– It was another game that was there for the taking. In a season in which it seems the Rams have had multiple opportunities slip by, it seemed they finally had one that they could turn around and be the team that comes from behind to win.
– Trailing 20-10 in the fourth quarter, the Rams came up with some big plays – be it MLB James Laurinaitis’ interception, Brandon Lloyd’s touchdown catch, whatever – and everything seemed to be going their way.
“We thought maybe the tide was turning but again Arizona made the plays when it came time they needed a play, they made it,” tackle Adam Goldberg said. “When it came time for us that we needed a play, we weren’t able to execute today.”
– After the Rams knotted it at 20, the Cardinals came right back, buoyed by a 53-yard run from RB Beanie Wells. K Jay Feely followed with a 22-yard field goal to give Arizona a 23-20 lead and eventually the victory. It was another maddeningly close game the Rams just couldn’t find a way to win. More on the game in a moment.
– On the injury front, it appears the Rams came out OK.
Special teams ace Dominique Curry suffered a shoulder injury but was able to finish the game. He will be looked at closer Monday morning.
Safety Darian Stewart had a good game with seven tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss but took a blow to the head and will also be looked at further on Monday.
Linebacker Chris Chamberlain and Miller had hamstring injuries but finished the game. Cornerback Nate Ness had an ankle ailment that will also require more attention.
Linebacker Josh Hull (hamstring), receiver Danario Alexander (hamstring), running back Cadillac Williams (calf) and tackle Mark LeVoir (pectoral) were inactive.
– The game couldn’t have started any better for the Rams as newly signed PR Nick Miller brought back a punt 88 yards for the team’s first return touchdown since 2007. Happy for Miller, who seems like a good guy and who has fought his tail off to get a chance here.
– A shocking turn of events for the run defense. That had been an area of strength in the past month and it all slipped away Sunday.
– Arizona changed what it did, using multiple back sets and looks the Rams hadn’t seen. Although the Rams adjusted, it didn’t matter because before they could adjust, the Cardinals hit a big play. Beanie Wells had runs of 71 and 53 yards. Those huge plays essentially nullify the turnovers the Rams were able to create.
– Congrats to Chris Long on his 10th sack of the season. It’s been a while coming but he’s a premiere player in this league and he’s doing it on a bum ankle. He’s an absolute warrior.
– Another day, another sack for DE Robert Quinn. He’s at five now and continues to flash potential.
– Stewart continues his breakthrough season. Another solid performance with a sack, seven tackles and two tackles for loss in unofficial pressbox statistics.
– Offensively, the Rams again couldn’t find a rhythm though considering its state injury wise, the offensive line didn’t have such a bad day. By no means was Bradford unharmed but that group did pretty well all things considered.
– RB Steven Jackson ran hard but just didn’t have the room to operate and when the team fell behind it was hard to overcome.
– QB Sam Bradford was admittedly frustrated after the game and who could blame him? He missed some throws he normally hits and the silly penalties that continue to kill drives would drive anyone nuts.
“The opportunities that we had to keep ourselves in this game, the opportunities we had to put ourselves ahead and possibly, not close out the game but put the game out of reach,” Bradford said. “To continually hurt ourselves with penalties or negative plays, it just becomes extremely frustrating. I don’t know what to do anymore…I’ve got to continue to try to find ways that helps us eliminate those plays. Because if we eliminate those, I think today would be a totally different ballgame.”
– Punter Donnie Jones is a stand up guy. On the punt Patrick Peterson returned 80 yards for a touchdown, it was supposed to go out of bounds or at least be outside the hashes. He simply mishit it and Peterson made the Rams pay. But make no mistake, Jones is a great punter and he made a mistake. What says even more about him is how he answered questions and owned it after the game.
– That’ll do it for tonight. Back tomorrow to wrap this one up.
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