Rams were coming off an embarrassing loss to the Ravens. Cards had pushed the division leading Niners to the brink.-Question of the week - were the Cardinals' 2 close losses to undefeated SF for real?
Rams Embarrass Cards 34 - 7
The Bottom Line:
Congratulations to the Cardinals - i.e. the Davison, Michigan HS Cardinals who won their HS divisional title in convincing manner. As for the NFL Cardinals - The answer to the burning question of the week was a resounding "NoI" The Cards were not for real. Although holding the Rams to a 3 - 0 first quarter lead, they looked awful doing so and handed the Rams 17 unanswered points in the second quarter - to fall behind by 20 - and letting the Rams tack on 14 more points in the 3Q. They barely avoided being shut out when Kyler Murray ran it in from 15-yds out late in the 4th Q.
Cards looked horrific in all aspects of the game - it's amazing they were only down by 3 at the end of the 1Q (A rare missed FG attempt by Zuerlein helped turn a time-consuming scoring drive into a great big nothing-burger.
Cards stayed consistent with their reputation for letting TE's and receiving-unknowns rack up big numbers vs. the Cardinals. One thing you don't find in the stats - For every sensational one-handed catch by a Ram receiver, there would be a corresponding dropped-ball by a Cardinal pass catcher.
Cards were out-coached/players out-motivated. (That happens with young teams). Question is" Do they fight back or do they curl up in the fetal position and let the season run out?
Remaining schedule includes contests with Pittsburgh, @ Seattle and @ the Rams.Cardinal coaches and FO should ask themselves this question - "When they have rare "off days" , do championship teams like the Patriots allow themselves to have two "bad hair days" back to back?"