2014 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

Trent RichardsonJan 27 10:43a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson's one-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team voided the guarantee of a $3,184,062 salary in 2015.

Josh GordonJan 26 02:13p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is in Stage Three of an alcohol program, which requires him to be tested for alcohol for a minimum of two years. His failed [ More ]

Rob GronkowskiJan 26 02:03p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski could cause a problem for the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX, because the Seahawks defense allowed 11 touchdowns to tight ends this [ More ]

Earl ThomasJan 26 02:03p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) said he won't miss the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots with a dislocated shoulder, but he also admitted that it won't [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Jan 26 01:52p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) said he'll need to shut himself down this offseason in order to enter 2015 fully healthy and in great shape. He [ More ]

Josh GordonJan 26 12:33p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon tested positive for alcohol, according to sources, and his failed test will subject him to a possible one-year suspension. Gordon caught 24 passes for [ More ]

Vontaze BurfictJan 26 12:23p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) is recovering from microfracture surgery on his left knee, and the surgeon who operated on him is hoping that he will be at [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Jan 26 11:22a

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) said he played this season with two tears in his right hamstring, which never fully healed.

Josh GordonJan 25 09:12p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will be under contract through the 2016 season, and he will only be a restricted free agent after that year due to his looming [ More ]

Josh GordonJan 25 04:12p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon has reportedly failed another drug test and will be subject to a one-year banishment, according to multiple league sources.

Earl ThomasJan 23 09:02p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) will play in the Super Bowl, head coach Pete Carroll said Friday, Jan. 23.

Dennis PittaJan 23 04:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) met with some specialists last week, but the team is not expected to have an update on his status for a few weeks, [ More ]

Johnny ManzielJan 23 01:12p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel had a big proponent last year in owner Jimmy Haslam, but Haslam now thinks the team needs a quarterback in order to get their [ More ]

Jimmy GrahamJan 23 10:32a

New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham (shoulder) said he'll rehabilitate his shoulder injury after the Pro Bowl, but he hasn't made a final decision on surgery. 'It's something we [ More ]

Mark IngramJan 22 06:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram, who will be eligible for free agency this offseason, wants to return to the team next year, and he thinks the interest is [ More ]

Vernon DavisJan 22 06:22p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis had just two touchdowns in 2014, and they both came in Week 1. He also wasn't targeted at all in the red zone [ More ]

Geno SmithJan 22 05:32p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith has a lot of talent and promise, according to new head coach Todd Bowles. At the same time, Bowles acknowledged that the quarterback [ More ]

Brian HoyerJan 22 04:52p

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer could be re-signed this offseason, according to his agent. Hoyer is expected to meet with general manager Ray Farmer and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo in the near future.

Johnny ManzielJan 22 02:43p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel will be working with a new offensive coordinator this year in John DeFilippo, but DeFilippo is unsure if the team's quarterback next year is [ More ]

Joe FlaccoJan 22 12:52p

Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco will have his fourth difference offensive coordinator in as many years in offensive coordinator Marc Trestman. However, head coach John Harbaugh is confident Flacco [ More ]

Tom BradyJan 22 10:12a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is now scheduled to speak to the media Thursday, Jan. 22, and he could come under fire due to the report of deflated [ More ]

Vontaze BurfictJan 21 09:03p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) has had knee surgery, head coach Marvin Lewis confirmed Wednesday, Jan. 21. While there has been concern Burfict might have to begin the [ More ]

Mike WallaceJan 21 09:03p

Miami Dolphins WR Mike Wallace's future with the team is unclear. General manager Dennis Hickey would not say Wednesday, Jan. 21, whether Wallace will be back or if his [ More ]

Johnny ManzielJan 21 04:43p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel could benefit from new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, according to Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr. Carr said DeFilippo will do great with Manziel, adding [ More ]

Richard ShermanJan 21 04:23p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (elbow) said he will practice in a brace, but should not have any limitations on gameday.

Marc TrestmanJan 21 03:53p

Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman said he wants to learn the specificities of the team's offense instead of changing it. Head coach John Harbaugh said Trestman's familiarity and [ More ]

Blake BortlesJan 21 03:43p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles should be able to develop under new offensive coordinator Greg Olson, according to general manager Dave Caldwell. Caldwell said Olson has the ability to [ More ]

Blake BortlesJan 21 03:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles developed bad habits and may need to start over, in the opinion of NFL Films guru Greg Cosell.

Latavius MurrayJan 21 12:53p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray is likely to be the team's lead back in 2015, and new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave plans tailor his system to Murray's talents. Musgrave [ More ]

Peyton ManningJan 21 11:03a

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning plans to return in 2015, pending the results of his annual physical, according to three sources The Denver Post's Woody Paige trusts. The test [ More ]

Rashad JenningsJan 21 10:23a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings could have a veteran running back to complement or compete with him next season. The team could possibly add a change-of-pace back and [ More ]

Trent RichardsonJan 21 09:13a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson was suspended and deactivated for the AFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 18.

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