|Last 3 Games||3-0||+7.3||2-1||1-2||23.7||10.0||278.0||(4.6)||1.3||15.0||6.3||391.7||(5.8)||2.7|
|Offense (All Games)||22.7||10.0||17.2||30:12||25-69||(2.7)||20-34||60.0%||203||(6)||59-272||(4.6)||(11.9)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||20.2||9.4||18.3||29:18||24-74||(3.1)||22-38||57.3%||250||(6.6)||62-324||(5.2)||(16)|
|Offense Road Games||20.0||6.0||16.0||28:19||33-105||(3.2)||15-27||55.6%||140||(5.2)||60-245||(4.1)||(12.2)|
|Defense (All Games)||15.2||5.5||20.0||31:25||28-104||(3.8)||22-39||56.3%||253||(6.4)||67-357||(5.3)||(23.4)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||22.2||8.8||22.4||32:40||34-149||(4.5)||21-34||59.6%||234||(6.8)||68-384||(5.6)||(17.2)|
|Defense Road Games||18.0||6.0||25.0||31:41||28-90||(3.2)||28-46||60.9%||297||(6.5)||74-387||(5.2)||(21.5)|
|Stats For (All Games)||0.7||0.7||1.5||1.0||14-4||30.9%||1-0||66.7%||2-43||(24.9)||3-27||(7.9)||7-66|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||1.2||0.5||1.8||1.9||14-5||34.7%||1-0||54.5%||3-69||(24.4)||26-3||(9.7)||6-61|
|Stats For (Road Games)||0.0||2.0||2.0||-1.0||14-4||28.6%||0-0||0.0%||2-50||(25)||1-3||(3)||5-39|
|Stats Against (All Games)||1.0||1.5||2.5|| ||15-5||34.4%||1-0||33.3%||2-67||(29.8)||2-25||(10)||7-64|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||1||0.8||1.8|| ||14-5||38.7%||1-0||50.0%||2-56||(25)||23-2||(9.8)||7-60|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||1.0||0.0||1.0|| ||15-5||33.3%||0-0||0.0%||2-46||(23)||2-25||(12.5)||8-60|
|Last 3 Games||2-1||+1.7||2-1||1-2||18.7||10.7||299.3||(5.2)||2.0||21.3||12.7||322.0||(5.3)||1.7|
|Offense (All Games)||19.7||11.2||16.0||29:25||24-91||(3.7)||19-31||61.9%||196||(6.2)||56-287||(5.1)||(14.5)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||22.7||11.7||19.4||28:14||21-80||(3.8)||23-37||62.0%||250||(6.8)||58-331||(5.7)||(14.6)|
|Offense Home Games||25.0||14.5||19.0||30:46||27-113||(4.2)||21-33||65.2%||256||(7.8)||60-369||(6.1)||(14.8)|
|Defense (All Games)||22.7||12.0||21.2||30:34||29-135||(4.7)||21-33||64.7%||213||(6.4)||62-349||(5.6)||(15.3)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||25.1||11.1||21.6||32:18||31-129||(4.2)||21-33||63.9%||227||(6.9)||64-356||(5.6)||(14.2)|
|Defense Home Games||20.5||14.0||18.5||29:14||31-177||(5.6)||18-27||68.5%||168||(6.2)||58-346||(5.9)||(16.9)|
|Stats For (All Games)||1.0||0.5||1.5||0.5||12-5||38.0%||0-0||50.0%||1-18||(17.7)||2-18||(9.1)||6-50|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||1.2||0.8||1.9||2.4||12-4||34.6%||1-0||77.8%||2-56||(25.1)||24-2||(10.7)||6-65|
|Stats For (Home Games)||1.0||1.0||2.0||0.0||12-6||48.0%||0-0||100.0%||1-11||(11)||2-23||(9.4)||6-48|
|Stats Against (All Games)||2.0||0.0||2.0|| ||11-3||31.1%||0-0||100.0%||2-56||(22.6)||3-24||(8.7)||6-56|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||0.8||0.3||1.1|| ||13-4||32.0%||1-1||56.2%||2-55||(25.7)||18-2||(8.6)||8-68|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||2.0||0.0||2.0|| ||11-3||27.3%||0-0||0.0%||2-61||(24.4)||1-2||(1.3)||8-75|
|Average power rating of opponents played: ARIZONA 24.2, ST LOUIS 20.2|
|9/16/2012||@ NEW ENGLAND||20-18||W||13||W||46.5||U||33-105||15-27-140||2||28-90||28-46-297||1|
|10/4/2012||@ ST LOUIS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|10/14/2012||BUFFALO|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|10/21/2012||@ MINNESOTA|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|10/29/2012||SAN FRANCISCO|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|10/4/2012||ARIZONA|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|10/14/2012||@ MIAMI|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|10/21/2012||GREEN BAY|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|10/28/2012||*NEW ENGLAND|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|ARIZONA: The Cards have largely given up on establishing the run because of their tendency to fall behind early in games. But their power running game, featuring a man-blocking scheme and between-the-tackles pounding, still remains. Beanie Wells was moderately effective last year, though they'd rather have Ryan Williams taking a large portion of the carries as long as he's recovered from knee surgery. Arizona largely runs out of its two-receiver sets, with an even split between two tight ends and fullback Anthony Sherman. The Cards get conservative in the red zone, where Wells gets a heavy workload and should continue to for as long as he's able to remain healthy. Kevin Kolb will get another shot in the desert. The Cardinals got much more aggressive throwing downfield last season, especially