The Arizona Cardinals entered week 4 undefeated with their offense rolling and their defense looking unstoppable, but the Rams were able to capitalize off of Arizona turnovers and beat the Cardinals 24-22.
David Johnson fumble on kickoff – David Johnson is an explosive rookie and looked like he was going to break off another huge kick return against the Rams but ended up being stripped during his return with the ball recovered deep in Cardinal territory by the Rams. This was a key turnover as it allowed Nick Foles to have a short field and score the first touchdown of the day, even though the Cardinals were the first to receive the ball.
Andre Ellington out for Week 4 - Ellington had been listed as possible this week but became a game time decision and ended up being rested for another week.
Mike Iupati first game back – Iupati looked a little rusty and was playing against a powerful d-line it was not an easy welcome back.
Carson Palmer being sacked – The Cardinals entered Week 4 allowing the fewest number of quarterback sacks (1) in the NFL. Against the Rams impressive defense the Cardinals gave up four sacks.
Dangerous combination of Golden and Campbell – The rookie Markus Golden has a high motor and has been around the QB in a lot of hits. Paired with Calais Campbell he’s generating a lot of pressure and getting a lot of time for the big man in the backfield.
Floyd returns to big plays – WR Michael Floyd returns to full action this week and draws an excellent PI on a deep pass in the end zone setting the Cardinals up for a FG. But it was clear this week that Michael Floyd was back in form for going up for the jump ball.
David Johnson is still a rookie – David Johnson has a lot of power when running and had an impressive catch and run in the first quarter but showed that he’s a rookie by not catching a zero pressure catch for a touchdown. He was looking at celebrating and not completing the catch. I’m sure he received some coaching on the sideline for that one. He plays with power and is very difficult to bring down.
Bethel is a starting CB - For the past two weeks Bethel has been playing like a top 10 CB, and while young he’s showing more and more that he can elevate his game to play the outside and is not a liability in the secondary.
Cardinals WRs know how to block – Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald are both blocking machines in Bruce Arians offense.
Red zone issues early – The Cardinals first two red zone trips ended with field goals due to the aggressive Rams defense. Coming into this week the Cardinals were 11/12 in the red zone.
Writers note – Fells is one of my favorite TEs I’ve seen in a Cardinal uniform. His catching and blocking skills are huge.
Palmers deep strike INT creates Tyree reference – Palmer’s deep strike to Brown was intercepted due to late double coverage against John Brown and Rams CB Jenkins makes a Tyree-esque catch on his helmet in the end zone for the touchback.
Cardinals week 4 game plan was based around Brown as #1 target – Carson Palmer was letting the young Brown use his wheels against the Rams secondary and letting the big WR vets use their hands for big blocks. Browns wheels were causing lots of frustration to the large Rams defenders.
The Rams defense created turnovers with targeted hits – Impressive hits to David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald caused two crucial turnovers that both lead to Rams passing touchdowns.
Chris Johnson has incredible vision and cutting ability – The Cardinals will have a lot of fun figuring out how they’re going to spread the work out over their talented backfield. Chris Johnson has made his case that he deserves to be a 1A Ellington in a 1B role. It’s hard to take away from the hot hand.
Referees terrible call negates fumble – The Cardinals stripped Rams RB Benny Cunningham at the end of the 3rd quarter and the ball was recovered and advanced by Frostee Rucker but the officials ruled the player down by contact and blew the whistle ending forward progress. Though all screen reviews showed the fumble and the officiating crew called it "Non-reviewable".
Catanzaro played perfectly – Player of the game? He has a case. The Catman scored 16 points, 5 of 5 field goals, and stopped two big run backs during kick offs. He also kicked deep kicks and stepped up in a big way to keep the Cardinals in the game all day even when the red zone trips stalled due to the Rams defense stepping up in the red zone.
4th Quarter "almost" big play – Mathieu 32 almost picks off Nick Foles on what looked like a repeat of his route jumping against the 49ers but due to a block he misses the pick and Tavon Austin makes the catch and is able to turn it into a first down and then follows it up with a slant TD putting the Rams up 23-15 with 8:16 left in the game. The touchdown was Nick Foles 3rd on the day with zero turnovers at that point.
Carson Palmer leads the team in the fourth quarter – Palmer stayed with the rookie David Johnson and let him have a chance to redeem his earlier touchdown drop, and he was right to do so. David Johnson caught the first touchdown of the day bringng the Cardinals to within 2 points of the Rams.
Rams’ Gurley has incredible welcome to the NFL – Gurley was instrumental in closing out the game for the Rams and in his second game in the NFL plays like a seasoned vet. His final play of the game could have been a touchdown but instead he made the first down and then surrendered himself to keep the clock rolling and closing out the game to seal the win for the Rams.
Final Score – Rams 24 – Cardinals 22