2015 DRAFT GUIDE
5 things to know after Cardinals roll Rams 30-10

By BOB BAUM - AP Sports Writer
    2013-12-09 02:32

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Maybe this practice stuff is overrated.

Carson Palmer was not allowed to throw a pass once in workouts last week, then turned in a near-perfect performance.

The Arizona quarterback completed 27 of 32 passes, the second-best completion percentage in Cardinals history, in a 30-10 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.

''(Trainer) Tom Reed and his staff, they are the best in the business,'' Palmer said. ''He had a plan from Monday on, and he stuck to it. I had 100 percent faith and trust in him that he knew what he was doing and that he and his staff would have me ready to play.''

Boy, did they ever.

Palmer's 84.4 percent completion rate is second only in franchise history to Kurt Warner's NFL record 24 of 26 (92.3) percent. The Rams' vaunted pass rush sacked him just once.

Larry Fitzgerald caught 12 passes for 96 yards and a touchdown.

The Cardinals (8-5) also scored twice on defense, when Karlos Dansby returned an interception 23 yards for a score and John Abraham tackled Kellen Clemens for a safety.

''Obviously they're a much better team than they were last year,'' Rams linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar said. ''They have a really good coach. They bought into the system, and they're playing effectively.''

Here are five things learned from Arizona's dominant victory:

RAMS NEED TO RUN: When the Rams can't move the ball on the ground, they are in trouble.

When quarterback Sam Bradford went down with a season-ending knee injury, St. Louis shifted to a run-oriented offense.

But take away Tavon Austin's 56-yard run, which set up St. Louis' lone touchdown, and the Rams managed just 44 yards in 18 carries. Zac Stacy had just 25 yards in 14 tries.

The Cardinals have one of the best run defenses in the league, and once the Rams' ground game was stifled, the team could zero in on Clemens.

''Once you shut down the run against a team like St. Louis that is built on running the football, the frenzy can feed,'' Arizona coach Bruce Arians said.

ABRAHAM'S BIG DAY: Abraham had three sacks, giving him 11 for the season.

The 14-year NFL veteran has 133 sacks, moving him past Lawrence Taylor and Leslie O'Neal to ninth on the career list.

''Now I am trying to walk down (Michael) Strahan at five. He has 141.5,'' Abraham said. ''It's good to get a personal goal, but it's even better to get a win, and how we played today on both sides of the ball and special teams showed what kind of team we can be. That's what impressed me the most.''

HONEY BADGER HURT: Rookie Tyrann Mathieu's sensational season may have come to an end with a left knee injury that Arians says appeared to be a torn ACL.

Mathieu was hurt when he returned the free kick following Arizona's safety in the third quarter. He was buried in a pile of tacklers, then got up and jogged toward the sideline.

But his knee buckled and he collapsed to the ground. Getting consolation from teammates, he sat with his helmet off and waited for the cart to be brought, then road it off the field.

Arians said he thought Mathieu's play this far had made him ''a lock'' to be NFL defensive rookie of the year.

''I think no one else has played as much as he's played, and all the positions he's played,'' Arians said.

The coach said he wished the Rams had kicked the ball to Peterson.

FITGERALD WAS PROLIFIC: Fitzgerald hadn't caught this many passes in a game since he matched his career best with 13 against Seattle on Oct. 18, 2009.

Arians said there was no special plan to throw to Fitgerald.

''We throw it where they will let us throw it,'' Arians said. ''Carson was spot on it.''

Fitzgerald has 10 touchdown catches this season, becoming the ninth player in NFL history with five seasons of double-digit TD receptions.

RAMS ARE DONE: With the loss, St. Louis officially is out of playoff contention and almost certainly is headed for a last place in the NFC West.

It's a season that never really had a chance after Bradford was hurt.

''I think the thing we want to see now is finish the season strong,'' Clemens said. ''We want to see improvement. We'll get back to work. We're eliminated, but we still have to play them.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Connor BarthAug 26 08:53p

Free-agent PK Connor Barth (Broncos) agreed to terms with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Aug. 26, on a two-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Brandon McManusAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Connor BarthAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Evan RoysterAug 26 10:13a

Atlanta Falcons RB Evan Royster (undisclosed) was waived/injured Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Rex GrossmanAug 26 09:23a

Free-agent QB Rex Grossman (Redskins) was signed by the Atlanta Falcons to a one-year, $1 million deal Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Taylor MaysAug 26 12:43a

The Oakland Raiders signed free-agent SS Taylor Mays (Bengals) Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Orlando ScandrickAug 26 12:43a

Updating a previous report, Dallas Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick (knee) suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee Tuesday, Aug. 25. An MRI confirmed the injury.

