ReFo: Rams @ Cardinals, Week 10
With a late surge, despite losing their starting quarterback to injury once again, the Arizona Cardinals improved to a league-best 8-1 record and stayed two games up in the NFC West. The St. Louis Rams, on the other hand, let loose of a fourth-quarter lead and fell to 3-6 on the year.
Filling in for Carson Palmer, Cardinal QB Drew Stanton connected deep with rookie John Brown to steal away the lead in the game and the Arizona defense took over from there. Three late takeaways – two returned for scores – had the final far out of the Rams’ reach.
St. Louis Rams – Performances of Note
Austin Davis, QB: -3.6
Breakdown: Davis’ fourth red grade in five games came largely by a tailing effort that saw him hit a high with a beautiful seam shot for a long score to tight end Jared Cook late in the first half and then sink to a low with a three-turnover fourth quarter that effectively flipped the game. While the second interception he tossed was at most a bit off-target, leading to a tipped ball, the first was a poor effort that fell short of his receiver who was working on a corner route.
Signature Play: 2Q 2:01, Davis dropped in a perfect pass to his tight end who had gained position up the seam, hitting him in stride for a 59-yard touchdown that gave the Rams a lead.
T.J. McDonald, S: +4.8
Breakdown: Turning in a selection of fine plays near the line of scrimmage, McDonald logged a sack and a total of seven defensive stops that included tackles for losses and short gains against runs and passes. A particularly frustrating foe for the Arizona offense in the first half.
Signature Play: 1Q 9:49, McDonald shot through the line, and through the overmatched block of Larry Fitzgerald, to cut down Andre Ellington for a 4-yard loss.
E.J. Gaines, CB: +2.6
Breakdown: Another positive outing for the rookie, Gaines gave up just three of the six targets his way while getting a hand in to knock down two, both of those being outstanding plays on throws into the end zone.
Signature Stat: His +6.2 overall mark in the last six weeks has him among the league’s Top 10 corners in that time and his +5.0 coverage grade in the same span is 11th.
Arizona Cardinals – Performances of Note
Patrick Peterson, CB: +2.7
Breakdown: Bringing in a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions, Peterson played a huge role in the late swing that saw Arizona run away with the come-from-behind win. The first was something of a gimme sent directly to him short of a deep route, but his second pick was a reactive masterpiece. Getting fingers to a tipped ball, Peterson then tracked it, hauled it in, and raced for the tide-shifting score.
Signature Play/Stat: With just 5 yards allowed in 41 cover snaps this week, Peterson’s 1.09 Yards per Cover Snap is now 11th among the 37 CBs with at least 300 snaps in coverage this season.
John Carlson, TE: -4.3
Breakdown: Another tough afternoon all around for Carlson. While he did pick up a first down on one of his two catches, he dropped one of his other two targets and had a load of trouble handling the Arizona ends in the run game. William Hayes, Robert Quinn, and Eugene Sims each got the better of him at times as the Cardinals tight end added to a dismal run-blocking season.
Signature Play: 2Q 8:52, Carlson is tossed aside by Quinn on the DEs way to a TFL.
Calais Campbell, DE: +3.2
Breakdown: A pair of sacks and a blasting-through third-quarter TFL highlighted Campbell’s day, but it was a consistent showing as he recorded positives against Ram O-linemen from all different spots. His 47 snaps were the second-lowest he’s played in a game this season (only seeing fewer when injured against Denver), but he made the most of them and keeps his season sheet green across the board.
Signature Play: 3Q 12:28, Campbell launches inside of Rodger Saffold and takes the St. Louis left guard with him on his way to a 5-yard TFL of Tre Mason.
PFF Game Ball
For his late-game impact, Patrick Peterson gets the game ball in the Arizona win.
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