TSX: Rams Report Card

The St. Louis Rams defeated the Arizona Cardinals 19-6 on Sunday afternoon to improve to 6-6 on the season.


PASSING OFFENSE: C-plus -- QB Sam Bradford had an up-and-down day, but he did convert two third-down passes on a key third-quarter touchdown drive and also ran for a first down on third down. He didn't throw a touchdown pass for the first time since the Oct. 10 loss to Detroit, and he missed wide-open TE Daniel Fells for what would have been a score when the pass was tipped because he failed to loft it enough. He also had an interception, which contributed to a 66.3 passer rating. WR Danny Amendola had just one reception, but it was a 17-yard third-down conversion that provided the spark for the third-quarter touchdown march. Bradford completed passes to eight different players.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B -- The going was tough for the second consecutive week, but RB Steven Jackson scored on a 27-yard touchdown run and had better success than the week before in Denver. Jackson had his fourth 100-yard game of the season and his fourth game with at least 25 rushing attempts.

PASS DEFENSE: A -- The Rams had two interceptions, four sacks and limited the Cardinals to a 26.2 passer rating. Arizona's three quarterbacks completed just 11 of 29 passes for 148 yards. WR Larry Fitzgerald had three receptions in the first quarter, but only one during the rest of the game.

RUSH DEFENSE: B -- In the first half, the Cardinals rushed for 91 yards on 12 attempts, including three plays that gained 20, 23 and 32 yards. However, the Rams played better run defense in the second half, as Arizona had seven rushes for 14 yards.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A -- This was one of the best all-around games for the Rams' special teams this season. Coach Steve Spagnuolo credited the special teams for helping keep the Rams in the game in the first half. Amendola averaged 26.0 yards on three kickoff returns, and he had three punt returns of 15, 28 and 39 yards for a 27.3-yard average. Donnie Jones averaged 50.0 yards per punt with a 45.5-yard net, as three returns totaled only 18 yards. Arizona KR LaRod Stephens-Howling, one of the best in the league, was held below his season average of 27.7 as he returned six kickoffs for a 24.3-yard average. He did have returns of 29, 30 and 33 yards, but his other three totaled just 54 yards. To top it off, PK Josh Brown had four field goals, including one from 52 yards.

COACHING: A -- Coach Steve Spagnuolo has to be given credit for molding a team in his vision. While winning for the second straight week on the road, the Rams won the turnover battle, made few mistakes (two penalties for 15 yards), and didn't allow a third-down conversion until the fourth quarter. The blitzes were timely on defense, and the offense even mixed in some passes in the last possession that ran the final 5:17 off the clock.

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