Week 15 – Arizona at St Louis: “That’s not a [defense]… THIS is a [defense].”

This is the first chance I’ve had for a number of weeks to post for the Pigskin Almanac.

To those of you who’ve been celebrating this absence, my most sincere apologies (“reports of my demise” etc., etc.,).

Accordingly, I want to get this out of the way.

To decry this:

 

st-louis-rams-hands-up-dont-shoot

 

and this,

Unknown

 

Is to have almost no understanding of this

images

this,

MUHAMMAD-ALI-NET-WORTH1

 

or this;

Peter Norman, Tommie Smith, John Carlos

 

and their context and respective places, not just in American sport, but their place in American culture, politics and history.

So there’s that.

The 12 – 6 scoreline in favour of the Cards gives it away, but if you’re a fan of defensive arm wrestles, this was one for the ages.

Both field goal units got plenty of match practice in what, ultimately, would only have had fans of these two sides, and those in the NFC West with a vested interest, watching with anything resembling enthusiasm.

Much was made of the Rams’ three consecutive shutouts leading into last Thursday night’s fixture.

By game’s end, Bruce Arians – who must surely surely be to Arizona sportswriters what Herman “put your name on it” Edwards was to New York’s sports media – would let slip how much that stat had weighed on the Cards when he said ”…everybody talking all that stuff about how great [the Rams] defense is, they saw a good defense tonight. It was in red and white.”

Not only did they limit St Louis to three points, but they managed to put twelve on the Rams for good measure.

Not that they were ever realistically in the hunt, but the Rams now fall out of post-season calculations.

If you believe everything being printed, filmed or posted, San Francisco is about as functional as a Kevin Rudd frontbench, so it’s safe to declare their playoff hopes dashed as well.

Which brings us to this:

“If you’re a neutral, the run home in the NFC West will be fascinating to watch. If you’re a fan of one of one of the teams, get the Pepto-Bismol ready.” Ed Wyatt, Nov 9, 2014

Likewise, if you’re on Arizona’s roster as a QB, call in sick whenever you’re scheduled to play the Rams.

Five weeks ago, Carson Palmer’s season was ended by the Rams’ Mark Barron on a blitz. On Thursday night, the man who took over from Palmer – Drew Stanton – (perhaps) also had his season ended when Aaron Donald made it through the Rams line to bring some hurt. Literally.

In perhaps the understatement of the year, Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald’s first comment when talking to the media in the post-game wasn’t about his 900th career catch, it was “I’m glad we don’t have to play the Rams anymore”.

Reports have Drew Stanton on the sidelines for anything from three to six weeks. As I hit the keyboard for this, the Cards are 11 – 3, but Seattle sit 9 – 4 and host a relatively dysfunctional San Francisco. The NFC West playoff picture is by no means settled. The fate of Stanton’s season hangs on more than just sports medicine.

For Cardinals fans, they’ll be stocking something a little more hard-core than Pepto-Bismol for the next three weeks.

Dec 12
Edward Jones Dome, Saint Louis MO (55,880)

Arizona  0 6 3 3 – 12
St. Louis  3 0 0 3 – 6

Passing: Shaun Hill (STL), 229 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Kerwynn Williams (ARI), 15 car, 75 yds
Receiving: Stedman Bailey (STL), 5 rec, 74 yds
Pigskin Almanac “Valium: Can I Get a Hell-yeah?” Award:  Chandler Catanzaro

About Steve Baker

Steve Baker cashed in his horses for choppers and went tear-assing around 'Nam, looking for the shit. He's been known to chopper in t-bones and beer and turn the L-Z into a beach party. Steve's the defending 'Most Pessimistic Dallas Fan' champion and is in the midst of a life-long campaign to one day buy the Cowboys off Jerry Jones and end the madness. He's also chief button-pusher for the Footy Almanac Podcast, so you can blame him.

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