Cardinals Falter In Loss to Rams


The Arizona Cardinals beat themselves tonight, losing their first game of the 2015 season 24-22 to the St. Louis Rams.

The mishaps started from the first play. David Johnson, taking the opening kickoff, fumbled the ball at the Cardinals’ 17-yard line. Three plays later the Rams took the ball in for a touchdown on a 12-yard pass to Tavon Austin.

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It took the Cardinals two possessions to get some points on the board when Chandler Catanzaro kicked his first of five field goals.

On Arizona’s next drive they were able to drive to the nine-yard line before their drive stalled, resulting in another field goal; the Cardinals were down 7-6 five minutes into the second quarter.

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The Cardinals’ defense was able to hold the Rams to a three and out, but when Carson Palmer tried to find John Brown, Janoris Jenkins intercepted the pass in the end zone.

On a seven play, 68-yard drive, the Rams went up 10-6 on a 30-yard field goal. Arizona answered with a Catanzaro 42-yard field goal, making the score 10-9 Rams, and the score held at halftime.

The Rams got the ball to start the second half but were forced to punt. The Cardinals were driving until a very rare Larry Fitzgerald fumble, which was recovered at the St. Louis 42-yard line. Typical of St. Louis, the Rams drove 58 yards in less than three minutes, resulting in a touchdown from Nick Foles to Stedman Bailey.

When the Cardinals’ offense got back on the field, they began driving towards the end zone, but their drive yet again stalled in the red zone. Catanzaro made the 38-yard field goal, closing the Rams lead to just five points. After the Cardinals’ defense held the Rams to negative four yards, the Cardinals yet again had a drive stall at the 11-yard line, getting only three points out of a red zone drive.

The best drive of the game for St. Louis was a six play 80-yard drive resulting in a Tavon Austin touchdown. The preceding drive was the Cardinals’ best where they went 80-yards on eight plays. The play of the game for Arizona was a 23-yard pass from Palmer to Johnson, putting the Cardinals within two of the Rams.

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The Cardinals had new life after the defense stopped the Rams on three straight plays, putting the offense on the 37-yard line to start their drive.

Palmer was able to get a drive going, but they could not gain yards after they passed midfield, failing to convert on 3rd and 4th down. The defense was unable to get a stop and the Rams were able to run the clock out, winning 24-22.

The key to this game was the Rams’ defensive line and turnovers. They were able to get four sacks, and pressures Palmer often. The Cardinals’ quarterback did not have a terrible game, going 29-for-46 with 352 yards and an interception and a touchdown.

The Cardinals’ defense had their great moments, forcing six three-and-outs during the whole game, but 17 of the Rams’ 24 points came off turnovers. Foles went 16-for-24 with 171 yards and three touchdowns. Rams’ running back Todd Gurley had success, finished with 146 yards on 19 attempts.

The Cardinals cannot win if they turn the ball over three times and cannot convert in the red zone. The one positive thing that came out of this game was that the Cardinals came out of this game nearly injury free. If you remember, Palmer tore his ACL against the Rams’ game last season. Hopefully, this year Palmer stays healthy and the rest of the team does as well.

Arizona is still atop the NFC West with a 3-1 record and hopefully they will regroup with a game plan for the Detroit Lions next Sunday, 1:05 pm MT.

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