Rams-Cards observations

Five points from the Rams 19-6 win over the Arizona Cardinals…

1) The Rams were prepared to take an early barrage from the Cardinals, and then pounce. After being embarrassed on national TV by San Francisco last Monday, Cardinal coach Ken Whisenhunt and his troops were ornery, and they showed it. Tim Hightower gashed the Rams for 49 yards on six carries in the first quarter, but the Gridbirds could only get six points out of his efforts. Thereafter, Hightower had nine carries for 32 yards as the Ram defense settled down. In fact, after Arizona picked up 125 yards in the first quarter, they were shut out on the scoreboard and picked up 99 yards in the final three quarters.

2) Relatively speaking, Sam Bradford struggled. He was 18-29 for 187 yards, no TD’s and one interception. He was sacked twice. Yet Bradford put together scoring drives of 10, 7, 12, 10 and 7 plays. The running game was solid, picking up 112 yards on the 33 run plays they called. It was a workmanlike job by the offense.

3) The special teams were fine, allowing LaRod Stephens-Howling 24 yards per kickoff return and Andre Roberts six yards per punt return. Josh Brown was perfect, and Donnie Jones bounced back with a 45.5 yard average punting. Necessary elements to road wins were there.

4) Cardinal quarterbacks (three of them) were under siege all day. The Rams had four sacks and numerous pressures, and picked off two passes. The Rams defensive game plan continues to baffle the opposition…a credit to the creative blitzing of Steve Spagnuolo’s coaching staff.

5) The last time the Rams won back-to-back road games was 2007, when two of their three wins came in consecutive weeks at New Orleans and San Francisco. The Rams ended their 0-8 start that year by shocking the Saints at the Superdome. Could they shock New Orleans again next week? Somehow, that doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility.