety on a quarterback sack of Clemons by linebacker John Abraham, who has seen a re-birth since joining the Cards as a free agent in the off-season.
The big receiving day came from Larry Fitzgerald. Fitz had 12 catches for 96 yards and a touchdown. He looked quite energized early on in the game. It was nice to see Fitz being targeted most of the day. All in all he was targeted on 12 of Palmer’s 32 attempts. That’s more like it. They got Fitz involved while at the same time keeping a good balance of keeping everyone else involved as well.
Running back Andre Ellington returned from his one-week injury absence to lead the team in rushing with 46 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown. The running game was just ok on Sunday but it didn’t need to be great with as great a job as the defense and special teams did with field position and as well as the Cards did moving the ball in the air. Now that the Cards have a division win finally under their belt, now it is back to an inter-conference game against the Tennessee Titans next Sunday in Nashville. They are all big must-win’s at this point. They really need four wins in the fourth quarter of the season. Week one of the quarter is a success.