Rams aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on December 3, 2017 – 7:54 pm

The past few years, when the Cardinals had been good and the Rams not so much, the Cardinals would go on the road and beat the Rams. Period. And now, the script has been flipped. The Cardinals are not as good as they once were, and the Rams most certainly are good, and that’s how you end up with results like Sunday. The Cardinals were better than London. It wasn’t 33-0, even though it started like it might have been. But 16 points – which is what the Cards finished with – isn’t enough to win most games and it definitely isn’t enough to beat a Rams team that even on a day where they weren’t completely clicking offensively, they still put up 32.

Blaine Gabbert will remain the starting quarterback, Bruce Arians said, and that, as last week, makes sense. It was a terrible start to the game for Gabbert Sunday, with two early picks. Gabbert said he needs to look at the film on the first throw, and on the second, he said the Rams went against what they had always shown on film in that formation – usually LB Alec Ogletree rushed and didn’t drop – and so Gabbert didn’t expect him there.

Gabbert settled down, and you can see the difference a running game makes. True for any QB, I suppose. There is a lot to take it. Gabbert now has thrown five interceptions in three games. The Cardinals will have to continue to evaluate where he might be as a QB candidate for 2018.

That’s what a lot of this must be. Arians talked about the young players Sunday, making plays and, understandably, making some mistakes. Evaluations are ongoing for everyone with four games left.

— There is no way to say how impressive it was to see Kerwynn Williams play the way he did, knowing his has broken ribs. I loved his response when he was asked if he was experiencing pain during the game: “I feel like everybody is in pain,” Williams said, and it just felt like the opening lyric of a very personal song rather than a postgame quote. It would’ve been nice to get him to 100 yards, given that he had 86 at halftime. All that guy does is produce whenever he is thrust into the lineup.

— With a decent day next week, Larry Fitzgerald is going to surpass Randy Moss for third-place all-time in NFL receiving yards. He needs 26 yards to do so.

— Back and forth with the Cardinals linebackers on picks. Karlos Dansby dropped one he should’ve had, and it cost the Cards at least three points, since the Rams went on to kick a field goal. “We didn’t make the plays that we needed to make, me included,” Dansby said. “I’ve got to make that play. That changed the whole dynamic of the game.”

Then there was the athletic pick by linebacker Kareem Martin, which short-circuited a Rams drive (although Gabbert threw a pick-six a couple of plays later.) “We work on screen drills a lot,” Martin said. “I pretty much just pressed off him to attempt to go pursue. By the time I was about to turn around, I see the ball.”

— There was some wondering how the Rams could go through the long snapper Justin Drescher for the blocked field goal. The rules don’t say you cannot hit the long snapper. You cannot line up over him when the snap happens. As long as you do not, and then go against him after the ball is snapped, contact with the long snapper is legal.

— For the most part, I thought the Cards did a good job on Todd Gurley when Gurley ran the football. The problem was, and this is what defenses must deal with against David Johnson, is that Gurley was so dangerous catching the ball. He had 84 yards receiving (compared to 74 rushing).

— Arians noted the young players. Ricky Seals-Jones dropped one, but he had a couple of nice catches and would’ve had a TD on a good throw from Gabbert on one play. Budda Baker continues to be all over the field, getting eight more tackles defensively (and maybe should’ve had a fumble recovery on the opening kickoff, if there had been Sunday Night Football-type cameras.)

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27 Responses to “Rams aftermath”

  1. By NJAzCardsFan on Dec 3, 2017 | Reply

    The Cards are a JV team compared to the Rams….. Another UGLY game….
    Gabbert would make a good “2nd team” QB, he is not a starter in the NFL at this point. I really hope the Cards can beat the Giants when they play them in a couple of weeks…..
    The Cards really need help on Special Teams…

  2. By DZ on Dec 3, 2017 | Reply

    What the Hell, Cards finally take what the Rams give them AND Arians exploits it, for one drive. Huge holes in the left side of the line.
    Worked well enough for a well played drive and score and then that’s it..
    Didn’t go there since. Watch the replay after that drive. We continue to run, only it’s to the right side. Those huge holes are till opening on the left side of the ball and we are not even looking there.. WTF (Why The Failure) to continue to exploit their weakness.
    Guess if Bruce can’t throw it every freaking down, its not worth WINNING.

  3. By Coach K on Dec 3, 2017 | Reply

    Early mistakes put Cards in bad spot early.

