Week 5: Arizona Cardinals At St. Louis Rams

Oakland Raiders v Arizona Cardinals
St. Louis Rams v New York Giants
Winner The Cardinals are the surprise team in the NFL through the first four weeks and Kevin Kolb leading them seems to be a work of fiction. A disaster prior to this season, Kolb is at his best when the game is on the line in the fourth quarter. He will be tested with this road game.
Winner The Rams are a much more competitive team at home than they are on the road. Sam Bradford is not the most gifted quarterback, but he is smart and doesn’t try to play the role of hero very often. He takes what the defense will give him and he finds weaknesses and exploits them.
Winner The Cardinals want to help Kolb out by giving him a running game. Ryan Williams runs hard, but he did little against the Dolphins. Larry Fitzgerald will be the focus of the passing attack but the Cardinals have another big play receiver in Andre Roberts who can take advantage of the double-team that Fitzgerald sees on most passing plays.
The Rams have not been successful when they don’t get a running game. That means Steven Jackson. He was solid in the win over the Seahawks even if he did not have a huge statistical game. A little bit of a run allows Danny Amendola to use his quickness to ignite the passing game.
Winner The Cardinals have been playing solid football dating back to the last six games of last season. That’s largely due to the aggressiveness of the defense. The most interesting part is that the Cardinals have plenty of talent led by Calais Campbell and Adrian Wilson, and now the unit is developing confidence in itself that it never had before.
The Rams are all about schemes and aggressiveness, because they simply don’t have the talent of many of the better defenses in the league. While Chris Long is a star on the defensive line, assistant head coach Dave McGinnis and head coach Jeff Fisher are basically getting it done with smoke and mirrors. This unit has decent quickness, but few other attributes.
Special Teams
Winner The Cardinals are fairly underrated when it comes to special teams. Jay Feely kicked the game-winning field goal in overtime against the Dolphins, and he simply does not miss. Punter Dave Zastudil regularly kicks the Cardinals out of trouble.
Winner The Rams redid their special teams in the offseason and that was one of the best moves they have made. Rookie placekicker Greg Zuerlein appears to be a real monster. He made 4-of-4 FG attempts against the Seahawks, including a team-record 60-yarder and a 58-yarder.

The Winner Is

Oakland Raiders v Arizona Cardinals
Winner Cardinals
4 out of 4

The Cardinals are an interesting team. There is little thought that they are one of the NFL’s great teams, but they are undefeated and they believe in themselves. Ken Whisenhunt is doing one of the great coaching jobs of the year. Still, the Rams play well at home and this game will be a challenge for the Cardinals.


  1. PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 23: Sam Bradford #8 of the Minnesota Vikings throws a pass in the first quarter against Brandon Graham #55 of the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on October 23, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Vikings 21-10. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) GREENBAY, WI - OCTOBER 20: Running back Jordan Howard #24 of the Chicago Bears is tackled by nose tackle Kenny Clark #97 and cornerback Demetri Goodson #39 of the Green Bay Packers in the second quarter at Lambeau Field on October 20, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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  2. PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 23: Quarterback Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles avoids Everson Griffen #97 of the Minnesota Vikings as he runs for a first down during the second quarter of a game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 23, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 16: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys looks to pass against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter at Lambeau Field on October 16, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Green Bay Packers 30-16.  (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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  3. GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 23:  Running back David Johnson #31 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes the football during the NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals and Seahawks tied 6-6.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 16: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers scrambles out of the pocked during the first half of a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 16, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
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