Cards gameday: Rams preview - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Cards gameday: Rams preview

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Posted: Saturday, November 21, 2009 5:24 pm | Updated: 2:53 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

The St. Louis Rams are 1-8, but the team is playing hard for first-year coach Steve Spagnuolo. St. Louis gave New Orleans a tussle last week before losing, and it probably won’t make life easy for Arizona on Sunday. Still, this is a game the Cardinals should win handily if they’re focused and they play well.

THE SKINNY

The St. Louis Rams are 1-8, but the team is playing hard for first-year coach Steve Spagnuolo. St. Louis gave New Orleans a tussle last week before losing, and it probably won’t make life easy for Arizona on Sunday. Still, this is a game the Cardinals should win handily if they’re focused and they play well. It will be important for Arizona to get off to a good start; let St. Louis take the lead and feed the ball to Steven Jackson, and suddenly a 1-8 team becomes dangerous.

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Cardinals at Rams

When: 2 p.m. Sunday

Where: Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis

TV/Radio: Channel 10/KTAR (620 AM)

Records: Arizona 6-3, Seattle 1-8

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

1. Arizona’s run defense will be tested by Jackson, who ranks third in the league in rushing with 915 yards. The Cardinals will need to gang-tackle Jackson, and look out if he gets in the secondary. He’ll run over defensive backs on his way to the end zone. Expect safety Adrian Wilson to be up at the line of scrimmage on nearly every play in order to try to contain Jackson. St. Louis’ passing game is feeble at best.

2. Will the Cardinals take the week off? This is a natural letdown game for Arizona after beating Chicago on the road and then coming back from 14 points down to beat Seattle at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Rams are one of the worst teams in the league, and the Cardinals might think they can win just by showing up. If so, they could be in for a surprise.

3. St. Louis defensive ends Leonard Little and Chris Long have 10.5 sacks between them, and as we’ve seen in the past, tackles Mike Gandy and Levi Brown sometimes struggle against speed rushers. The Rams’ only chance of stopping Arizona is to take Kurt Warner out of his comfort zone. For that to happen, Long and Little have to dominate the line of scrimmage.

STARTING LINEUPS

Cardinals offense

WR Larry Fitzgerald

LT Mike Gandy

LG Reggie Wells

C Lyle Sendlein

RG Deuce Lutui

RT Levi Brown

TE Stephen Spach

WR Anquan Boldin

QB Kurt Warner

RB Tim Hightower

FB Dan Kreider

Cardinals defense

DE Calais Campbell

DT Bryan Robinson

DE Darnell Dockett

OLB Chike Okeafor

MLB Karlos Dansby

MLB Gerald Hayes

OLB Clark Haggans

RCB Bryant McFadden

LCB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

SS Adrian Wilson

FS Antrel Rolle

Rams offense

WR Danny Amendola

LT Alex Barron

LG Jacob Bell

C Jason Brown

RG John Greco

RT Jason Smith

TE Randy McMichael

WR Donnie Avery

QB Marc Bulger

FB Mike Karney

HB Steven Jackson

Rams defense

DE Leonard Little

DT LaJuan Ramsey

DT Clifton Ryan

DE Chris Long

SLB David Vobora

MLB James Laurinaitis

WLB Paris Lenon

RCB Quincy Butler

LCB Ron Bartell

SS James Butler

FS Oshiomogho Atogwe

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