Week 9 Preview: Arizona (4-3) at St. Louis (2-5)


Sunday afternoon will find the Arizona Cardinals trying to win their second road game of the season by traveling to St. Louis to play the Rams.  A week after giving Carolina a wrapped gift of a victory, they will try to right the ship and gain momentum heading into the second half of the season. 

Quarterback Kurt Warner heads back to his old stomping grounds in St. Louis, the place where he won he MVP award, an award many think Kurt Warner deserves for his play so far this year.  The Cards offense has not been the problem, although the Cardinals offensive turnovers last week kept the Cardinals from joining the elite of the NFC.  Edgerrin James needs to keep the ball in his hands when he’s given the chance to carry, otherwise rookie Tim Hightower will be the man for the rest of the season.  Warner also needs to avoid untimely interceptions such as the one inside the red zone last week in Carolina.

St. Louis counters with an offense that all of a sudden is a threat again.  Quarterback Marc Bulger has played well in the past three games since coach Jim Haslett took over.  Although St. Louis lost to New England last week, they hardly resemble the hapless team they appeared to be in the first four weeks.  Watch out for receiver Donnie Avery, who has big play making ability.  Chances are high that he can burn past a weak Cardinals secondary for a score or two. 

Also returning this week for St. Louis is running back Stephen Jackson.  Jackson, who sat out last week’s game in New England, has been reported to be playing on Sunday.  He had his best game of the season two weeks ago in their huge home victory over the Dallas Cowboys

This is the Cardinals chance to regain the momentum they lost last week and continue on their path to their first NFC West divisional championship.  Otherwise, a loss here all of a sudden leaves the NFC West wide open.  A St. Louis victory leaves them only behind the Cardinals by one game, so a victory on Sunday is a must.  I believe the Cards get it done, but not first without some anxious moments.  If they avoid turnovers, poor tackling which has also hindered them, and poor secondary coverage, they should come out of St. Louis victorious.  Arizona wins 28 – 21. 

Go Cards!

Scott Allen