    Gabbert bounced back after bad start and kept his poise. He’s growing.

    Goff had better offensive line and had almost no pressure.

    Good game for three quarters.

  4. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Dec 3, 2017 | Reply

    I’d certainly take Baker Mayfield if here’s there for the Cards in the second round. We’ll probably be drafting too high to pick him in the first with a high pick, but you never know. I just love the way he competes. You know he loves the game. He performs in the big games. He’s very mobile. Nothing intimidates him. When’s the last time we’ve had a QB like that? I know, but Drew Brees was “too small” too.

  5. By GABE MARTINEZ on Dec 3, 2017 | Reply

    Realise the younger teams are running the NFL and the Cards are the oldest team in the league today was a good example the rams were faster and they never give up on plays and are defense is not consistent there’s nothing wrong with the game today there are a damn good team give credit to credits to

  6. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Dec 3, 2017 | Reply

    Projected 2018 draft order after today’s games. We need a stud O lineman with the first pick, IMO (as long as it’s not a guard).

    1. Cleveland Browns (0-12)
    2. San Francisco 49ers (2-10)
    3. New York Giants (2-10)
    4. Indianapolis Colts (3-9)
    5. Chicago Bears (3-9)
    6. Denver Broncos (3-9)
    7. New York Jets (5-7)
    8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-8)
    9. Arizona Cardinals (5-7)
    10. Cleveland Browns (via Houston Texans, 4-8)

  7. By D on Dec 3, 2017 | Reply

    Not surprised- the Rams are a healthier team, have more talent and are better coached than AZ. Cards are currently entrenched as a third place team in the division and may take a few seasons to improve. (Need at least two successful drafts two get more talent, get younger and to turn the roster, but it has to start with finding a franchise QB. )

    I’ll give Kerwin big cred to run that hard and well with cracked ribs. He, the great Larry Fitz, the pass rush of C. Jones and the play of J. Byrnes the positives of that game. I’ll throw in the play of Seals Jones too.

    More bad Special teams, more bad BA challenges, more poor pass coverage by Honey Badger and Buddha on crossing patterns and bad QB play, 5 picks in 3 games is not franchise QB material if you have the starting experience as Gabbert. He isn’t a rookie or second year QB.
    AZ is 9th in the draft order tonight, probably fall to 10 tomorrow night once Cincy loses with 4 games to go. If Keim is the GM by the next spring draft, he better take a QB in round 1 because the fan base is beyond tired of has been QBs in the desert. I don’t see sell outs next year if status quo is the plan in 2018.

  8. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Dec 3, 2017 | Reply

    Mike McGlinchey – OT – Notre Dame – 6’7″ – 310 lbs

  9. By Richard S on Dec 3, 2017 | Reply

    On the bright side, the younger players made some good plays. Card fans just have to be patient. It’s all cyclical with your draft place being determined by order of finish which determines how good your team is unless you’re the New England Patriots with really good receiving tight ends who seem to be at the top of the pack forever. It’ll be a few years to get back to prominence. Cards today lost the special teams battle, the field position battle, the coaching battle as well as the turnover battle. I hope I’m still alive when they win their first Superbowl. My dad gave up on the Cards and started rooting for the Rams when they moved away from St. Louis who finally won it all the year after he died.

  10. By JQ on Dec 3, 2017 | Reply

    God we SUCK

  11. By Vinny on Dec 3, 2017 | Reply

    Players who, based on their performance, are way overpaid:
    1.) Jermaine “stone-hands” Gresham
    2.) Honey Pot
    3.) All receivers not named Larry Fitzgerald
    4.) All offensive linemen (and I do mean ‘offensive’)
    5.) Interior defensive linemen
    6.) Robert Keim-diche

  12. By CARDS62 on Dec 3, 2017 | Reply

    I am a Gabbert fan, but he put us in a huge hole this game and that he can not do. I agree he has thrown 5 picks, but the first two were in desperation come back mode and please remember he has faced tough defenses in all 3 games and he has 1 more next week against the Titans. I did like the way Gabbert bounced back and the offense came back. The running game in the first half was a very nice surprise to me with no AP.

