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Arizona Cardinals Explode in 2nd Quarter - How 24 Points Sunk the Rams

The Arizona Cardinals haven't been the best road team in their history, that's no secret. For that reason, it's normally important for them to get off to a quick start when their away from the cozy confines of the desert. Against the Rams though the Cardinals failed to get out of the gates quickly and instead looked like a professional version of the Bad-News-Bears. The first quarter would see the Cardinals squander a promising opening drive that stalled at the one yard line. The drive, that started at their own nine, ended on a highly questionable call by Coach Whisenhunt to run a QB sneak from the one yard line on fourth down. The Cardinals and Rams would trade punts after the failed conversion but the Rams would strike first on their second offensive drive. A deep pass to second year wide out Derek Stanley would result in a 80 yard TD and a 7-0 Rams lead. The Cardinals would get the ball once more in the first quarter but couldn't move the Adrian_wilson4_mediumball past mid field. The first quarter ended with both teams having three offensive drives and the Cardinals having a slight edge in total yardage (121 to 99). 

The second quarter would start with the Rams punting the ball and the Cardinals getting one first down before punting. After the punt the Rams would be set up at their 15 yard line and Bulger would drop back on the very first play and throw deep for rookie Donnie Avery. Antrel Rolle, playing a perfect centerfield, would streak in front of Avery and pick off the pass. Rolle would, as he has a tendency to do, returned the pass 40 yards for a TD and tied the score at seven. The Rams next drive would consist of a fumble on the first play that was recovered by the Rams and another fumble on the fifth play that the Cardinals recovered. The fumble was caused by a blitzing Adrian Wilson would beat a tailback and stripped an unsuspecting Bulger. The Cardinals couldn't turn a short field into seven points but they did tack on a field goal after just 1:06. The Cardinals would kick off to the Rams with 10-7 lead and they'd shut down the Rams after just one first down. This was the second consecutive drive that ended on a sack (the only two sacks of the game), this one by Darnell Dockett. The Cardinals would get the ball back at thier own eight yard line and would score in just five plays. The highlights of the drive were back to back 30+ yard plays, 34 yard pass to Breaston Urban_medium and 30 yard TD run by Hightower. The shell-shocked Rams would get the ball back but three incomplete passes would burn just 15 seconds and the Cardinals would get the ball back with 1:18 left on the clock. After a JJ Arrington run on first down, the Cardinals got a gift when a deep pass from Warner went through the hands of Jonathan Wade and into the hands of Jerheme Urban who finished off a 56 yard TD. The Cardinals who had trailed by seven just 10 minutes earlier now sported a 17 point lead and all the momentum in the world.

The second half would be much less eventful but the result was a convincing Cardinals win. A surprising strong showing by the running game and defense held the Rams in check for the final 30 minutes and never let the outcome of the game come into doubt. The defense would shut down the Rams offense by allowing just 120 yards and didn't allow a drive to last longer than six plays. The running game allowed the Cardinals to dominate the time of possession in the second half and they held onto the ball for nearly 21 of the final 30 minutes. Was there ever any doubt after halftime that the Cardinals were walking out of St. Louis with a win?