Friday, October 5, 2012

NFL WEEK 5 - THURSDAY NIGHT T &R

ARIZONA @ ST. LOUIS

The Dolphins exposed it. The Rams simply ran right past it. Only a week after Arizona QB Kevin Kolb took eight sacks and multiple other hits against a tough Miami pass rush, the St. Louis Rams did them one better, mauling the Arizona offensive line while pulling Kolb to the carpet nine times, thoroughly stomping out Arizona's undefeated season. When Kolb did have time, which was rare, he had to be perfect and he wasn't. The biggest play that comes to mind was Kolb's first half miss to Andre Roberts who streaked right by his man coverage and was free for a touchdown. Kevin Kolb went 28-of-50, which should tell you plenty of things. First, the Arizona offensive line is in shambles because for Kolb to have to attempt 50 passes in any game says the Cardinals couldn't run. Ryan Williams spent most of the game rushing for negative yardage though he ended up with a line of 14 carries for 33 yards. Second, even with his occasional indecisiveness alongside his lack of time, Kolb's show his mettle.. He stood in the pocket time and again and got clobbered, and still didn't

No longer is Kolb's toughness in question

turn over the football.  Third, the Arizona line has more problems than simply the loss of Tackle Levi Brown. It looked like D'Anthony Batiste had never played tackle before at all, and Adam Snyder's name was constantly called on missed assignments. Lastly, and probably even more a factor than it should be, Thursday night NFL games are an issue.  Often they are going to supply fans with versions of their teams you wish you never saw. The St. Louis defense under the design of Gregg Williams and guidance of Jeff Fisher are improved, no doubt. Have they improved so much to compare them to the Doomsday Defense and Steel Curtain, the ghosts of which possessed them at every turn last night? No, not quite. Even after losing safety Quintin Mikell to what almost certainly was a concussion, the Rams defense simply prevented Kolb from throwing deep by never giving him more than a second or two to look downfield. The experts predicted the Rams upset, but I don't buy the reasoning that was given: that it was a divisional game and the Cardinals were on the road. That would hold water if the Cardinals hadn't played evenly with the Patriots at Gillette. This was a team the tore apart the Philadelphia Eagles. Sure, traveling is tough, but four full days between football games is more likely the culprit in this case. The Cardinals line still has implications of being the broken track that derails a promising Arizona season. It also could destroy the fantasy numbers of many owners who invested in Ryan Williams, Andre Roberts and Larry Fitzgerald. One thing is for certain, after last night's showing, Chris 'Beanie' Wells looks to be less responsible for his atrocious numbers than he was before. The Cardinals now have 10 full days until their next kickoff when they host the Buffalo Bills in the late game of October 14. That game will be more telling.