TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 5: Arizona Cardinals At St. Louis Rams

Cardinals
Rams
Oakland Raiders v Arizona Cardinals
St. Louis Rams v New York Giants
Quarterback
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.
Offense
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.
Defense
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.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Arizona Cardinals At San Francisco 49ers

    It’s a good thing the Cardinals have their playoff berth locked up, because the offense has lost its drive after losing quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton to injuries.

  2. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Oakland Raiders At Denver Broncos

    The Raiders have certainly shown some life in the second half of the season, and while it most likely won’t be enough to help Tony Sparano shed the interim label and become the full-time head coach, he does deserve credit for not letting this team give up.

  3. (Photo by Joe Skipper/Getty Images) (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: St. Louis Rams At Seattle Seahawks

    The Rams offense functioned at a much higher level in their Week 16 loss to the Giants with Shaun Hill at quarterback, and he is coming off a confidence-boosting 24-of-32 game for 290 yards with 2 TDs and 1 interception.

See All Tales of the Tape
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,692 other followers