Boldin, Fitzgerald and Doucet (Getty)
The Arizona Cardinals did what they were suppose to do against the St. Louis Rams
at home on Sunday. The Cardinals took a 31-10 victory over the one-win Rams. But the Cardinals
NFC West rivals weren't without a few surprises against the division champs.
The Arizona Cardinals weren't flawless against the St. Louis Rams, but they looked pretty darn good in some instances and inconsistent in others. Kurt Warner led the charge on Sunday. He set an NFL record, gave Early Doucet a late Christmas present and put Anquan Boldin in the limelight for all the right reasons.
Warner, who posted 313 yards and two touchdowns against his former team, became the second player in NFL history to throw 100 touchdown passes with two different teams. With the ball locked up for safe keeping, Early Doucet also celebrated a milestone. Doucet caught Warner's record pass, and recorded the first touchdown of his two-year career.
Anquan Boldin topped the receiving charts for the Cardinals. He had a season-best 116 yards on eight receptions. Boldin received the majority of the passes. His fellow All-Pro receiver Larry Fitzgerald caught five, which was good for 48 yards. But many of Fitzgerald's unheralded plays in Sunday's game came from his blocking. Fitzgerald went to work when the ball wasn't coming his way, as did Tim Hightower (32 yards and one score).
The Rams weren't without moral victories, which were enough to keep Warner in the game long after than what was expected. Matt Leinart took over with three minutes left. He handed the ball off to Beanie Wells who ran it in for the touchdown and one more nail in the win, 31-10.
For the Rams, rookie quarterback Keith Null prevented a shutout, when he connected with Brandon Gibson in the third quarter. The touchdown marked the Rams first third quarter touchdown of the season. On defense, the Rams
got in the way of a handful of passes and prevented the Cardinals from closing the
first half with another touchdown. Three different Cardinals receivers couldn't
come up with the end zone reception (Steve Breaston, Boldin and Fitzgerald). Another
noteworthy Rams tidbit is the work of Chris Long who had left tackle Jeremy Bridges'
number all-day. Bridges continues to fill in for injured starter Mike Gandy.
Whether its's Bridges or Gandy, the left tackle position continues to get hit with
red ink all season.
One area on the field that doesn't need a whole lot of correcting, is the Cardinals secondary.
Rookie Greg Toler earned the first pick of his career. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and
Adrian Wilson also showed how it's done with their sixth and fifth picks of the year, respectively.
The Cardinals were also able to put pressure on Null with four sacks (Bertrand Berry,
Calais Campbell, Chike Okeafor and Wilson).