Rams Report Card vs. Cardinals

By Howard Balzer

PASSING OFFENSE: D - QB Kellen Clemens was good in the first half, bad in the second. Of course, it wasn't all his fault with the run game not working and the Arizona pass rush putting the heat on in the second half with all four of their sacks. Overall, the passing game netted just 157 yards and Clemens' passer rating was 48.5.

RUSHING OFFENSE: F - Even with WR Tavon Austin's 56-yard end-around, the run offense gets a failing grade. The Rams could accomplish little on the ground. RB Zac Stacy had a long of nine yards, and gained just 25 yards on 14 carries. Stacy did score the team's only touchdown on a 1-yard run.

PASS DEFENSE: C - The Rams limited the big play, but the pass rush was neutered by the quick passing of QB Carson Palmer. He completed 27 of 32 passes and was sacked only once. His 27 completions totaled just 269 yards (10.0 per completion). WR Larry Fitzgerald had 12 receptions, but for just 96 yards (8.0 per completion) and a long of 19.

RUSH DEFENSE: B - The run defense didn't hurt the Rams as RBs Andre Ellington (11-46), Rashard Mendenhall (17-41) and Stepfan Taylor (2-9) combined for 96 yards on 30 attempts. However, the usually short runs combined with a short passing game enabled the Cardinals to total 25 first downs and convert 8 of 14 third-down plays.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B - P Johnny Hekker averaged 51.4 yards per punt, but had a net of 42.8 because two of his five punts were touchbacks. K Greg Zuerlein hit his only field-goal attempt from 44 yards. Coverage was good.

Howard Balzer will be contributing to KSDK Sports throughout the 2013 NFL season. Howard hosts "H and Friends" Monday-Friday from 9-11 on Fox Sports 1490 The Champ. He is also a host on SiriusXM NFL Radio and one of 44 selectors for the Pro Football Hall of Fame


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