Behind Enemy Lines Week 10: St. Louis Rams
Nov 7, 2014, 4:44 PM | Updated: 4:44 pm
The Arizona Cardinals just keep creating distance.
At first the distance was between themselves and the NFC West. Then it was from all of the NFC. Now the Cardinals are separating from the entire NFL.
The Cardinals beat the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, coming behind from an early 10-0 deficit to score 28 straight points and winning the game 28-17.
Although it may be easier to dominate defensively when the other team is missing their starting quarterback, the Cardinals still kept Dallas under 200 yards passing. Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson was tasked with covering star wide receiver Dez Bryant, but was able to keep Bryant from making a catch until the final two minutes of the game.
The win leaves Arizona 7-1 and with a half game lead over the New England Patriots for the best record in the league.
The St. Louis Rams found similar defensive success this week during their 13-10 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. The Rams’ defense got to San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick all day, sacking the quarterback eight times and recovering his fumble in the last seconds of the game while the Niners attempted to score the game-winning touchdown.
The Cardinals and the Rams meet this week, the first matchup for the divisional foes in 2014. The two teams split their meetings last season, with each team coming away victorious on their home turf.
This week it’s the Cardinals’ turn to host the rivalry, and as the two teams prepare for their divisional battle, we’ll go behind enemy lines and bring all the news from the Rams:
Friday, November 7
• Video: NFL wants Rams in St. Louis (Bleacher Report)
With news breaking over the last few days that the Rams will assess their location situation by the end of the season, rumors for football in Los Angeles heat up. Even though a new home just outside Los Angeles is considered, it seems the NFL is trying to keep the Rams in Missouri.
• Rams have gone through gauntlet against top defenses (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
With an inexperienced backup taking the snaps behind center, the Rams offense surprised many at first with solid play. But after a month of rough defensive matchups, the offense has been slowed and will be looking to recreate their hot start against the Cardinals.
• Quiet DT Donald is making noise with his great play (ESPN.com)
As a rookie, it may be expected for defensive tackle Aaron Donald to keep his nose down, stay quiet and improve within the system. Donald is keeping quiet, but his standout play shows that he may already be one of the team’s best defensive players.
• TE Jared Cook awarded best blocking tight end in NFL (Turf Show Times)
An ESPN story listed Rams tight end Jared Cook as the best blocking tight end in the NFL. Although Cook is a great, well-rounded player, not even the Rams writers are sure why he received the award.
Thursday, November 6
The Rams will have a plan of action for their stadium situation by Jan. 28, according to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon. With rumors constantly swirling that the team could head back to Los Angeles, and an option in their stadium lease for the end of the season, crucial decisions for the team’s future must be made by the end of the season.
The organization is unsure of the Rams’ future in St. Louis, but coach Jeff Fisher is not letting this affect how the players prepare. Despite constant distracting questions, Fisher insists that the team’s only focus is on the Cardinals.
• Spike in Rams’ sacks is not a surprise to DE Quinn (Fox Sports)
Coming into the year with high expectations for the pass rush, the Rams disappointed, ranking near the bottom of the league in sacks. But after an eight-sack game on Sunday, star defensive end Robert Quinn is seeing the team execute the way he originally expected.
• RB Stacy is playing the waiting game again (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Second year running back Zac Stacy entered the season as the Rams clear-cut starter after an explosive rookie year. Halfway through the season, Stacy has lost his starting spot and almost all playing time, leaving him patient for another opportunity.
Wednesday, November 5
• Rams’ offensive line regrouped against 49ers (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
The Rams offensive line overcome numerous injuries and a dreadful performance against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 8 to play a solid game on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. That unit was awarded the game ball by coach Jeff Fisher.
• Laurinaitis hopes Rams will develop more consistency (Pro Football Talk)
Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis goes over his team’s win in San Francisco including the biggest play of the game — stopping San Francisco on the goal line to end the game.
Head coach Jeff Fisher is still angered by a call that could have cost his team the game last week. A potential Frank Gore fumble was ruled not to have happened after officials blew the play dead due to forward progress being stopped.
• Defense gets Rams back on their feet (The Telegraph)
The highly-touted Rams defense from last season showed up again on Sunday against the 49ers — getting eight sacks and successfully completing a game-winning goal-line stand.
Tuesday, November 4
• Defenses are figuring out QB Davis (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Rams quarterback Austin Davis has filled in admirably for injured starter Sam Bradford, throwing for 11 touchdowns and completing 64.2 percent of his passes. But as Davis plays more games, teams are realizing that he struggles throwing the ball from the right side of the field, and are blitzing to get him to that area.
• St. Louis defense is finally starting to click (Turf Show Times)
Despite boasting a plethora of up-and-coming players, the Rams’ defense has vastly underperformed this season, ranking 24th in the NFL with 5.9 yards allowed per play. But after holding the 49ers to 263 total yards on Sunday and forcing two key turnovers, the Rams’ defense may finally be firing on all cylinders.
• Fisher is still set on a timeshare for the running game (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Rookie running back Tre Mason got his first career start for the Rams on Sunday, rushing 19 times for 65 yards. But despite getting the bulk of the carries, coach Jeff Fisher is still intent on sharing duties between Mason, Benny Cunningham and Zac Stacy.