With Carson Palmer in the locker room for concussion evaluation, Rams linebacker Mark Barron intercepted backup quarterback Drew Stanton jersey to seal a 17-13 victory for the Los Angeles Rams jerseys over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 4. Here’s what we learned:
1. After leading the NFL in several major categories last season, Arizona’s offense has begun this season in a malaise. Through four games, all 10 of Carson Palmer’s first-quarter drives have resulted in punts, putting the defense behind the eight-ball. Rather than using the run and the short passing game to set up downfield strikes, the Cardinals and NFL jerseys have been forcing the deep ball in inopportune situations. Although the overhauled offensive line has been shaky at times, there’s too much talent on this offense to remain stuck in the mud all season long. Coach Bruce Arians announced after the game that the team will be “very, very careful” with Palmer in the concussion protocol. On a short week, the veteran signal-caller’s status is in doubt for Thursday’s game at San Francisco.
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2. Arizona’s offensive woes were due in no small part to a pressuring Rams defense led by Aaron Donald. The All Pro defensive tackle generated 1.5 sacks and four QB hits, teaming with Eugene Sims on a high-low takedown that knocked Palmer out of a 13-10 game late in the fourth quarter. Donald and Robert Quinn have been as disruptive as any tackle-end tandem in football this season, setting the tone for a swarming defense that has bounced back in a big way from an embarrassing 28-0 shellacking in the season opener.
3. The Cardinals made it a point to get John Brown involved after the speedy wideout’s role was deemphasized in September due to a concussion that sidelined him for the majority of training camp. Brown corralled 10 of a career-high 16 targets for 144 yards while Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd combined for eight catches and 98 yards on 14 targets. Unreliable at the point of the catch, Floyd has been as disappointing as any starting receiver this season. Look for Brown to remain a key cog in the aerial attack, perhaps even at Floyd’s expense.
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4. Todd Gurley was stonewalled on the ground once again, lowering his per-carry average to 2.63 yards this season. It took four games, but the Rams finally decided to bypass the offensive line on occasion to highlight Gurley’s playmaking ability as a receiver. He contributed 49 yards on five receptions, including an impressive first-down conversion that set up Brian Quick’s game-winning touchdown.
5. Case Keenum plays like the youngest brother in a backyard with Tony Romo and Ryan Fitzpatrick and cheap NFL jerseys. He shares the same penchant for keeping broken plays alive and bedeviling defenses with his feet even if his arm is barely NFL caliber. He hasn’t been a major liability since the Rams were shut out in a dismal Week 1 performance.
6. Returning from ACL surgery, Tyrann Mathieu has been outplayed thus far by fellow Cardinals safety Tony Jefferson who is off to a Pro Bowl start at the season’s quarter-pole. After staking its claim as one of league’s stingiest big-play secondaries last season, Arizona’s defensive backfield has struggled early this year. The cornerback spot opposite All Pro Patrick Peterson remains an Achilles’ heel, as Marcus Cooper was beaten twice by Brian Quick for difference-making plays.
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7. It’s easy to see why the Cardinals elected to let Dwight Freeney walk in favor of second-year pass rusher Markus Golden. Borrowing Freeney’s trademark spin move, Golden took Keenum down for his fourth sack of the young season. He and bookend edge rusher Chandler Jones have totaled eight sacks this year — one apiece in each game.
8. Jeff Fisher jersey needs a more astute replay advisor in his headset. The Rams challenged two separate plays that were clearly not catches, including one Brian Quick diving drop that hit the ground twice.
So, even though No. 2 overall draft pick Carson Wentz has had a strong start for the Philadelphia Eagles jerseys, and other rookie quarterbacks have been effective in the first month of the 2016 season, Fisher has no qualms about playing the long game with Goff.
Said one Rams assistant coach: “Wentz turns 24 later this year. Goff is 21. This is a lot to take in for a 21-year-old. We said in our draft meetings, if you had to play a guy right away, you’d probably take Wentz, cause he played in a pro-style system and is older. The whole point with Jared is that he doesn’t have to play right away. We love the kid.”
Staying patient with the future face of the franchise would not seem to be the preferred approach of a man coaching for his job — but Fisher, to his credit, doesn’t seem to be especially stressed out by any of that. He declined to comment on his contract status, including the whispers that he and the Rams have already hammered out a multi-year extension that has yet to be announced, but he certainly exudes the confidence of a man who feels very secure about his present situation.