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

LeSean McCoyMar 3 06:43p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy will reportedly be traded for Buffalo Bills LB Kiko Alonso.

Kiko AlonsoMar 3 06:43p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy will reportedly be traded for Buffalo Bills LB Kiko Alonso.

Tyvon BranchMar 3 05:23p

Oakland Raiders SS Tyvon Branch was officially released, as expected, Tuesday, March 3.

DeMarco MurrayMar 3 01:43p

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent RB DeMarco Murray would likely re-sign with the Cowboys if the offer they make him is equal or similar financially to offers he receives from [ More ]

Cole BeasleyMar 3 01:13p

Dallas Cowboys WR Cole Beasley agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $13.1 million. The extension could be worth as much as $15.1 million.

Andre JohnsonMar 2 11:03p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson was asked to accept a reduced role, but he declined and asked to be traded or cut, according to people familiar with the situation.

Bernard PollardMar 2 07:23p

Tennessee Titans SS Bernard Pollard has been informed that he will be released, according to sources familiar with the situation. Pollard asked the Titans to release him last month. [ More ]

Le'Veon BellMar 2 04:33p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell could be suspended up to four games, according to the NFL's new substance-abuse policy. A two-game suspension is standard for a DUI resulting from [ More ]

J.D. WaltonMar 2 04:13p

New York Giants C J.D. Walton was released Monday, March 2.

Lance MooreMar 2 04:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Lance Moore was released Monday, March 2.

Brad JonesMar 2 03:53p

Free-agent LB Brad Jones (Packers) signed a two-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, March 2. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Charles ClayMar 2 03:12p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay received the transition tag Monday, March 2, according to a source. The transition tag for tight ends is worth $7.071 million.

Dez BryantMar 2 02:03p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant received the franchise tag Monday, March 2. Bryant would make $12.823 million if he signs the tender offer.

Jason Pierre-PaulMar 2 02:03p

New York Giants impending free-agent DE Jason Pierre-Paul received the franchise tag Monday, March 2, according to sources.

Justin HoustonMar 2 09:52a

Kansas City Chiefs LB Justin Houston had the franchise tag placed on him Monday, March 2, according to a source.

Ndamukong SuhMar 2 09:43a

Detroit Lions impending free-agent DT Ndamukong Suh will not receive the franchise tag Monday, March 2.

LaMarr WoodleyMar 1 07:12p

The Oakland Raiders plan to release DE LaMarr Woodley, a league source said Sunday, March 1. He made just five tackles in six games before his season ended due [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayMar 1 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent RB DeMarco Murray probably will hit the free-agent market since contract talks with him have gone slow, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. Jones [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 10:12p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is expected to receive the franchise tag by Monday, March 2, but during the NFL Scouting Combine, team owner Jerry Jones said that he [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayFeb 28 09:02p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray could give the team a chance to match any offer he receives during free agency, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. 'There is [ More ]

Dez BryantFeb 28 08:52p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant will receive the franchise tag by the deadline Monday, March 2, executive vice president Stephen Jones confirmed Saturday, Feb. 28. The move will guarantee [ More ]

EJ ManuelFeb 28 02:22p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel still seems to be the No. 1 option at quarterback, for now, with Josh McCown heading to the Cleveland Browns. Buffalo could still add [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 07:52p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown signed a three-year deal Friday, Feb. 27, according to a source. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. McCown completed [ More ]

Josh McCownFeb 27 06:32p

Free-agent QB Josh McCown (Buccaneers) has signed with the Cleveland Browns, according to his agent. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Reggie WayneFeb 27 04:42p

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent WR Reggie Wayne (triceps) recently underwent surgery on his triceps and has started his rehab. Wayne still has not decided if he will play in 2015.

Darnell DockettFeb 27 04:22p

Arizona Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett was released Friday, Feb. 27. The Cardinals would like to re-sign Dockett if he is not able to find a better offer from another team.

Brandon GibsonFeb 27 03:42p

Miami Dolphins WR Brandon Gibson was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Stephen BowenFeb 27 03:22p

Washington Redskins DE Stephen Bowen was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade target for the Indianapolis Colts. QB Andrew Luck hasn't had a successful running game behind him so far in Indianapolis. [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be a trade option for the Arizona Cardinals with QB Carson Palmer and WR Larry Fitzgerald nearing the end of their careers in [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 27 02:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson could be an option to be traded to the Dallas Cowboys. Peterson is from Palestine, Texas, which is between Dallas and Houston, and he's [ More ]

Devonta FreemanFeb 27 02:12p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman could be the full-time back in new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's scheme next season, according tot general manager Thomas Dimitroff. 'My first impression of [ More ]

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