With so much criticism directed at Derek Anderson, fans should step back and remember that playing…
Five to Watch: Rams @ Cardinals
With only three wins to the Cardinals' name, it's easy to point out where Anderson has reached small milestones and Week 1, against the Rams, was one of them. Although the win in St. Louis wasn't pretty, the Cardinals were happy to take it. The win put Anderson in the driver's seat.
Two more wins, eight losses and a couple quarterback changes later, the Rams and Cardinals meet again with Anderson once again "leading" the way. The Cardinals hope for some unapologetic play from Anderson and a real reason to appear jolly on the sidelines.
4. RT Jeremy Bridges
Bridges, who has been filling in for Brandon Keith, has his work cut out for him. He'll not only face DE Chris Long on Sunday, but also an entire Rams defense that has found its mojo. Bridges has found success against one of the NFL's best before. Last year, Bridges stepped in against the Vikings and kept Kurt Warner sack-free and pick-free. He quieted Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, keeping him to zero tackles and zero sacks. If Bridges can keep Long off the box score and away from Anderson, a win isn't out of the realm of possibility. A few open lanes for the running backs wouldn't hurt either.
3. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
The Pro Bowl corner is on fire, because he keeps getting burned. His interviews are the only part of his play that seem to have energy and effort. The Rams don't feature an explosive offense, but it could still embarrass the Cardinals if players like Rodgers-Cromartie don't step up. Sam Bradford has nine picks on the year, it would suit Rodgers-Cromartie to put him in double digits.
2. RB Beanie Wells
After two years of speculation whether Wells would hold the No. 1 spot or Tim Hightower would, it's official, it doesn't matter. Both backs have been plagued with fumbles and low yardage. One of Wells' biggest contributions all season was a 43-yard pickup, through the air, against the 49ers. The Cardinals need production on the ground. They rank second to last in the league.
Wells was out for the Cardinals and Rams previous meeting, but scored a touchdown in both tries last season. Wells will be looking for his fourth touchdown of the year on Sunday.
1. Coach Ken Whisenhunt
Five to Watch is typically reserved for those who suit up, but Whisenhunt is on the hot seat. He's not lingering in Monday's loss, but the short memory rule shouldn't apply this week. The Cardinals need to remember Monday's embarrassment and not repeat it on Sunday.
The Cardinals have lost their edge and their desire to prove the league wrong. Since Whisenhunt arrived in the desert, the Cardinals have had to work harder for respect than almost any other team in the league. They lost it quicker than they received it. Granted, there's been countless changes to the roster and coaching staff, but Whisenhunt is the same coach whose team thrived in its underdog status. He needs to get his team back into the cohesive group that wants to prove everyone wrong. University of Phoenix Stadium is as good of place as any to start.
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