    It will be interesting to see if Gabbert will play better against the Redskins and Giants after facing all of these tough defenses. My question for all Cardinal Fans is would you try to sign Gabbert after the Tennessee game to an extension if he plays okay or will you wait until later in the season or until the season is over?
    If its me I have seen enough of him and Palmer and the rest of our team to know to go with Gabbert next season and wait on Palmer to retire or release Palmer, and draft a QB in round 1. Let Gabbert know he will be the starter next year and it will be his job to lose, and that we are drafting a QB in first round.
    Ottis Anderson like you Baker is the best QB I have seen play this year, and the great news is we will get to see him play hopefully two more games against great defenses. If Baker plays well I hope we take him with our first round selection. These 2 games will tell us a lot as they do not play defense in Big 12 Conference, and Baker did go into OSU and easily beat the Buckeyes.

    We went to the tightends again which is nice to see, but we just have to get more out of our WRs not named Fitz. Gresham dropped one as did Seals, and Nichols had one called back on a penalty.

    Even with Gabbert playing poorly to start and our line not protecting him I think we would have won this game or lost by 3 points or less if we had the Rams special teams & coach and they had ours. I have been waiting for this situation to be addressed for years. Just hoping it is finally resolved this off season so we do not immediately start 2018 at a disadvantage.

    Go Cards!

  13. By Lifetime Fan on Dec 4, 2017 | Reply

    Not to be the broken record here. but AMOS FREAKIN JONES. It is crazy to me that this guy still has a job. And the sad part is that our teams the last couple of years could have been decent but just get destroyed in the special teams phase. Arians is gonna be sitting in retirement wondering why he let his friendship with Amos ruin the chances of good teams and players like Larry and Carson to finish on a high note.

  14. By Tradersbrain on Dec 4, 2017 | Reply

    “There is no way to say how impressive it was to see Kerwynn Williams play the way he did” I agree. Total props and respect to KW.

  15. By jeffcardinalfan on Dec 4, 2017 | Reply

    i was wondering when the gabbert bashing would start…sure he threw 2 pics-one bad throw and one great defensive play. if Dansby makes the pic on the tipped ball the games dynamic changes. cards had to be perfect to win this game and thay weren’t. 2 BLOCKED KICKS??!! gabbert is 1-2…played well enough for cards to win Houston game…next 2 against 2 very very good defenses-clear diff between jags and rams was qb play…rams are better than cards across the board-you cant place all the blame on gabbert…Watkins has done little this year but pp gives up a td. bottom line of this season is that injuries derailed cards again-yes there are some other issues but its not reasonable to expect 3rd stringers to win against most nfl teams. palmer, dj, golden, iupati, deone-what nfl team would not be better with those guys healthy? take the equivalent starters from any team in the league and they would struggle!

  16. By jeffcardinalfan on Dec 4, 2017 | Reply

    forgot pp’s letting punt hit the ground which ended up with cards giving rams fantastic field position

  17. By Hammy on Dec 4, 2017 | Reply

    I saw some really good things from a few players on our team. Larry, Kerwynn, Budda, Jones, and I thought our DB’s did a decent job today. Besides the couple of turnovers by Gabbert. I really thought we played hard but just did not make enough plays as usual. This would have been a good victory following a tough Jags team who we managed to squeak by. I liked how Blaine came back after those turnovers but again towards the end of the game our OLine did not give him enough time to see the field with those sacks towards the end of the game. Really disappointing to see the fans exit the game at the beginning of the 4th quarter. We need to get younger, faster, and not so predictable in our play calling. Looking forward to seeing how we respond for the rest of the year. Go Cards!

  18. By joe holst on Dec 4, 2017 | Reply

    as special teams goes so do the Cardinals, please replace Amos Jones.

  19. By mitchaz on Dec 4, 2017 | Reply

    * Did Chris Myers really say that Steve Keim wanted to hire Sean McVay before the Rams got to him? Does anyone know anything about that? Would Keim have sacked BA to appoint McVay as HC? Was Keim actually thinking he could bring in McVay an an assistant head coach to BA? Anyone have info on this?

    * With the Cardinals sinking this quickly in the NFC West, can they afford another year of BA and his “the coaches are brilliant” but the “players didn’t execute” spin? I think the environment in the organization right now is toxic and it has to change asap.

    * I have to tip my cap to the Rams in hiring McVay…and in McVay for surrounding himself with the best possible coaching staff. He seems so refreshingly humble and quick to offer credit to everyone around him. Still can’t believe the Cardinals showed no interest in hiring Wade Phillips when he was available the year Todd Bowles left and this year. I also admire the way John Fassel wanted to stay on as the Rams’ STC having served as an interim HC and being bypassed for HC job for McVay who was a senior in high school when Fassel began his NFL coaching career. Again, the humbleness on Fassel’s part here is impressive.

