Post Game Reaction: Cardinals Route Rams 31-10, Get 10 Wins

The Arizona Cardinals had already wrapped up the NFC West, with the only thing on the line being playoff positioning. A win today and a Vikings loss tomorrow would get the Cardinals one game closer to the #2 seed, and the only thing in their way this week was the St. Louis Rams, a team they have handled fairly easily the last three seasons. Neither team was able to score in the first quarter, but that didn't continue when the Cardinals added 31 points and never looked back. There's currently one game left in the regular season and the Cardinals finally reached 10 wins -  the first 10-win season since they've been in Arizona and the first in franchise history since 1976. 

The Positives

- There weren't many negatives from today's game considering the Cardinals were never in danger of losing, and they also kept mistakes to a minimum. The Cardinals offense racked up 407 total yards with Kurt Warner throwing for 313 of them - the 52nd time he's thrown over 300 in his career. Kurt also added 2 touchdowns, becoming the second player in NFL history to throw 100 touchdowns with two different teams. The Cardinals had nine more minutes of possession then the Rams and only committed three penalties. Warner was on target most of the afternoon, while the running game added 110 yards. Balance is something the Cardinals have benefited from this season, it's also something they lacked in 2008.

- The defense held the Rams total offense to 238 yards, forced 4 turnovers, and had 4 sacks as well. The biggest note from the game was Adrian Wilson, who had a critical interception in the second half and had one sack, finally making him a member of the 20/20 club. The only touchdown allowed came off of a Cardinals offensive turnover in the third quarter.

- Special teams continued their run of great games. Ben Graham booted a 41.2 average and landed 2 more punts inside the Rams 20 yard line, putting his league high at 39. Mike Nugent didn't miss a kick, LaRod Stephens-Howling added 3 tackles, and Reggie Walker recovered a fumble on a kick off.

- The Cardinals finally recored  a double-digit win season, something most fans have been wanting for some time. Instead of limping into the post-season being called the worst playoff team in NFL history, maybe now they've earned some respect from critics.

The Negatives

- There weren't as many as last week, but the Cardinals did face some problems. True - they ran for over 100 yards, but they did so at a 3.4 per-rush average. If they have trouble running against a one win team like the Rams, I can't imagine they'd have much success once the playoffs begin.

- Jeremy Bridges has been solid as Mike Gandy's replacement at left tackle, but today he struggled blocking second year defensive end Chris Long. Long's sack almost resulted in another fumble, but Bridges was able to fall on that one. You have to wonder why Ken Whisenhunt hasn't been sliding any added protection to Bridges side of the field. The Cardinals tight ends are very capable blockers and Tim Hightower has proven to be the best blocking running back on the team.

- Steve Breaston's run of mediocre play continued today, catching 4 passes for 64 yards and doing nothing with punt returns. In the last six games Breaston has 13 catches for 151 yards and no touchdowns. His production has greatly diminished since Boldin has been at 100%, and it should be a cause for concern.

Today's game went as planned, with the Cardinals out-rushing, passing and performing the lowly Rams. Ken Whisenhunt did as he said he would, not resting many of the starters despite the Cardinals not needing a win. With the Packers coming up next week, the Cardinals now have the opportunity to improve their win total to 11, and possibly catch up to the Minnesota Vikings. What are your thoughts on the game?

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