Game Preview: Cardinals vs. Rams
Arizona Cardinals

Posted Dec 3, 2010


Arizona will attempt to snap a six-game losing streak against the division leading Rams.

GAME PLAN: Defensively, the Cardinals must concentrate on limiting RB Steven Jackson and reducing the number of big plays yielded. The Rams receiving corps isn't dangerous, but the Cardinals secondary isn't very good, either. Offensively, the Cardinals need to run the ball to set up some play-action deep. They have trying to do that, but Derek Anderson has not been accurate enough to make plays.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL: There probably isn't much more the Cardinals can do in adjusting schemes or personnel. Coach Ken Whisenhunt isn't inclined to play either of his rookie quarterbacks, Max Hall and John Skelton, but that could change if losses mount. Many of the team's young players hold significant roles already, although getting Skelton some playing time in his first year would be beneficial.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Rams DE James Hall vs. Cardinals LT Levi Brown. Hall has 7.5 sacks, and Brown has struggled in pass protection, especially in obvious passing downs. The Cardinals must be able to run and successfully use draws and screens to slow Hall.

Rams CB Ron Bartell vs. Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald hasn't been getting the ball much, but he's been open. He is still dangerous, but the quarterbacks have a hard time getting him the ball.

Rams RB Steven Jackson vs. Cardinals SS Adrian Wilson. Wilson is likely to line up near the line of scrimmage most of the game as the Cardinals try to stop Jackson. That hasn't worked lately with other backs, so Jackson could have a big day against one of the NFL's worst run defenses.

BY THE NUMBERS: 32nd -- That's where the Cardinals rank, last in the league, in net yards differential. They are gaining an average of 257.7 yards a game and giving up 396.8, a 139.1-yard differential.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's really frustrating. What we have built for the past couple of years, (then) going on this losing streak. We are all looking for answers to change this thing around, and it's not happening." -- Receiver Steve Breaston.

INJURY IMPACT: DE Calais Campbell is nursing a sore left ankle and could be questionable for this week's game. Alan Branch had been splitting time with Campbell at that spot.



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