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News » Week 14@Cardinals - 3:15pm Sunday, KTVI (Ch.2)

Week 14@Cardinals - 3:15pm Sunday, KTVI (Ch.2)

Week 14@Cardinals - 3:15pm Sunday, KTVI (Ch.2)
The breakdown

When the Rams run the ball

Other than the Chicago game, the Rams had their worst day on the ground this season the first time they played Arizona. True, the Rams got 32 yards on an uncharacteristic three scrambles by quarterback Marc Bulger. But running backs Steven Jackson and Antonio Pittman managed only 29 yards on 17 carries. Arizona's defensive front was disruptive that day, making it tough for Rams blockers to get out on linebackers. Jackson is much healthier now than he was that day, when he attempted to come back too soon from his thigh injury. An effective Jackson helps the Rams control the clock and play keep-away from the potent Big Red offense.


When the Cardinals run the ball

In the Nov. 2 meeting, Arizona continually put pressure on St. Louis cornerbacks to make plays on perimeter runs. The Rams weren't up to the challenge. Missed tackles by Fakhir Brown (twice) and Ron Bartell (once) led to runs of 12, 17 and 30 yards by Cardinals running back Tim Hightower. Over their past four contests, the Cardinals' run game has been nearly non-existent, averaging 2.5 yards per carry and 42.5 yards per game as a team. But most teams get well running the ball against the Rams, who showed some improvement last week against Miami but still are on pace to be the worst run defense in franchise history.

EDGE: Cardinals

When the Rams pass the ball

Production from the Teen Squad has slowed to a crawl the last two games. Bothered by a hip problem, Donnie Avery has one catch for 14 yards in that span. Keenan Burton, slowed by knee issues, has three catches for 38 yards. Derek Stanley, who has experienced recent ankle problems, didn't have a catch against Miami or Chicago. And in case you missed it, quarterback Marc Bulger is in a turnover funk. Bulger must avoid Arizona safeties Adrian Wilson and Antrel Rolle whenever possible. Rolle has returned a Bulger interception for a TD in each of the last two games in the series. Wilson has four sacks, two INTs and two forced fumbles in his past five games against St. Louis.

EDGE: Cardinals

When the Cardinals pass the ball

Anquan Boldin needs just 58 receiving yards Sunday to become the first player in Cardinals history with four 1,000-yard seasons. He's coming off what he called one of his worst games as a pro with two fumbles and two drops against Philadelphia. All told, Arizona receivers had eight drops against the Eagles. As always, the key to defending Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald is limiting their yards after the catch. The duo is almost unstoppable in the red zone, combining for 17 touchdown receptions inside the 20. Quarterback Kurt Warner continues to post staggering numbers but has been prone to turnovers lately, with five interceptions and two lost fumbles over the past three games.

EDGE: Cardinals

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 7, 2008

Jonathan Wade Name: Jonathan Wade
Position: CB
Age: 24
Experience: 2 years
College: Tennessee
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