Cardinals vs. Rams: What to watch for

Christian Petersen - Getty Images

What should you be looking for as the Cardinals look to go 5-0 by defeating the St. Louis Rams on Thursday night?

5-0 seems like a dream, but it is closer than it has ever been before for the Arizona Cardinals. The Cards will look to maintain their undefeated record on Thursday night as the travel to Missouri to take on the St. Louis Rams. Despite what many may believe, this will be no walk in the park for Arizona. The Rams are coming off a big home victory over the Seattle Seahawks and are carrying a bit of momentum themselves. The Cardinals simply need to focus on this game and not look forward to their upcoming bye week until it is all said and done.

One of the big things that I will be watching for pertains to the running game for both teams. The Cardinals keyed on stopping Reggie Bush of the Dolphins last week, allowing rookie Ryan Tannehill to throw for over 400 yards. Will they do the same thing with Steven Jackson and Sam Bradford? Stopping the always dominant S-Jax is important, but with this being Bradford's third year in the league, Arizona will need to pay special attention to him as well.

The Cardinals need to get a ground game of their own going. Ryan Williams has received limited touches this season and when he has, his effectiveness has been limited. The offensive line for the Cardinals is seemingly defeated at the point of attack every time, which doesn't allow Williams to get any gains bigger than 2-3 yards. Creating holes for him will be important.

Another thing I will be watching for is how the tackles perform in pass protection for Arizona. Last weekend, rookie right tackle Bobby Massie struggled mightily against pass rusher Cameron Wake. In fact, he allowed 4.5 sacks on the day. It was brutal. Will Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm get him some more help on the right side? After all, he will be playing against some more dominant pass rushers in Chris Long and Robert Quinn. Protecting Kevin Kolb is of the utmost importance.

Speaking of Kevin Kolb, how will he respond to a short week and another road game? Although he made some miraculous plays against Miami, he also threw for two interceptions and almost cost Arizona the game. Can he get the ball to his receivers and tight ends without having to force bad passes to them?

Lastly, look for the matchup between Larry Fitzgerald and Cortland Finnegan. Finnegan loves to get under the skin of opposing receivers, but Fitz has always been a rather relaxed player on and off the field. Let's see how Finnegan defends him tonight and what the outcome is.

What will you be watching for? Tell us in the comments section below.

We invite you to follow Revenge of the Birds on Twitter at @revengeofbirds and like us on Facebook. Also, follow me on Twitter at @TylerNickelASU.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Revenge of the Birds

You must be a member of Revenge of the Birds to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Revenge of the Birds. You should read them.

Join Revenge of the Birds

You must be a member of Revenge of the Birds to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Revenge of the Birds. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker