Rams came into this game a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Cards typically rated #32 of the thirty-two NFL teams. Rams were 11 & 3, coming off a 30 - 23 loss to the Eagles and playing for a favorable playoff bye position. The 3 & 11 Cards were playing out the final 2 games of the season with coaching and roster jobs on the line.
This could be Larry Fitzgerald's final game as a Cardinal at State Farm Stadium. All indicators pointed to a shellacking of the Cardinals by the Rams this Sunday.
Cardinals 31 - 9 Rams
The Bottom Line:
Me-e-e-ry Christmas! Larry Fitzgerald's gift to decades-long Cardinal supporters was a signature trick play with Larry taking a jet seep reverse around right end, only to pull up and throw a picture-perfect pass to a wide-open David Johnson who waltzed into the end zone. It was a perfectly timed pass thrown by Fitz before DJ made his break. (As one anncr put it: "Fitz threw DJ open")
It was an iconic play - first TD pass thrown by Fitz - and, no doubt, someone else will come up with the right nickname for it - but what would be more suitable than simply "The Larry Play." Adoring fans were siting in the SFS stands with placards reading: "Thank you Larry." "We Love You Larry", "Larry Legend" etc. and Byron Leftwich, Fitz and DJ gave them a Christmas present they'll always remember.
And, oh yeah, Rams blew out the Cards 30 - 9.
We're not going to waste time on play by play. Here's the scoring summary.
Cards - Gonzalez - 36 Yd FG. Cards 3 - Rams 0.
Rams - Woods - 4 yard run (Zeruelein XP Good). Rams 7 - Cards 3
1st Quarter Score: Rams 7 - Cards 3
Rams - Goff - 1-yd run (Zeurlein - XP Good). Rams 14 - Cards 3
Cards - D Johnson - 32 Yd pass from Fitzgerald (XP failed).- Rams 14 - Cards 9
Rams - Anderson - 4 yard run (Zerulein - XP Good). Rams 21 - Cards 9
Halftme Score: Rams 21 - Cards 9
Rams - Zeurlein 21-yd FG. Rams 24 - Cards 9
- Third Quarter Score: Rams 24 - Card 9
Rams -Woods - 39 Yd TD pass from Goff. Rams 31 - Cards 9
Final Score: Rams 31 - Cards 9
Notable Game Stats.
First Downs: Cards 15 - Rams 33
Total Net Yards: Cards 263 - Rams 461
Rush Yards: Cards 18/104 -Rams 41/269
Passing: Rosen 18-31 -0
................Goff 19 - 24 - 0
Passing Yards: Cards 159 - Rams 192
Interceptions Lost: Cards 0 - Rams 0
Fumbles Lost: Cards 0-0 - Rams 1 - 1
Penalties: Cards 7 for 54-yds- Rams 6 for 66-yds
Time of Possession: Cards 22:56 - Rams 37:04
Rushing: Johnson 10 carries for 37 yds
................ Anderson 20 carries for 167 yds
Receiving: Sherfield 6 for 62, Fitz 6 for 53,
................: Woods - 6 89, Everett 5 for 28, Cooks 3 for 35
The Larry Play.
I realize the fashionable thing to do is to "praise the guy who isn't playing", but, that said: "I thought Glennon looked cooler under fire and precise than Rosen. That doesn't mean I'm down on Josh - just a little bit unsold, maybe. I just thouht Glennon played better. Besides; what better nickname could you want for your starting QB than "Cardinal Glennon."
- I'm done.
The Dark Side
The Rams just repeatedly ran and ran and ran - and the Cards couldn't stop them.
Correction - they couldn't prevent "a guy off the street: from pasting 167 yards on 20 carries.
You've got to admit the Cards were consistent - allowing ballcarriers bouncing off tacklers on contact - to pick up valuable yardage - often a critical first down.
We repeat - Cardinal receivers drop to many passes.
Gonzalez proved "he's one of us: by missing a makeable FG and XP..
It's that time of year when the coaches and mgt sort out which players will be part of next year's roster and which players will be headed elsewhere. As a GM (whomever that might be) you never want to jettison good players just for the sake of appearing "tough minded", but heart of heart, I believe a greater percentage of the current active Cardinal roster is stocked with players who aren't good enough to belong on a winning team. I don't want to point fingers with one game to go, but there are a number of Coach Killers on the Cardinal roster that I hope will be gone - if for no other reason than "you just look at them and mistakes seem to flow right off their uniforms. "
Last game next week - vs. Seattle. Can we just try to beat them just because (1) It's Seattle, (2) it's in their house and (3) they're trying to earn a playoff spot.
Corners don't get turned and losing records turn into winning records - by accident.
When you begin to close in on eighty, you never know what you'll have to deal with.
For example, late last week, I lost all strength in the back of my upper-right leg. Shaking it off early the next morning, I went out to the curb (in a driving rain) with a walker - to pick up the morning newspapers (I read 5). Despite the walker, I took a header and had no strength to get up and navigate my way back to my house. (I just crept down the driveway - 2-inches at a time). At one point, I rolled over on my side to gain additional purchase. Big mistake - my rib-cage rolled over a bunch of twigs in the shrubbery along side the driveway. It still hurts like hell. It took about 2 hours to finally make it to the inside of the house. The Plan is to endure the rib-pain light-headedness and muscle weakness over the Christmas holidays and call my family doc on Wednesday - and possibly check into our local hospital for tests on his recommendation.
My point - when you get old, little inconsequential things that you do can have great big consequences.
Which is also my way of advising the reader that I may be "on ice" for awhile...and away from the computer and the BRS. (The rib-pain - somewhat controlled byTylonal - makes computer-time energy-draining and may limit the amount of time I can spend developing the annual BRS Draft issue and I'm, frankly wondering out loud whether it may be time to put the BRS out of its misery sooner not later.
Nothing drastic is planned just yet, but just be forwarned. - JGG