Week 14: St. Louis (2-10) vs Arizona (7-5)
By Scott Allen
They can’t even mess this one up, right?
Well, it is the Arizona Cardinals and anything can happen. Most of us know that all too well following this team since 1988 or even further back if you followed them in St. Louis. Today is the day though. Today is the way the West is won. I can’t imagine how, after the last two weeks have gone, that the Cardinals do anything but come out and take care of business today against the Rams.
In order to win the division today, the Cardinals are going to need to limit penalties. They started that trend a week ago. They also need to reduce turnovers. Turnovers didn not help their cause last week in the loss to Philadelphia. Then, pounce on the Rams quickly. Get off to a quick start and don’t give the Rams any chance of thinking they can win this game. In St. Louis earlier this season, the Rams played a great first quarter, had an early 7-0 lead and for the first 15 minutes, the Rams were thinking they could pull it off, much like they had weeks earlier against Dallas and Washington. Then, the Cardinals pounced on them. They were eventually up 24-7 at halftime and the game of all intent and purpose was over.
The Cards come into the game relatively healthy. Only Matt Ware and Pago Togafau have been ruled out so far. Clark Haggans, Rod Hood, and Lyle Sendlein are all questionable. For the Rams, cornerback Tye Hill is out. Running back Steven Jackson is probable and should be ready to go.
The crowd needs to be in this game from the opening kickoff. The Cards have clearly shown over the past two seasons that they feed off the crowd, an advantage they haven’t always had. Sure, there will be Rams fans there, but few and far between and getting thinner as the weeks and years go by. I will be at the game yelling my loudest. If the Cards take care of home field in December, they will finish no worse than 10-6, a record most have predicted the Cardinals to finish with. This team has the talent to run the table in December and finish 11-5, but one of those games is in the dreaded Eastern Time Zone in New England. Let’s just worry about today and take care of business.