A glance at five top storylines for Sunday’s Cardinals-Rams game at University of Phoenix Stadium:
- QB or not QB
- The mighty Quinn
Speaking of what the Rams can throw at the Cardinals, it starts with defensive end Robert Quinn, who blew up for three sacks and two forced fumbles in the first meeting and has piled up 13 sacks total this season with six forced fumbles. He and bookend defensive end Chris Long made life hard for the Cards in Week One. Now new left tackle
- Rams run, Cards stuff
Rookie Zac Stacy wasn’t a factor early in the season, but he is now, and it isn’t a coincidence St. Louis is running the ball better now than it was in September. The Cardinals are pretty good at stopping the run, though, especially at home. Against a team that has Kellen Clemens at quarterback, a chance to turn the Rams toward the pass is probably smart. That doesn’t mean the Rams can’t be effective in the pass game – most notably with emerging playmaker Tevon Austin – but the Rams are rushing for 147 yards a game since Week Five and that is their bread-and-butter.
- Taking the ball away
Here’s how important takeaways have become to the Cardinals these days: If they had just gotten one in Philadelphia – or more specifically, had they just not had one negated by penalty – the Cardinals are confident they would have won. And that’s after giving the ball away three times themselves. The seventh-ranked defense needs to bounce back from a performance that wasn’t up to standard in Philly, and it would be helped greatly by stealing the ball away a time or two.
- NFC West wish
The message to the team is winning division games. Some take that to heart more than others –