letting Larry Fitzgerald battle for the 50/50 ball. They can do the same thing on the other side once rookie Michael Floyd is ready. They usually throw out of three-receiver sets, and while the No. 2 (Floyd or Andre Roberts) gets more reps, the Cards throw to the slot (Roberts or Early Doucet) underneath just as often. Even after the addition of Todd Heap, the tight ends were used sparingly. When they throw in the red zone, Fitzgerald is almost always the first look, and they'll often force it to him even in double-coverage. The slot receiver over the middle is usually the second option down near the goal line. Partly because its subpar offense kept its defense on the field for the third-most minutes in the NFL, Arizona's yardage allowed was mediocre. Although the points and sacks improved significantly, the defense did not score in 2011. DL Calais Campbell has put together four strong seasons since becoming a starter for the Cardinals. He does a nice job picking up blocking schemes and knows how to use his hands in traffic. Darnell Dockett remains one of the NFL's better defensive linemen despite the fact that his sack numbers continue to decline. Daryl Washington is a bit undersized for an inside linebacker, but he moves like a defensive back. It could be argued that Patrick Peterson's contributions on special teams last season (four return touchdowns) were more than offset by his inability to cover. Opposing quarterbacks will likely continue to attack him until he improves: He was targeted 112 times last season, a total that ranked third in the NFL. |
|ST LOUIS: New offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer comes from the Jets, where he often abandoned the run and prefers to get cute with a lot of play-action trickery. New offensive line coach Paul Boudreau figures to keep transitioning to more man blocking, a transition they started in 2011 with little success. Steven Jackson will still be relied on heavily as long as he remains healthy; rookie Isaiah Pead will be more of a return specialist and straight backup as Jackson's heir. Jackson will continue to take third down reps, and he figures to stay on the field to handle red zone carries. There's a lot of crossing and dragging in Schottenheimer's complicated offense, which is one that could be tough for the Rams' young WRs to pick up. Rookie Brian Quick and slot guys Danny Amendola and TE Lance Kendricks are likely the biggest beneficiaries from a targets standpoint, while outside guys like Chris Givens and Austin Pettis figure to see fewer balls. Quick is the guy St. Louis is counting on to be quarterback Sam Bradford's go-to receiver. While Quick's skills are certainly impressive, he's got a big adjustment to make coming from Appalachian State's spread offense. Schottenheimer always got pass-happy in the red zone, frequently using play-action even before he had a goal line weapon in Plaxico Burress in 2011. Only three teams forced fewer turnovers than the Rams did in 2011, and their horrible offense helped contribute to the rise in points and yards allowed. St. Louis did improve in the offseason with the signings of CB Cortland Finnegan and LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar, but those two guys aren't enough to make this an above-average unit. Chris Long's switch to left end after Leonard Little retired paid immediate dividends in 2010, and he then had a career-high 13 sacks last season with then-rookie RDE Robert Quinn drawing attention to the opposite side. James Laurinaitis has more tackles than any NFL player over the past three seasons, and he has yet to miss a game in his career. The question is whether he'll be as productive in what's expected to be a more aggressive scheme under new head coach Jeff Fisher. Meanwhile, the team seems ready to go into the season without a defensive coordinator'the coordinator work has been handled at various times over the past few months by assistant head coach Dave McGinnis, secondary coach Chuck Cecil and linebackers coach Blake Williams, the son of suspended Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who was exiled indefinitely for his role in the Saints bounty scandal. |
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER PRO FOOTBALL PREVIEW (ARIZONA-ST LOUIS) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Cardinals-Rams Preview* ========================
By JEFF MEZYDLO STATS Senior Writer
Based on their recent history against the St. Louis Rams, it appears the Arizona Cardinals have a good chance to continue the team's best start in 38 years.
