The Rams could only manage field goals and safeties as they fell in OT to the division rival Cardinals. The stat sheet will show the Rams outplayed the Cards in most aspects, out-gaining them by over 100 yards and controlling the ball for over 12 more minutes. However, they could not capitalize in their drives, resulting in 3 Josh Brown field goals in the first half, and an interception thrown by Sam Bradford. Several punts followed in the second half, with the only scoring coming on a couple of safeties in the third quarter. Still, the Rams defense kept Wells as a non factor and Fitzgerald in check for most of the game. They held a 7 point lead in the 4th quarter until QB fill-in John Skelton connected with his star receiver for a 13 yard score.
The Rams had a chance to win it in regulation, but Josh Brown could not hit a 53 yard field goal to send the away team off with a victory. After OT started, the Rams ruined another chance by having to punt on their first drive. That ultimately was the last play of the game as Patrick Peterson did not even let the defense back on the field. An electric 99 yard punt return for the rookie let the home crowd go home happy as the Cards slipped by with their second win of the season.
This game can be summed up with missed opportunities. The Rams moved the ball well in the first half but failed to reach the end zone once. The second half was a different story, leading to punts on the first 5 possessions, a turnover on downs, and the missed field goal that gave the Rams another chance to sneak out with a victory. Sam Bradford returned to action, but failed to take full advantage of a weak Cardinals secondary. He was able to air out for 255, but threw the one pick to standout rookie Peterson, and couldn’t finish drives. Brandon Lloyd clearly doesn’t mind who is throwing to him as he again led the team in targets (13) and yards (80). Yet another injury to the brittle receiving corps occurred when Greg Salas broke his leg. He left the game leading the team in catches with 7. Steven Jackson had yet another standout game, rushing for 130 yards and Chris Long added another sack, nothing surprising about those two players.
This is obviously a tough loss after such a surprising win over the Saints last week. The easier part of the season came on Sunday, but the Rams could not capitalize. The Rams will travel to Cleveland next week. The Browns have won on defense this year, but have sputtered the last few games. They have lost 4 of their last 5, but against some pretty stiff competition. The Browns defense actually leads in passing. They give up just 165 yards passing a game, so look for a heavy dose of Steven Jackson; The Browns rush defense is 30th in the league. Another good sign for the Rams is that both Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty are already ruled out. Which means Chris Ogbonnaya is your default starter despite very underwhelming performance. I expect a close fought defensive battle, similar to last week. I wouldn’t be surprised if the team that can score a TD will win this game.