Rams Don’t Have the Firepower to Hang with Cards, Lose 34-10

The Rams lost their 7th straight game in week 14 at the University of Phoenix Stadium against the Arizona Cardinals, which enabled the Arizona Cardinals to clinch the NFC West and their first division title since their move to Arizona.  The Rams followed their 2008 script to the T and got down early as the Cardinals scored two quick touchdowns on their first two drives.  The Rams were unable to offer much offense against the Cardinals mediocre defense, but were finally able to get into the endzone.

The Rams struggled to contain the Cardinals vaunted passing game as the Rams defense allowed Breaston, Fitzgerald and Boldin to get whatever they wanted in the Rams secondary.  Corey Chavous was burned by Breaston on a long pass from Kurt Warner when it looked like Chavous should have had Breaston covered.  Chavous was replaced by Todd Johnson sporadically in the game and Johnson had a few good plays in run support.  Linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa had a good game roaming the field and led the team in tackles.  The lone bright spot for the Rams defense came in the person of previously mentioned Todd Johnson and cornerback Ron Bartell.  Todd Johnson came on a blitz and forced Kurt Warner out of the pocket.  Warner threw across to the middle of the field and Bartell made the interception and ran to the 5 yard line.  That return led to the only bright spot for the offense.  Funny how that works…

Marc Bulger and the Rams offense converted on third and goal with a quick pass to Steven Jackson for their first touchdown in 3 games.  Steven Jackson’s return helped the Rams offense, but as Jackson goes, so goes the Rams offense.  When he was good, the Rams were able to move the ball down the field, however, Jackson lost two fumbles to stop two drives in the third quarter suddenly.  Bulger was a little bit sharper in this game, but he still misfired on too many throws to his young wide receivers.  Additionally, the Rams offensive line struggled.  They were able to help Steven Jackson get 64 yards, but about half of his yards came on one long run.  High-priced free agent Jacob Bell got beat badly on a 3rd and 1.  Adam Golberg was starting at right tackle in place of Alex Barron, but was replaced by Barron during the game.  

The Cardinals added insult to injury in garbage time as Rodgers-Cromartie intercepted a Marc Bulger pass at the goalline and took the ball 100 yards in the other direction for a touchdown.

The Rams continue their struggles on both sides of the ball and continue to leave their good three game stretch even farther in the rear-view mirror.  Haslett’s defense has continually underachieved and struggled.  He has not been able to get his team ready to play in the past six weeks.  The Rams have been continually under-prepared and over-matched, which does not reflect well on the coaching staff.  The Rams have two home games coming up against divisional rivals Seattle and San Francisco.  If the Rams are going to win any of the last three games and attempt to save Jim Haslett’s (interim) job, they will have to play better against these two familiar foes.


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