The Cardinals look to remain undefeated when they try for an eighth consecutive road win over the improved St. Louis Rams on Thursday night.
With three victories by four or fewer points, Arizona (4-0) joins Houston and Atlanta as the NFL's lone unbeaten teams.
"We are a good team," said coach Ken Whisenhunt, whose club's eight wins in 2011 came by seven or fewer points - four in overtime. "We play well together and our guys make plays."
Off to its best start since Jim Hart quarterbacked the St. Louis Cardinals to a 7-0 start in 1974, Arizona has won 11 of 13 - the best mark in the league during that span.
"There's no question chemistry is a big part of it," Whisenhunt said. "We started to develop that last year over that stretch and you could see it in training camp and the offseason. You never know what that's going to mean, but in some tough situations this year you've seen that come out. You've seen some guys believe in each other, work hard and to me that's what a team is all about."
Whisenhunt hopes that belief and his team's collective confidence extends to the prime-time stage. Arizona has won 10 of 11 against the Rams (2-2), and seven straight at the Edward Jones Dome since a 17-10 loss there Sept. 12, 2004.
Arizona took both meetings last season after losing 19-6 at home to the Rams on Dec. 5, 2010.
Though the Cardinals have fared well in St. Louis, the teams' last two games there were decided by a combined seven points. Both of the Rams' victories this season have come at home - by nine total points.
"They're excited to be able to play," coach Jeff Fisher said after the Rams hung on for a 19-13 win over Seattle on Sunday. "It's prime time and we hope things work out well for us."
The potential of another close contest likely won't faze the Cardinals, who forced one fumble that led to the tying touchdown late in regulation and another in overtime to set up Jay Feely's 46-yard field goal for a 24-21 victory over Miami on Sunday.
"I don't know what it is with us that we have to take it to the last moment of the game, but we're winning and that's all that matters," said third-year receiver Andre Roberts, who caught six passes for 118 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
Though the Cardinals rank 29th with 68.0 rushing yards per game, Kevin Kolb has completed 62.6 percent of his passes while throwing seven touchdowns and two interceptions. Larry Fitzgerald has 17 receptions for 178 yards and two TDs over the last two games after catching five for 67 without a score in the first two.
Defensively, Arizona ranks third in the NFL with 15.2 points allowed per contest and is fourth with 10 turnovers forced, including a league-high six fumble recoveries.
The Rams, who turned the ball over once versus Seattle, have matched their win total from 2011 and can move above .500 after five games for the first time since opening 4-1 in 2006.
With Sam Bradford ranking in the bottom half of the league with an 80.1 passer rating and Steven Jackson rushing for 195 yards and no touchdowns, St. Louis' biggest offensive contributor has been rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein.
The sixth-round pick from Missouri Western State has converted all 12 of his field-goal attempts. He made four Sunday, including a franchise-record 58-yarder that he topped when he connected from 60 yards in the third quarter.
"Right now, our kicker is the MVP of the season," said Jackson, who has averaged 61.4 rushing yards and scored one TD in seven home games against the Cardinals. "Pretty much, all we've got to do is get across the 50-yard line and we're in his range."
St. Louis' only touchdown against the Seahawks also came via special teams, as undrafted rookie punter and holder Johnny Hekker hit Danny Amendola with a 2-yard touchdown pass on a fake field goal.
The Rams rank second in the league with eight interceptions.
|Last Updated: 9/2/2014 8:34:37 AM EST|