Five to Watch: Cardinals @ St. Louis Rams

The Arizona Cardinals look to re-establish a few things that were lacking when they lost to the Panthers. The next three games are ever so important for the team, but crucial for a few individuals as well. AZRedReport.com's Jason Harris takes a look at five players who better bring their A-game in week nine.

1. RB Edgerrin James

The Cardinals ran the ball 14 times in last weeks lost to the Carolina Panthers. It's obvious that the Cardinals aren't afraid to abandon the run when the going gets tough, but head coach Ken Whisenhunt knows the Cardinals have to be able to run the ball effectively if they want to win games. Look for that number to go way up as the Cardinals try to re-establish their rushing attack against the league's twenty-ninth ranked run defense. In the last two games James has 16 carries for 46 yards and no touchdowns. Continued lack of production will have James on the sidelines, watching someone else get his touches.

2. RB Tim Hightower

The running back most likely to replace James, is rookie backup Hightower. Hightower has been impressive as a rookie and his nose for the end zone shows up what seems like every week. In seven games, Hightower has six touchdowns on 49 carries. His power and quickness make him a threat on every play. When given the chance, Hightower's running energizes the Cardinals. He has home run threat ability. Look for the Cardinals to tap into that more if the run game doesn't start producing.

3. TE Jerame Tuman

Part of the rushing struggle is thanks in part to the injured tight end core. With Leonard Pope most likely missing a second straight game with a bad ankle and Ben Patrick out for his third with an injured knee, Jerame Tuman will have to pick up the slack. Tuman has appeared in two games this season. Last week against the Carolina Panthers, Tuman pulled in 3 catches for 41 yards.

4. WR Steve Breaston

Normally a two tight end team, the Cardinals will compensate for the injuries at tight end this week with more three and four wide receiver sets. It was never a secret that wide outs Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin were going to have big years but coming into training camp Steve Breaston was a big question mark. The question, could he be consistent and make plays in the NFL? The answer, yes.

In his last four games Breaston has 33 catches for 392 yards, including two 100 yard receiving games, and a touchdown. Boldin's return to the starting line-up last week did not slow Breaston's production, as he pulled in nine catches for 91 yards, in the third recover spot.

5. MLB Karlos Dansby

St. Louis star running back, Steven Jackson is listed as questionable for week nine. The St. Louis offense wont be the same if Jackson isn't on the field. If he can't go look for Dansby to have a field day rushing the passer. Dansby lead the team in tackles and has sacked the quarterback three times this season. He also recorded his first forced fumble of the season. No Jackson should give Dansby more freedom to blitz or drop into coverage to lay some big hits. Dansby is still looking for his first interception of the year.


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