The losses just keep coming.
One week after dropping to 4-7 in an embarrassing 31-7 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, the St. Louis Rams headed back to the Gateway City as they faced the first-place Arizona Cardinals… the team they handed their first loss of the season to back in Phoenix.
This time around, the Cardinals came out looking for revenge. And they sure got it, as they took full advantage of the Rams’ horrific offense to wear down the defense and control the pace of the game. The result was a 27-3 victory that guaranteed the Rams a 12th straight non-winning season.
With their top two running backs in Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington, rookie David Johnson got the start, and made the once stout rushing defense of St. Louis look ripe for any back to pick on. He rushed for 99 total yards, along with a touchdown, helping the Cardinals maintain the time of possession factor throughout the afternoon, holding it for nearly 40 minutes.
In total, Arizona had 175 rushing yards out of their 524 yards of total offense.
Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer, who had one of his worst games of the season against the Rams in week four, had a much better outing this time around, as the veteran went 26 of 40 for 356 yards and no interceptions. History was also made in the game when Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald caught his 1000th career pass, not only being the youngest play in history to achieve that mark (32 years, 57 days), but a feat only accomplished by 10 other players. He also passed the 1,000 yard receiving mark during the game.
As for the Rams, there were not many bright spots. Quarterback Nick Foles turned in another bad performance, throwing for 146 yards and an interception. This performance has led to his benching, as Case Keenum, concussion free, will start Sunday against Detroit.
Late in the game, kicker Zach Hocker, who is filling in for Greg Zuerlein, strained his quad and had to be removed from the game. He did not return.
Also, the struggles of rookie running back Todd Gurley also continue on another week, as the Georgia product rushed for just 41 yards on a mere nine carries. With the team becoming more one-dimensional, it is becoming harder to find ways to have Gurley break out like he did in the first few weeks of the season.
And as it turned out, the loss Sunday was the nail in the coffin for offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti, who was fired on Monday. Rob Boras was promoted to take his place. It remains to be seen how effective this change will be for the last-ranked offense.
St. Louis (4-8) hosts the Detroit Lions (4-8).
(AP Photo/Tom Gannam)