Originally posted on Fox Sports Midwest  |  Last updated 10/5/12
ST. LOUIS Kevin Kolb trudged toward the locker room, his gray hat flipped backward and his lips pursed, his once-unbeaten Arizona Cardinals unhinged and his offense a mangled wreck. The roar at the Edward Jones Dome was muffled behind him as he mumbled words to wide receiver Andre Roberts in a dimmed corridor. The siege that scrambled the harried quarterback was over, the results messy, and another spotless NFL record became stained. Where to start with the Cardinals' offensive implosion during a 17-3 loss to the St. Louis Rams on Thursday, a crater that grew larger each time Kolb tumbled to the turf? He was sacked nine times. Arizona's running game produced a scant 45 yards. The Cardinals, now 4-1, were held to 282 yards of total offense; they have failed to produce 300 yards in a game yet this season. "That's something that we're probably going to have to discuss in the locker room," said Arizona running back Ryan Williams, who was held to 33 yards on 14 carries. He chuckled. Perhaps more from embarrassment than humor. "Yeah, I think that's just something we're going to have to discuss in the locker room. There are a lot of things; there's not just one specific area. There are a lot of areas where we can step it up and become a better team." Protecting Kolb would be a fine place to start. Arizona stood on shaky stilts when rubbing shoulders with the NFL's tallest anyway. The Houston Texas and Atlanta Falcons, the league's other two unbeatens, combined for 250 points in the season's first month. Meanwhile, the Cardinals squeezed out 91 points while limping with the No. 31 offense (271 yards per game), No. 29 rushing offense (68 ypg) and No. 25 passing offense (203 ypg). On Thursday, Arizona's aluminum foil offensive line unraveled. Kolb ran for his life against St. Louis' skilled defensive front, looking like a rabbit against starved wolves. Twice he scraped himself off the ground without his helmet. The Cardinals' stumble ended late in the fourth quarter, fittingly, with defensive end Robert Quinn streaking around the corner and popping the ball loose from Kolb's palm near midfield.Unbeaten? Unglued. "We got ourselves in a situation where they could pin their ears back a little bit," said Kolb, who finished 28 of 50 for 289 yards. "It's not ideal. We need to get our running game going; it's not secret. That could slow them down." Both offenses brought pillows to a street fight. There was more smoke from Arizona's tire fire, but this was no "Greatest Show on Turf" rerun from St. Louis. Rams quarterback Sam Bradford was serviceable, and that's where the compliments should stop. His highlight came when he found wide receiver Chris Givens for a 51-yard touchdown along the sideline, giving St. Louis its decisive margin of victory early in the fourth quarter. But the fact that Bradford led the Rams to their first record above .500 since November 2006 is a reflection of how weak the Cardinals were. He completed 7 of 21 passes for a season-low 141 yards. He never looked confident after an impressive five-play, 69-yard touchdown drive on his first series. He never looked composed once his favorite target, wide receiver Danny Amendola, left with a collarbone injury in the second quarter. But none of it mattered, because Arizona was so much of a mess that you wondered how the Cardswere 4-0 at all. It seemed appropriate when, late in the fourth quarter, wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was tackled 3 yards short of the end zone on fourth down during the Cardinals' best drive of the second half. Not pretty. Pretty pathetic. "We've got to get better," Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "We've got to get back to the protection that we had in the first couple games. I know we can do it. We'll work on our technique. We'll work on what we're doing scheme-wise. We'll get better. We've got to work on technique and our sets. We've got to do some things to help those guys out." For Whisenhunt, the good news is that he has time. Kolb, despite being battered against a relentless rush, seems to be the best option for now. And the Cardinals proved in close victories over the Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins that they can win in harrowing ways. But as Kolb and others moved toward the locker room, they were reminded how far the offense must go. Arizona's undefeated start seemed surprising for a reason. They left humbled. They left as another team introduced to the ranks of the beaten. You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at aastleford@gmail.com.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Cult of Sport: Before there was Ezekiel Elliott, there was Eric Dickerson
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Aroldis Chapman explains why he chose to return to Yankees

Brandon Marshall: Bryce Petty used to be ‘fat and overweight’

NFL: Ezekiel Elliott investigation is still ‘active’ and ‘ongoing’

Report: Relationship between Jeff Fisher, Rams GM is ‘toxic’

Ex-Eagle: Strippers told him that Donovan McNabb hated him

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Admiral rips Kaepernick during Pearl Harbor speech

Kevin Love has great tweet about his mucous malfunction

Houston AD seemingly refutes Kiffin rumors with clever tweet

Dana White: Conor McGregor will appear on ‘Game of Thones’

Report: Aroldis Chapman signs with Yankees

Le’Veon Bell thinks Giants were trying to hurt him

Sporting life: Gifts for the fan who is always on point

Matt Ryan is now Mr. Pick-Two

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 3: News, notes and rumors

Four stinkiest games remaining on the 2016 NFL schedule

Ten young NBA players developing into stars

TailGreater: Tips for bowl travelers

Ranking the single-player modes of the 2017 sports games

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 12/7: The date we got to know Bo

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 2: News, notes and rumors

Ten most intriguing non-NY6 bowl games

Breaking down the NFL playoff picture heading into Week 14

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sporting life: Gifts for the fan who is always on point

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Matt Ryan is now Mr. Pick-Two

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 3: News, notes and rumors

TailGreater: Tips for bowl travelers

Ranking the single-player modes of the 2017 sports games

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 2: News, notes and rumors

The five best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

The five must-have sports games of 2016

Winter Meetings report, Day 1: News, notes and rumors

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker