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Grading the Offense: Cardinals vs Rams

To say the Cardinals offense put up a dominant effort against the 1-9 Rams would be a stretch. They did however, show sings of brilliancy in the first half. When Matt Leinart took over for the injured Kurt Warner, the offense faltered in the second half and failed to register any points. What we already know is Ken Whisenhunt essentially went conservative for Leinart, making his primary job to manage the game. What Leinart did is exactly that, going 10-14 on the day for 74 yards and no turnovers.

Quarterbacks: Both quarterbacks split time equally and you could call it a tale of two games. In the first two quarters, Kurt Warner slung 15 passes for 203 yards and led the Cardinals to 21 points. His footwork in the pocket and timing made the game look like it was going to be a route until a blow to the head forced him out of the game. Matt Leinart took over before the half and wasn't able to increase the Cardinals lead. The most important pass of the day came on a 3rd down late in the fourth quarter. Leinart was almost sacked before buying time and throwing the 1st down pass to Early Doucet. Leinart will likely get more practice time with the 1st team offense should Warner not be able to play against the Titans next week.

Running backs: For the third game in a row, Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower were able to put together dominant rushing performances, eclipsing 180 yards two of the times. They put their nickname "wear and tear" to use, as Hightower wore out the Rams offense with a 50 yard run, and Beanie came in the game to continue ripping the defense. The running game especially benefited Warner, because after they were able to break off chunks of yardage, Warner was able to find the receivers.

Wide receivers: Nobody had an outstanding performance and a lot of that can fall on the vanilla play-calling in the second half. Anquan Boldin had his 2nd consecutive 100 yard receiving game, also catching a touchdown. Larry Fitzgerald quietly put together another solid game, and now is first in the league with 9 receiving touchdowns. Both running backs each had 2 catches while Early Doucet and Ben Patrick both caught passes of 20 yards or more.

Offensive line: Aside from the two sacks allowed, the Cardinals offensive line has gradually improved in the last month and greatly since the first game of the season. They also blocked for 183 rushing yards, the largest amount of the year, and gave Warner and Leinart plenty of time in the pocket. If you don't count Dan Kreider as part of the offensive line, then the Cardinals line only accounted for 1 penalty, which was a false start on Levi Brown.

My Offensive Grade: B

If I graded one half at a time I'd give them an A in the first half and a D in the second half. Matt Leinart wasn't great but the play-calling didn't help and Leinart didn't turn the ball over. How do you think the offense did and what was your grade?