These visits by the Rams.
Two years ago, Carson Palmer was left with a torn ACL. Last year, the Rams delivered a painful loss at the time. Sunday, it was both — a painful loss (one that, given the circumstances is more hurtful than last year’s) and a Palmer injury. The Palmer injury hopefully isn’t nearly as bad, although his concussion very well could keep him out in Thursday’s game at San Francisco. The Cards need their quarterback, although the hole in 2016 got much deeper in a six-minute period Sunday. Drew Stanton awaits his chance to start for the first time since late in 2014.
Bruce Arians was definitely trying to stay positive postgame. For those looking for fire and brimstone, it’s not coming. Not publicly. Not right now. Arians clearly sees a steady message as important to his team.
“Stick together,” is what Arians told all the players, one-by-one, postgame. The players are going to try and do that — “There is nobody in here saying the season is over,” wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said — but a win soon is crucial to help the message take full root.
— We’ll see how Palmer goes through concussion protocol. If he’s iffy at all, you’d think the Cardinals will have to put practice squad QB Zac Dysert on the active roster.
— The Cardinals did a great job on Todd Gurley running. Unfortunately, he got loose a couple of times as a receiver, including gaining 8 on a third-and-8 on the Rams’ game-winning TD drive. A stop there, and a field goal, and the Cards might’ve been just fine.
— It can be traced to Justin Bethel getting poked and going down early on the play, but again, a special teams play — this time the Tavon Austin return — hurts the Cards bad.
— It was good to see Smokey Brown break out as a receiver. Funny, but even after playing little in the first half, Michael Floyd still ended up with seven targets, tied with Fitz for second most to Brown’s 16. Floyd played well after a very slow start. Drew Stanton admittedly tried to force that one into him late, and it cost the Cardinals their one decent chance at a late rally.
— The Rams are lucky. They got two 15-yard penalties on the Cards’ last possession. The Cardinals probably shouldn’t have even been in position to heave a Hail Mary.
— Best game Chandler Jones has had with the Cardinals.
— Aaron Donald is a beast.
— Remember how the Cardinals hadn’t turned the ball over at all and were plus-5 after two games? They’ve turned the ball over 10 times the last two games, and despite that early cushion are now, amazingly, a minus-1 in turnovers on the season.
— The Cardinals ran the ball well. Chris Johnson looked good until he hurt his groin. David Johnson looked good but had a costly fumble. Right now, every silver lining seems to bring with it a hefty cloud.
— Short week. Practice Monday, flight to the Bay Area Wednesday, game Thursday night. There’s going to be another NFC West game before you know it — probably with Stanton behind center — and we’ll see how the Cardinals respond.
Tags: Aaron Donald, Bruce Arians, Carson Palmer, Chandler Jones, Chris Johnson, David Johnson, John Brown, Justin Bethel, Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, Rams, Todd Gurley
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