Arizona Cardinals vs St Louis Rams Preview
By Cyle Gill
The St. Louis Rams will test just how good the Arizona Cardinals are.
This week the Arizona Cardinals take on the St. Louis Rams ramblinfan.com at University of Phoenix Stadium. Even though the Rams are 3-5, this team is much better then their record shows. Which is led by an outstanding front seven.
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The Rams defensive line is made up of DE William Hayes, rookie DT Aaron Donald, DT Kendall Langford, DT Michael Brocker, DE Robert Quinn and DE Eugene Sims. This unit has racked up 107 tackles, 13 sacks and three forced fumbles. They will test just how good the Cardinals offensive line really is.
When it comes to the Rams linebacker corp. There is only Jo-Lonn Dunbar, James Laurinaitis, and Alec Ogletree. Even though this unit is spread thin, they have 126 tackles with one sack and two forced fumbles.
The Rams secondary is the biggest question mark on the defense. This unit is made up of LCB Trumaine Johnson (only one game played), RCB Janoris Jenkins ( Questionable with a knee), FS Rodney McLeod, SS T.J. McDonald, rookie LCB E.J. Gains, FS Lamarcus Joyner and FS Mark Barron. While this unit can tackle with 227 so far, they are giving up 5.9 yards a catch.
Even though the defense is strong with their front seven. They are giving up 4.6 yards a carry. Also as a whole, they`ve given up 26 touchdowns. They are getting better and I would expect the Cardinals running game to struggle.
When it comes to the Rams offense, this is kind of tricky. The offensive line has given up 23 sacks. While they have a nice receiving corp with four backs who are dual threats.
WR Kenny Britt has 18 catches for 281 yards and two touchdowns and two rushes for 14 yards. Tavon Austin has 15 catches for 134 yards and has rushed 17 times for 72 yards. Two receivers who haven`t seen much action, Chris Givens who`s averaging 15.3 yards a catch and Stedman Bailey averaging 12 yards a catch.
Tight ends Jared Cook is receiving the bulk of the catches while Lance Kendricks has four touchdowns. Cook has 29 grabs for 345 yards. Kendricks id averaging 7.9 yards off 17 grabs. This group will give the Cardinals defense trouble.
The Rams running backs are Zac Stacy, Benny Cunningham, Tre Mason and Trey Watts. Stacy has 66 touches, averaging 3.9 a carry with a touchdown and has 15 catches for 135 yards with two fumbles. Cunningham is also averaging 3.9 yards a carry off 44 touches with two touchdowns and 20 catches for 167 yards with a touchdown.
Mason is averaging 4.5 yards a carry off 44 touches. He hasn`t been used in the passing game much with only three catches for five yards with a fumble. Watts only has seven carries for 30 yards and three catches for 18 yards, but is effective.
QB Austin Davis is 163 for 254 with 1,785. A quarterback rating of 87.8 percent with 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Davis has a ton of weapons but is only 40 of 98 on third down conversions.
Against the Rams defense, the Cardinals offense will have to relay on the o-line. They need to give Carson Palmer enough time to find an open receiver. The running game will probably struggle which makes the passing game so much more important.
When it comes to the Rams offense, they are able to throw in trick plays with all their weapons. Receivers rushing the ball, all four running backs coming out of the backfield. Todd Bowles will have his hands full when it comes to Sundays scheme.
Also, don`t forget the Rams tricky kick off scheme which resulted in a touchdown. Look for a low scoring game with special teams winning at the end. Hopefully it`s Chandler Catanzaro making a clutch kick to win this game.