clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Rams vs. Cardinals: Vote for the Week 14 player of the game

New, comments

Vote for the Cardinals player of the game from the Week 14 victory over the Rams.

Christian Petersen

The Arizona Cardinals left no doubt on the scoreboard in defeating the St. Louis Rams on Sunday, 30-10. They have scored at least 30 points in back-to-back home games for the first time since the 2010 season (Weeks 5 and 8, respectively).

The offense was better this week at situational football, going 8-of-15 (53.3%) on third downs. Red-zone situations were another story, as the Cardinals missed a field goal and fumbled at the goal line. But they did score all three touchdowns from within the red zone, so that's a positive.

The defense was spectacular all afternoon, and the only sore spot from Sunday is that rookie Tyrann Mathieu will reportedly miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL.

Here are the candidates for Week 14 player of the game.

Larry Fitzgerald

Stats: 12 receptions, 96 yards, 8.0 YPC, 1 TD

He didn't have a reception longer than 19 yards, but Larry Fitzgerald was unstoppable against the Rams. His 12 receptions are the most he's had in a game since Week 6 of the 2009 season when he had 13 for 100 yards and a score against the Seattle Seahawks.

What makes Fitzgerald's game even better this time around is the fact that none of the other receivers did anything of note. The second leading receiver for the Cardinals was tight end Rob Housler, who had three receptions for 42 yards. Michael Floyd, who had torn it up for a month before Sunday, had two receptions for just 26 yards.

Karlos Dansby

Stats: 8 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 sack, 1 INT returned for TD

It seems Karlos Dansby is in the running for player of the game every week -- and for good reason. He should be on his way to the Pro Bowl, and if would be a massive travesty if he's not. Hell, he's even worthy of an All-Pro selection (but let's not get ahead of ourselves).

Dansby once again led the team in tackles and now leads the entire NFL with 100 solo takedowns. He notched his sixth sack on Sunday, which is his second most as a professional -- he had eight in 2006 as an outside linebacker; what he's doing as an inside linebacker this season is nothing short of historic in terms of the franchise.

Dave Zastudil

Stats: 4 punts, 189 yards, 47.3 avg., 3 inside 20, long of 54

It was only a matter of time before the punter made this column. Though he wasn't used much, Dave Zastudil was a major player in keeping the Rams at bay offensively.

Included in his three punts downed inside the St. Louis 20 were two inside the 5-yard line. One led to a safety, while the other led to a punt that gave the Cardinals the ball near midfield. Field position is so important in the NFL, and Zastudil is no doubt a reason Arizona won on Sunday.

John Abraham

Stats: 6 tackles, 3 for loss, 3 sacks, 3 QB hits, 1 forced fumble, 1 safety

Veteran pass-rusher John Abraham now finds himself in the top 10 all-time in sacks after a three-sack performance against the Rams. He jumped Lawrence Taylor and Leslie O'Neal for ninth with 133.5 sacks.

But that's not the only list on which he improved his standing. He's now tied with five players for fifth all-time with eight seasons of at least 10 sacks and is tied with Derrick Thomas for third with his 10th game of at least three sacks.

One final note on Abraham's season with the Cardinals: He is the fourth player in NFL history to record a 10-sack season with three different teams, joining Kevin Greene, Sean Jones and Andre Carter.

Carson Palmer

Stats: 27 of 32 (84.4%), 269 yards, 8.4 YPA, 1 TD, 0 INT, 112.1 passer rating

Carson Palmer sure played well for having an elbow injury, didn't he? He threatened Kurt Warner's NFL record for completion percentage in a single game until a few late-game mishaps, but as it is, he now owns the second-highest single-game completion percentage in franchise history.

Palmer lit up the Rams without forcing the ball downfield, which is telling. Seven of his 17 interceptions have come on deep balls this season. An 11.9 percent interception rate on throws beyond 20 yards is insanely high.

He was on point all day. Other than a couple passes where Fitzgerald had to do Fitzgerald things to make a great grab, Palmer did not miss a throw.