Stepping Up: Cards Over the Rams


Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt hung blue and gold rat traps throughout the locker room last week in order to remind his guys not to fall into complacency and have a let down this past week after their week 4 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Well, it looks like the motivational tool worked, as the Cards beat the St Louis Rams 34 – 31 for their second straight win and first road win of the season, bringing the Big Red to 3-2 on the season. Thanks to the Steeler’s whipping of the Seahawks on Sunday, the Cards moved into a first place tie in the NFC West.

The team battled through some tough injuries and poor first half performances, with a few guys standing out above everyone else as they stepped up in a big way to get the W. Here is a quick look at the guys who made this one happen:

1. Matt Leinart went down with a broken left collarbone midway through the 2nd quarter, and up until that point was 7-13 for 100 yards and 1 INT. So….in stepped Kurt Warner, and acting no longer in a back up role, he was responsible for 3 TDs (1 rush, 1 passing, 1 engineered drive leading to a score). Leinart will be out for an indefinate amount of time, so for now it’s Kurt’s show!

2. WR Larry Fitzgerald had his best day of the season while trying to pick up the slack due to the loss of Anquan Boldin for the second straight game. Fitz had 9 catches for 136 yards and his first TD of the season. No 3 receiver Bryant Johnson also had a productive day, gathering in 6 passes for 80 yards to pick up some key first down tosses from Warner and Leinart.

3. CB Rod Hood had a rough first half, as the Rams continually went after him as he was matched up on WR Torry Holt much of the day. But in the second half, Hood turned it on. he picked off Rams QB Gus Frerotte twice, returning one pick 68 yards for the go ahead TD in the fourth quarter. He also had two pass deflections, leading to St Louis punts.

4. Neil Rackers loves to kick those 50 yarders, and he was crucial to the Cards gameplane once again. Rackers connected on two field goals (52, 42) and proved to be the difference as once again the game was decided by a mere 3 points.

Now I could sit here and talk about the controversial calls and all of that stuff, but the bottom line is we walked out of there with the W!! And now…..we welcome WR Steve Smith and the Carolina Panthers to University of Phoenix Stadium this weekend where the Cardinals have played their best football. It should be a great matchup, but we’ll leave that alone for now.

Right now, all that matters is we got a big win on the road, we’re 3-2, we’re tied for first place and we are rollin’ right now!! Enjoy it Cards fans!!!!

Mike Duggan