MMQB: Cardinals 34, Rams 10

Arizona's defense played with notable pizazz in Sunday's 34-10 win over the Rams. Darnell Dockett, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and others defended their home field. In turn, they won the division. Here is what worked and what didn't from week 14.

What Worked

--The Pittsburgh Steelers qualities that are still in Ken Whisenhunt took over on Sunday in Arizona. His defense won the ball game, and he used a bit of trickery when he placed free safety Antrel Rolle in as a receiver, a move that warranted the Cardinals 9 yards.

Whisenhunt pulled a similar move in week one against the San Francisco 49ers when rookie cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was used in the same way. In week 14, Rodgers-Cromartie took care of the job he was drafted for. He put the icing on an already solid performance (five tackles) when he returned an interception for a touchdown. His speed was undeniable as he ran the Cardinals into the playoffs.

After Sunday night, the Steelers and Whisenhunt were left smiling. The Steelers rooted a come from behind win over the Dallas Cowboys when Deshea Townsend pocketed a 25-yard interception return for the win.

--Gerald Hayes led the Cardinals defensive efforts with 11 total tackles, two forced fumbles on running back Steven Jackson and a shared sack. Hayes halted Jackson's production who was the Rams biggest threat.

WR Torry Holt

In the air, wide receiver Torry Holt was relatively quiet with 61 yards. Holt's total was 1-yard less than Anquan Boldin's production, 62 yards, and Boldin was third on the team in yards. Steve Breaston led the way (90), and Larry Fitzgerald trailed the second year receiver with 73.

Tight end Stephen Spach was worked into the rotation, where typically Jerheme Urban would see looks. Spach earned 15 yards on two receptions.

--Veteran running back Edgerrin James received a pair of back-to-back carries, with three on the night. His 11-yard total is his highest production in six weeks. James' 17 yards he gained in week eight was his last start before losing his starting role to Tim Hightower when the Cardinals faced St. Louis for the first time in week nine. A 109-yard showing in St. Louis cemented the Cardinals decision and Hightower has started ever since. J.J. Arrington has served as Hightower's change of pace back. Arrington tallied 22 yards on Sunday.

What Didn't Work

--Let's just say the Cardinals are lucky that most people just remember who wins a game. Every drive of the second half, resulted in a punt. Arizona should be thankful for its defense that posted two touchdowns and kept St. Louis from scoring just one touchdown and one field goal on the night.

--The Cardinals offense lost their momentum when the Rams were running the ball pretty well before the end of the half. When it was the Cardinals turn to gain some ground, Arrington was brought to the ground thanks to a collapse of the offensive line. The play was good for a loss of 4 yards.

--Following intermission, Kurt Warner was dropped like a potato sack by Leonard Little, which snapped a six-game no-sack streak for Little. Warner was looking for a second consecutive match without a sack, but Little put the notion to rest.

CardinalsSource Top Stories