Michael VickAug 25 07:42p

Updating a previous report, free-agent QB Michael Vick (Jets) signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers Tuesday, Aug. 25. Financial terms were not disclosed. QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) [ More ]

Evan MathisAug 25 06:13p

Free-agent OG Evan Mathis (Eagles) agreed to a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Jameis WinstonAug 25 04:33p

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie QB Jameis Winston (ankle) suffered a sprained ankle Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Lovie Smith still expects [ More ]

Josh JohnsonAug 25 02:53p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Josh Johnson was released Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Victor CruzAug 25 02:42p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (calf) doesn't know when he'll be able to return to practice as he continues to deal with inflammation in [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerAug 25 01:23p

Tennessee Titans backup QB Zach Mettenberger has performed at a high level in training camp and the preseason, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt laughed off a suggestion that the [ More ]

Bruce GradkowskiAug 25 12:53p

Pittsburgh Steelers backup QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) suffered a dislocated finger on his left hand during the team's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers last weekend, according to [ More ]

Andre WilliamsAug 25 12:22p

New York Giants RB Andre Williams could overtake RB Rashad Jennings as the lead back sometime this season, maybe even to open the season. Williams has worked on his [ More ]

Mike EvansAug 25 09:13a

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) isn't believed to have a serious hamstring injury. 'I talked to him and he didn't feel like it [ More ]

Jameis WinstonAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston completed eight of his 13 pass attempts for 90 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against [ More ]

Doug MartinAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin rushed six times for 59 yards in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Mike EvansAug 24 09:12p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) left the preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday, Aug. 24, due to a strained hamstring.

Todd GurleyAug 24 06:52p

St. Louis Rams RB Todd Gurley (knee) will still sit out the entire preseason even though he has been cleared to practice, according to head coach Jeff Fisher.

Jordy NelsonAug 24 06:32p

Updating a previous report, Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (knee) has a torn anterior cruciate ligament, but the MRI revealed all of his other knee ligaments are fine.

Montee BallAug 24 05:22p

Denver Broncos RB Montee Ball has already lost the backup running back role to RB Ronnie Hillman. RB Juwan Thompson may also surpass Ball in the near future, according to Mike Klis of 9news.com.

Jordy NelsonAug 24 05:22p

Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (knee) is officially out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Jason McCourtyAug 24 04:42p

Updating a previous report, Tennessee Titans CB Jason McCourty (groin) is expected to miss a few games after undergoing groin surgery Monday, Aug. 24, according to sources.

Ronnie HillmanAug 24 04:32p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman has worked his way the second running back position behind RB C.J. Anderson. Hillman said head coach Gary Kubiak's zone-blocking scheme has helped his [ More ]

Joique BellAug 24 04:02p

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford said the Lions will still take a committee approach at running back even when Joique Bell (knee, Achilles') returns.

Joique BellAug 24 03:02p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (knee, Achilles') is expected to return this season as a bellcow running back, according to head coach Jim Caldwell. Bell has been nursing injuries [ More ]

Maurkice PounceyAug 24 01:52p

Pittsburgh Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey (ankle) will undergo surgery on his fractured ankle Monday, Aug. 24, or Tuesday, Aug. 25. There is no timetable for his return, but it [ More ]

Jeremiah RatliffAug 24 01:42p

Chicago Bears DT Jeremiah Ratliff has been suspended three games by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Jason Pierre-PaulAug 24 01:42p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (hand) plans to report to the team before the start of the regular season but his status for Week 1 is uncertain, according [ More ]

Reggie WayneAug 24 01:22p

Free-agent WR Reggie Wayne (Colts) agreed to a one-year deal with the New England Patriots Monday, Aug. 24, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Michael PrestonAug 24 10:22a

Miami Dolphins WR Michael Preston posted on Twitter that he was released Sunday, Aug. 23.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group