    * I was trying so hard to wrap my head around BA staying on for another year and trying to find significance in subtle changes he seems to be making—and yet—to hear his press conference last night, it became 100% clear (at least to me) for the final time that BA is incorrigible. Like someone said on the board yesterday (CardLogic), it almost seems like BA is asking to be fired so he can collect his final year’s pay at home in Georgia. Does anyone think he is a lame duck this year and he already knows it? He sure is acting like it. His emotionless, matter-of-fact, redundant, put the blame on the players’ lack of execution press conference last night looked like one of those friendly concession speeches from a candidate who badly lost his election.

    * I have also been trying so hard to find reasons to believe Blaine Gabbert could be a good 1-2 year bridge to the QBOF, and it’s been difficult to ignore all the negativity surrounding him and his past failures (which in some ways made me want to pull for him more), and yet I wonder if he has the temperament to be a good, gritty leader. He could have endeared all his teammates, coaches and the fans had he stayed on his feet on his bolt from the pocket and made every effort to advance the ball past the sticks—but it seems like his slide 3 yards short of the sticks is a symbol of why he consistently comes up short of expectations. His physical talents are obvious. Can he play with more grit and determination? I am questioning that right now, but want to see how the next game versus Tennessee goes.

    * Having gone back to watch tape of Gabbert, one thing I noticed is that for a scrambling QB who is often on the move, he needs significant work on his passing technique when he is on the run. This is one thing he needs to spend the off-season improving, because if he can get his feet and timing right, he could be very difficult to defend.

    * Anyone watch Jimmy Garoppolo in his first start yesterday? He was impressive, to say the least. Very poised and patient and highly accurate. It still boggles the mind to think that Steve Keim never made a play for him and all it took was a 2nd round pick.

    * Unless the Cardinals sign a free agent QB or make a trade for a QB, one who could be the starter for the next 5-7 years…the Cardinals HAVE to come away from the 2018 NFL Draft with one of the top 6 QBs: Darnold, Rosen, Jackson, Mayfield, Allen or Rudolph. They cannot afford to wait any longer. It’s been far too long.

    * Watching Russell Wilson run around and make plays last night, did any of you find yourself hoping the Cardinals will draft Jackson or Mayfield? I certainly did. Having a gritty, mobile, highly competitive QB who extends plays the way Wilson does is like getting 2-3 shots a possession in an NBA game. Not only does a QB like that give you hope on every play, he gives you a sense that he can overcome any flaws in the offensive line.

    * What do you think the Cardinals are going to do about Tyrann Mathieu and his contract…with the $5M roster bonus due this year and upcoming salaries in the $14M range? It would seem quite clear that the Cardinals need to acquire or draft a tall safety who can cover TEs, as Budda Baker and the Honey Badger are too small to do on a regular basis.

    * Do you think that Michael Bidwill and Steve Keim already have a plan in place for next year with regard to a coaching change? I’ve been going back and forth on that one…but when i saw their faces in the locker room after the win over the Jaguars it matched the look of concern on their faces up in their booth last night. They do not look like happy campers. I think MB is going to surprise us. I hope he does. Do you think he will?

  20. By Big Ken on Dec 4, 2017 | Reply

    I agree with Coach K on Gabbert. Lets at least wait to the end of the season to evaluate him.

  21. By ChrisG on Dec 4, 2017 | Reply

    If BA doesn’t see the overwhelming difference between having a great special teams coach vs. what he is keeping around then, as much as I like BA, he is just too stubborn and needs to go along with the rest of his staff.

  22. By El Gallo on Dec 4, 2017 | Reply

    – Hard to watch the beginning of the game unfold in the manner in which it did yesterday. Had to take time to think about it all. Good to see the team not give in immediately after that horrid 1st Qtr of subpar play but it wasn’t sustained, not nearly enough. Midway in the 4th Qtr it felt as if the team relinquished the game, leaving core fans let down.
    – President Michael Bidwill, what will you do now Sir? Your fan base has heard SK’s talk of unacceptable play and outcomes time and time again.. What tangible proof has he shown, especially concerning ST play, same players dropping balls, defense missing assignments, opponents receivers continually wide open, head scratching multi year contracts to underperforming players? We appreciate the players efforts but something has to change.
    – Granted, last week the team won a close game, hats off. Fans like myself just question why our team can’t stack wins off good teams? We want our team to be at that level, injuries aside, to be proud to say that’s our team, to play at Fitzgeralds pace and passion but we are not unfortunately. I do admire and appreciate our core players.

