ESPN’s Jaworski: Rams are no threat to Cardinals

Nov 7, 2014, 4:00 PM | Updated: 4:00 pm

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The Arizona Cardinals are 7-1. The St. Louis Rams are 3-5. They play this weekend at University of Phoenix Stadium and the road team’s most recent performance at Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco has many saying things like “they wouldn’t be surprised” if the Cardinals suffered their second loss or, put more simply, “watch out for the Rams.”

The Rams, indeed, showed impressive fortitude against the San Francisco 49ers last weekend, winning 13-10 against a team that was coming off a bye. They were similarly impressive against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 7, winning 28-26 at home. And they played the then-one loss Philadelphia Eagles on the road down to the wire, losing 34-28.

So, Burns and Gambo wanted to know — records aside, are the Rams any threat to the Cardinals on Sunday in Glendale? They asked senior ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski during his weekly spot on the Arizona Sports 98.7 FM show on Thursday.

He was pretty straightforward.

“No,” he began, laughing.

“I just don’t think it will happen right now,” Jaworski went on. “The Rams cannot move the football offensively. So they won’t move the football against this very, very good Arizona Cardinals defense.”

On Sunday, the Rams compiled just 193 yards of offense in San Francisco. Quarterback Austin Davis completed 13 of 24 passes, throwing two interceptions while scrambling for seven yards on a pair of carries. Tre Mason, meanwhile, managed just 3.4 yards per rush on 19 attempts, gaining 65 yards on the ground.

It was the Rams’ defense that was the cornerstone in the road win. Robert Quinn, William Hayes and company dropped 49ers signal caller Colin Kaepernick eight times, forcing three fumbles, including the one which clinched the game, which was coughed up at the goal line with two seconds on the clock. The defensive line also helped to hold Kaepernick, Frank Gore and the San Francisco rushing attack to just 80 yards rushing.

It was some of these positives that Jaworski would later point out to counter his own prediction, while also recalling the recent history between the two teams.

“Now… We all know that the Rams have been the nemesis for the Cardinals,” he said. “I think they’ve won three of the last four. So clearly, (the Cardinals) will not look beyond the St. Louis Rams.

“It appears now that the St. Louis defense has woken up a little bit. They’re finally getting some pass rush pressure after just a morbid start in regard to getting pressure on the quarterback. But they’re not the team the Cardinals are.”

Yes, while the Rams’ pair of division victories look impressive on paper, their other win had to be squeaked out, 19-17, against the one-win Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Cardinals, of course, most recently bested the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, beating the aforementioned Eagles the week before that. And they can match the Rams’ win over San Francisco with one of their own — a 23-14 victory in Week 3. Arizona’s lone loss came on the road against the Denver Broncos with Carson Palmer sidelined by an injury.

So, it’s understandable why Jaworski isn’t buying in to the “look out” talk. He concluded his prognostication about as succinctly as he began it.

“You give everyone a chance, but this should be a Cardinals victory.”

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