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Arizona Cardinals Size Up the Upstart St. Louis Rams

The Arizona Cardinals face a familiar opponent this week, the St. Louis Rams. The Cardinals are used to the Rams, but even they might be surprised by the team that takes the field on Sunday. The Rams started the season a laughing stock and after four weeks they were the consensus worst team in the league and looked like a virtual lock for top three pick in next year's draft. Looking for a jump start, they changed the quarterback, but it didn't work. The team was 0-4 and had been outscored by an unheard of 104 points. A change in the head coach would come next and Jim Haslett would have one bye week to turn the team. The change was unlike anyone could have possibly imagined. The 0-4 September that gave way to the 2-1 October:

September October
Points 11 23
Points Allowed 37 18


187 295
Yards Allowed 412 352
Turnover Battle -3 +7
Passing Yards 182 201
Rushing Yards 84 118

It's pretty amazing that Haslett has been able to improve both sides of the ball so dramatically. It's even more impressive when you consider that the teams they've played in October are a combined 16-7. They're playing within themselves and relying on the running game and a suddenly improved defense to keep them in games. They've also gotten at least one big play in each of the past three games from rookie, Donnie Avery. Avery totaled just six receptions for 46 yards the first four games but the past three games he's becoming a bigger and bigger part of the offense. He's averaged just over four receptions and 97 yards per game the past three weeks and he's had at least one play of 40 yards in each game.

Are you buying the Rams as a good team yet or have the past three games just been an aberration?