Three days following their Thanksgiving feast, the Rams head west to annihilate another bird, the Cardinals.
Lindley is a 6th round rookie who completed 9-of-20 passes for 64 yards against the Falcons last week. Kevin Kolb is still feeling the effects of his 9-sack loss against the Rams in Week 5, and John Skelton can’t hit the broad side of a barn.
The Cardinals duo of Lindley and Skelton combined to post a Total QB rating of 3.7 in Sunday’s loss to the Falcons. It was the 10th time that the Cardinals have had a single-game QBR under 10 since Kurt Warner retired in 2009, most in the NFL over that span.
The QB debacle is a mysterious one for Coach Whiz, who was hired based on his offensive knowledge with the Steelers organization. He drafted Matt Leinart, who started until a Ram defender blew out his collarbone, and a star was reborn with Kurt Warner. Since Warner’s retirement, they’ve tried “I study my ass off” Derek Anderson, then BYU’s finest Max Hall, and onto Kolb, Skelton, and now Lindley. AZ ranks 31st overall offensively, and 30th in passing.
If the Rams defense can’t get a pick off Lindley…
Since the Thursday night sack fest, Arizona is 0-6, and St. Louis is 0-4-1.
Beanie Wells’ return (turf toe) should help the struggling offense.
Bringing the heat. The Rams sent five or more pass rushers on 33.9 percent of Kevin Kolb’s dropbacks (20 of 59). He was sacked nine times and forced to throw under duress another 12 times. With Lindley, the Rams should turn it up even more.
Defensively, the Cardinals are playing well under DC Ray Horton. The unit forced SIX turnovers last week, but still lost. Calais Campbell and Darnell Dockett anchor the defensive line. CB Patrick Peterson is always a threat despite a slight drop off in 2012, and LB Daryl Washington stuffs the run and might be the best blitzer at his position.
So long, captain. The 33-year old Adrian Wilson was demoted by Coach Whiz. James Sanders and Rashad Johnson will roam the secondary for AZ.
Keys To Victory
1. Commit to running the football. The Rams have shown they can effectively run the football, but scoring is a whole different story. Just three rushing scores all season. It seems like an eternity since Steven Jackson broke one.
2. Bradford rebounds from a miserable Jets game. One thing the Jets did really well was take away underneath routes, or Bradford’s “escape” routes. The Jets lined up with 5 or more defensive backs which led to confusion. But it didn’t faze Tom Brady last night, who saw this type of coverage on 86% of all snaps. Moral of the story? Bradford ain’t Brady.
3. Someone aside from Danny Amendola steps up. Amendola has missed 18 games since 2011, and despite his productivity, the Rams need more separation as a unit in general. Amendola has not practiced all week, and had a walking boot on after the Jets game.
4. 1st quarter interception. The defense has this growing chip reminding them of their turnover deficiency. It all started on that Thursday night win against Arizona six weeks ago. The defensive unit will undoubtedly have their chances.
5. The last time the Rams faced Beanie Wells, things got ugly. Wells rushed for a franchise-record 228 yards. Backup Larrod Stephens-Howling had 127-yards last week.
Rams (+1.5) @ Arizona
Prediction Rams 20 Arizona 13