Arizona Cardinals getting ready for Thursday challenge vs. Rams
Brian Westbrook scored three first-half touchdowns and four total as the Philadelphia Eagles completely embarrassed the Cardinals 48-20 on Thanksgiving night, 2008.
"I hope we do better a better job this time, it didn't go so well for us last time on Thursday night," Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt said Monday. "We've got a schedule that we feel pretty good about, so the challenge for us is working on things that we need to improve on."
The Cardinals, who enter Thursday night's nationally-televised game as one of only three unbeaten teams in the league, have clear areas for improvement in this game.
Of course, the running game has been an issue for Arizona. Despite their 4-0 record, the Cardinals rank 29th in the NFL in rushing (68.0 yards per game). After giving up eight sacks in their win over Miami, the Cardinals are tied for 30th in the league in that category.
In addition to the challenge of improving in those areas this Thursday against the St. Louis Rams, Whisenhunt is concerned with the truncated preparation schedule.
"There's a fine line between doing enough to get prepared and also making sure you give (the players) enough rest, because the game will be on us fast," he said.
To make things even more interesting for the Cardinals is the fact that they're the road team.
"The biggest challenge is us having to fly, I think," wide receiver Andre Roberts said. "For us and St. Louis, we both have two days to prepare, or three days if you count Wednesday, but we're the ones flying, so that's probably the biggest challenge for us."
Roberts' comments seem to have at least some validity. Road teams are 17-27 in Thursday night contests since they became a regular part of the schedule in 2006.
Defensive end Calais Campbell doesn't seem to think the change in the calendar is a big deal.
"Usually by the time Thursday comes, I'm ready for the game to be here already," he said. "It's going to be exciting."
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