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The Setup
Niners plagued by injury (P Garcon the latest biggie). Road game in SF (4:05 pm EDT Fox) - Niners were one of two winless teams at the mid-season mark. Weak at QB, they just made a trade with the Pats for their backup QB (& Cardinal killer) Jimmy Garappolo. Beathard named starter. Cards were 3 & 4; coming off a Bye week where they licked their wounds in the wake of a shellacking by the Rams. Cards were hanging by their fingernails trying to get back to .500 and not wanting to lose to a winless division rival. Cards were without Carson Palmer probably for the rear of the season. It will be up to Drew Stanton to take over the reins.

The Lede
Decisive 20 - 10 Win in Sloppy Game


The Bottom Line:
Answers to unasked (& asked) questions:

  • The Cards aren't "reborn."

  • Adrian Peterson can't work miracles.

  • It "takes a village" (of offensive linemen) to keep the Cardinals viable.

  • Cardinal defense continued to suck on 3rd down.

  • Under the best of circumstances, the Cardinals are well on their way to being a .500 football team.

  • After he threw the obligatory interception late in the 2Q, Carson Palmer injured his forearm and sat out the rest of the game.

  • No, Drew Stanton doesn't appear to be the answer.

Game Recap
Santa Claus almost arrived 2 months early, as the Cards kept trying numerous creative ways to hand a victory to the winless and injury-wracked Niners.

1st Quarter
  • Cards received (once again) and started off from their own 21. They made it to the Ram 14 in 8 plays before a bad snap messed up Dawson's 32-yd FG attempt. Rams took over on their own 22 and reeled off 14 straight plays ending in Zuerlein's 23 yd FG. Rams 3 - Cards 0.

    Cards reached their own 45 and punted. The 2 teams exchanged 3 & outs with the Cards punting to open the 2Q.

    1st Quarter Score: Rams 3 - Cards 0.

2nd Quarter
  • Card punt downed at the Ram 35. An 8 play drive added another 3 pts with a 33 yd Zeurlein FG. Rams 6 - Cards 0.'
  • TB on KO. Cards made it to the Ram 35 in 8 plays, but Palmer was sacked for an 11-yd loss and Lee punted 46 yds into the end zone. Rams held to 3 & out. Punt returned to Card 18. On the first play of the Card possession, Palmer's pass for Nelson was picked off. Palmer was injured and was out for the duration of the game. On the first play of the Ram possession, Gurley ran 18 yds up the middle for a TD.. Rams 13 - Cards 0.
  • TB on KO. 8 plays later, Lee punted from his own 42. LA ball (net a penalty) on their own 12. Goff engineered an 8 play drive capped by his 9 yd TD gallop around right end. Rams 20 - Cards 0.
  • TB on the KO. On the first play of the Card possession, Stanton was picked off and returned to the Card 28. Four plays later (with 0:03 on the clock) Zeurlein kicked a 53-yarder. Rams 23 - Cards 0.

    First Half Score: Rams 23 - Cards 0.

3rd Quarter

  • Rams received. KO returned to Ram 21. Goff put together a 10-play drive, with Zeurlein "good" from 34-yds. . Rams 26 - Cards 0.

    TB on KO. Rams put together an 11 play drive, but Goff's pass for Gurley was picked off by Bucannon and returned to the Ram 47. Cards reached the Ram 37 to end the quarter. .

    Third Quarter Score: Rams 26 - Cards 0.

4th Quarter
  • Cards reached the Ram 38 and punted. Rams ran off 16 plays capped by an 18-yd Goff to Kupp TD pass. Rams 33 - Cards 0.

    End of scoring.

Final Score: Rams 33 - Cards 0.

Notable Game Stats.

Passing: Palmer was 10 of 18 for 122 yards, 0 TD and 1 Int. Stanton was 5 of 14 for 62 yds no TD's and a pick (Goff was 22of 37 for 235 yds, 1 TD's and 1 picks).

  • Rushing: Peterson gained 21 yds on 11 carries. Cards gained a whopping 25 yds on 12 carries. (By contrast, Rams gained 198 yds on the ground).

  • Card rush defense gave up 3.7 yds per rushing play (Card rushers averaged 2.2)

  • Receiving: Fitz led the Cards with 3 catches.

  • Turnovers: Minus-1. Cards had 2 picks/Rams 1. Neither team fumbled away the ball

  • Penalties: Cards were penalized 10 times.Rams 6

  • Run/Pass Ratio: Cards: 12/32. (Rams 40/37)
  • Field Goals: Cards 0 for 1. Rams 4 for 4

    Net Punting Yards: Lee averaged 32.2 (Hekker averaged (55.0)

  • Tackles: Bucannon led with 12 tackles followed by Bethea (11) and T Williams (10)

    Sacks: Card QB's were sacked three times. C Jones had the only Cardinal sack.

    Interceptions: Bucannon had the only Cardinal interception

    Third Down Efficiency: Cards were 3 of 12 for 25%. (Rams: 13 of 19 for 68%).

    Red Zone Efficiency: Cards were 0 of 1 - 0%. (Rams: 3 of 6 - 50%).

    Time of Possession: Cards 20:59/ LA 39:01

Bright Spots

  • Golden stepped in nobly.

    Welcome back Bucc.

    We have a Bye Week to lick our wounds.

TheDark Side

  • 3rd Down Conversions - Rams were 13 of 19 - Is that some sort of record? (Note - Cards were 3 of 12)..

  • Zero Points - I thought I heard this might have been the first time in franchise history..

  • Missed FG - Three problems: (1) We missed our only attempt. (2) The air immediately went out of the Cardinal balloon. (3) We're consistent in missing FGs. Buck stops at Amos Jones

  • O Line - Watching the Rams vs. both the pass and vs. the run was like watching our local Pee Wee league go up against 'Bama.

    Penalties - 10 for us. 6 for them.

    Net Punting - Their guy averaged 55.0 yds. Mr. Lee averaged 32.2

    Quarterback - Will Palmer be out for any period of time? If so, Stanton did not look like the answer, and it may be "Gabbert Time."

Last Word:
Ed Note - The following "Last Word:" was written prior to hearing that Carson Palmer will probably be lost for the season. Palmer's absence can only make the challenges to be faced by the Cardinal football team that much higher):

Whenever the Cards have an impressive outing, the first thing we ask ourselves: "Will they be able to repeat the stellar peformance next week and the week after that?" We asked ourselves this after the first half of the TB game.

The answer thus far has to be a resounding "No!" The Cardinals up and down performance has all the earmarks of aged veterans who - when they feel desperate enough - have to "get themselves up" for the next game on the schedule. Problem is: Once they do it on Week #2, they don't have anything left for Week #3. So they lay an egg in Week #3 and hope they have enough to get the juices flowing in Week #4.

I hate when that happens. I'm used to rooting for teams - who physically and mentally - put out their max on every assignment of every down of every series of every quarter of every game. Always.

I don't see the Cardinals doing so and, as such, they give every appearance of being, at best, a .500 football team.

Not good enough, fellas.

 
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Copyright 1996 Gollin & Associates. Last modified: 11/26/2012