The Arizona Cardinals are no longer among the ranks of the undefeated.
Arizona’s offense couldn’t do much of anything on Thursday night in St. Louis, stalling repeatedly on the ground and through the air as the Rams won 17-3. Their first loss of the season drops the Cardinals to 4-1, while the Rams improve to 3-2, already topping their win total from their 2-14 season in 2011 and having their first winning record at any point during any season since Week Eight of 2006.
The Rams’ pass rush was ferocious, pressuring Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb all night, sacking him nine times and keeping him from ever getting comfortable in the pocket. Although Kolb’s numbers — 28-of-50 for 289 yards, with no interceptions — don’t look terrible, he couldn’t do much of anything except dump off short passes.
On offense, the Rams struggled mightily after their best receiver, Danny Amendola, went down with a broken collarbone. But with their defense dominating the Rams didn’t need much, and when Rams quarterback Sam Bradford hit Chris Givens for a 51-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, it pretty much sealed the game. Bradford completed just seven of his 21 passes, but three of those completions were a 44-yard bomb to Amendola, a seven-yard touchdown to Lance Kendricks and that 51-yard touchdown to Givens. That turned out to be all the Rams needed from their quarterback.
After surprising everyone by starting 4-0, the Cardinals looked more like the team everyone expected them to be on Thursday night. The Cardinals may still turn out to be a good team, but they’re not going to win many games putting three points on the board.