Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 10/5/12

Arizona Cardinals 3,  St. Louis Rams 17

Except for a few big plays, Sam Bradford (141 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT) had a fairly dreadful day passing, completing just 7 of 21 passes.  But those few big plays were exactly what the Rams needed, along with a suffocating defense, to topple the Cardinals and send them to their first loss of the year. 

Even though Bradford only completed a paltry 33% of his passes, 2 of those 7 were for touchdowns, which happened to be more than enough scoring to beat Kevin Kolb (291 total yards) and the Cardinals. 

Kolb had trouble moving the ball with consistency.  He didn’t throw any interceptions, but he also didn’t lead the Cards to a touchdown the entire game.  Even though the Cardinals are 4-1, I’m sure this is going to start raising the question of whether or not John Skelton should start when he’s ready to.

So of course, when you only throw for 141 yards, your receivers probably won’t have big days.  Rookie Chris Givens (1-51, 1 TD) did get loose for a long TD, but it was his only catch of the game. 

The game was not without its cost for the Rams receiving crew; Danny Amendola (1-44) broke his collar bone, which could serve to severely hamper Bradford’s production.  This is also a big blow to fantasy teams, as Amendola had been putting up numbers as a solid WR2, and probably played with the luxury of being a WR3/Flex on most teams.  In his absence, I’d take a look at Brandon Gibson (3-33) and possibly even Givens as a flyer pick.

With the Cardinals behind the whole game, Kolb had to take to the air a lot in the second half.  Larry Fitzgerald (8-92) did the most damage, but the Rams still did a good job of keeping everything in front of them, not allowing the big play. 

It was good to see Andre Roberts (5-39) heavily involved early in the game, and he ended up second on the team with 10 targets (Fitz had 15).  Rob Housler (3-45) actually looked like a bigger part of the game plan, and should have had a 1st quarter TD but Kolb just flat out missed him on a seam route at the goal line.  If the Cards are planning on utilizing the talented young TE more, he could be worth a speculative pick up on the waiver wire.

Even though he’s still gutting out a groin injury, Steven Jackson (18 car., 76 yards) looked good and ran with his trademark power in the game.  Jackson didn’t get in the endzone, but it was obvious he’s still the bell cow in the offense as long as he’s healthy enough to suit up.

This was a very disappointing outing for Ryan Williams (14 car., 33 yards; 1 rec., 5 yards), as he once again got the lion’s share of carries and did absolutely nothing with them.  It wasn’t his entire fault though; as I pointed out in the Cardinals-Rams game preview earlier this week, I considered him a Bad Start because his offensive line is simply atrocious.  They ranked 32nd in run blocking success coming into the game, and I’m fairly certain they’ll stay there after all the Week 5 games are complete.  Not only is he barely a flex play for bye week consideration only, but he also injured his shoulder in the game.  The severity is unknown, but at least he has over a week to get right.



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