    — Respectfully, Long time fan here.

  23. By Coach K on Dec 4, 2017 | Reply

    Ottis Anderson Fan

    Baker Mayfield will be the first QB taken in the draft.

    Cardinals will have to make a deal to move up to get him, or he
    will be gone. Everyone comparing him now to Russell Wilson.

    Mayfield takes Cardinals to Superbowl. Problem is, we may not be
    able to get him unless Cleveland acts like Cleveland does and takes

  24. By Kevin S Mesa on Dec 4, 2017 | Reply

    My take on this weekend:

    I think we can end the QB-of-the-future discussion on Gabbert. He wasn’t horrible, but this is already his 7th year. Putting us in a huge hole with those early INT’s, and just overall underwhelming performance. 18 for 32 for 221 yards, but that’s a little misleading because he was 5-5 for 48 yards on the final (meaningless) drive when he was just dumping the ball over the middle and padding stats — nice to see Fitz rack up four more catches there, but it was kinda pointless. Take that 5-5 away and Gabbert was 13-27 for 173 yards. Not good. He’s a backup — and he’d be a good one — but let’s not kid ourselves about him being QB of the future.

    Oh, and by the way, why is it that we dump the ball over the middle when down by 16 points with 1:55 to go, but when we’re still in the game, we insist on throwing deep passes to guys who aren’t open.

    We found a weakness in the Rams — running on the left side was working. And after exploiting it to perfection on one drive, we immediately… stopped doing it. The one thing I’ll say about that, though, is — imagine if instead of Kerwyn Williams with bruised ribs, the runner taking advantage of those holes was David Johnson. We might have given him the ball 35 times.

    The defense actually played pretty well, considering the Rams are one of the most potent offenses and we gifted them points with the early turnovers.

    Have we had ANY good returns this year, on a punt or a kickoff? I can’t remember one. Every game, it seems, I look at the stats and the other team has 4-5 times the punt return yards that we do. And of course we had the punt that not only did we not return, but Peterson let it bounce and it rolled for a net punt of 70 yards, no return. Now add in blocked PAT and blocked FG… special teams remains decidedly un-special.

    Still not convinced Fitz will actually come back to play another year, but the 2018 Cardinals are going to need to be a run-first team, considering no one else can reliably catch the ball.

  25. By JTDG on Dec 4, 2017 | Reply



    If BA retired last year due to health concerns, McVay was on the list of guys Keim wanted.

    BA returned and the rest is history. McVay is very creative on offense and was smart enough to let Wade Phillips do his thing on defense.

  26. By John S. on Dec 4, 2017 | Reply

    Gabbert is not the guy… he’s no rookie, but often plays like one, more so if under any pressure. So he has legs…, but everybody is dreaming if they think he’s going to improve, carry the team forward, the future, blah, blah, blah…. half decent back-up, but that’s it.

  27. By Scott H on Dec 4, 2017 | Reply

    Well, I don’t know that we suck. We are tremendously diminished by injuries. We are suffering from a lack of impact from our higher draft picks in recent years. We are basically trying to play / compete as we also hold QB tryouts for next year. We are old in too many spots. In other spots, we are very young and in-experienced. Larry Fitzgerald is catching more passes than all our other WR’s combined – at the age of 34. This past off-season was really nothing but an exodus of talent from our roster. A LOT went out. VERY LITTLE came in.

    And our coordinators just ain’t very good.

    Did I miss anything?? Is that enough?

    I think we are just the cumulative result of all of the above. And the cumulative result of all of that could not possibly be any more than a 6-10, MAYBE a 7-9 team.

    We have been shuffled to the bottom half of the division and the bottom third of the NFC. Period. And it ain’t gonna get better with a Kirk Cousins or any other veteran QB that will, by his addition alone, get us back in the ring. This team is in need of a LOT of work and a LOT of right moves in the draft and FA to get back on the road to respectability. No quick fixes this time, no Kurt Warner is going to save us.

    It is time to re-build, from the ground up, period. And, frankly, I’d rather have someone other than Steve Keim at the helm to steer us on that course. Seriously. I really don’t think he has what this takes.

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