If the beginning of the game didn’t scare you, it is because you are mostly numb to who Blaine Gabbert has been throughout his career.
For that, kudos.
It was an ugly, auspicious start for the Arizona Cardinals who fell behind 16-0 before the first quarter ended, and it looked like it was going to be another game where the Cardinals were walloped by their division rivals...
Instead, Bruce Arians and the Arizona Cardinals offense leaned on aheavy dose of Kerywnn Williams and a little bit of Elijhaa Penny and the Cardinals offense found life in the second quarter.
Williams was integral on a nine play 67-yard drive that saw the Cardinals six yards passing, five penalty yards and 56-yards rushing and then get a one yard touchdown plunge from Penny to get the game to 7-16.
The defense found their footing and forced a second consecutive three and out and the Cardinals were in business again.
This drive was setup by a beautiful catch by J.J. Nelson, yes that J.J. Nelson and then Blaine Gabbert threw an absolute missile that Larry Fitzgerald plucked out of the air for a touchdown to cut the lead to 13-16 after the Rams blocked the point after attempt.
The Rams responded with a nice drive down to the one that resulted in a field goal to take us to the half at 13-19 Rams.
It was good to see the Cardinals find a response and then be able to come out in the second quarter and make some plays.
The defining moment of the game came in the third quarter.
After the Cardinals punted to start the second half, a holding penalty on the return set the Rams up at their own two yard line. The Cardinals forced a three and out, but Johnny Hekker boomed a 70-yard punt that backed the Cardinals up and that put the Rams defense in a position to make plays. They did just that, after two runs for little yardage, Aaron Donald blew past A.Q. Shipley and Earl Watford for a sack.
Then, Pharoah Cooper returned the punt 30 yards and the Rams had a short field after being backed up to their own goal line only four plays earlier.
They made the most of it with a short touchdown drive capped off by Jared Goff’s second touchdown pass of the day, this one to Sammy Watkins and the Rams were up 26-13.
It was again a desperate time for the Cardinals as there were only five minutes left in the third quarter and they needed points, which they were able to come up with to start the fourth quarter, as Phil Dawson stayed hot and kicked a 54-yard field goal to cut it to 26-16.
This would setup a pivotal time in the game as the Cardinals needed a stop and the ball back quickly.
Chandler Jones again made a great play... again, beating Andrew Whitworth for a sack and a strip of the ball that the Rams recovered. That would setup third and long though that the Rams couldn’t overcome and the Cardinals got great field position to cut the lead down further.
It was time to see what Gabbert was made of.
The Cardinals took two shots down the field and Gabbert missed a wide open Ricky Seals-Jones, and then on third down was pressured and missed a throw. That set up a 45-yard field goal from Phil Dawson, that was blocked, the second blocked field goal of the day and the game seemed to shift away from the Cardinals at that point.
The Rams added another field goal from Zuerlein and it become elementary from there for the Rams, who were just too much for the Cardinals.
The biggest difference in this game?
The Rams special teams are just so much better than the Cardinals it isn’t even comparable.
#FireAmosJones— Bruhette (@AzSportsGirl63) December 4, 2017
Today the Rams have
+Made a 56 yard FG
+Blocked a PAT
+Kicked a 70 yard punt
+Returned a punt 30 yards
+Recovered a pooch kick
+Blocked a field goal
Their one negative Special teans play.. a missed PAT that ruined my squares.
Did Blaine Gabbert play well?
No, not at all.
But when you have a quarterback who needs help, this is what you need from your defense and special teams, not... two blocked kicks and a number of possessions starting inside your own 20 because of poor returns.
That’s when you get a game like Gabberts: 17/31 205 yards 1 touchdown 2 interceptions and understand that if you are asking Blaine Gabbert to win you a football game you are going to be severely disappointed.