Date: December 3, 2017
GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals hosted the LA Rams on Sunday afternoon and the match-up between the two NFC West opponents featured early interceptions, missed and blocked extra points, blocked fields goals, huge punt returns and a score that resulted in a 32-16 loss for the Redbirds. For this 2017 season, the Cardinals are still looking to put together back-to-back wins as they now sit at 5-7.
Game Tidbits and Quotes:
- The opening play for the Cardinals featured quarterback Blaine Gabbert rolling right and launching a deep ball across his body that was intercepted by Rams safety LaMarcus Joyner.
Head coach Bruce Arians summarized the game. “One thing I never question is the effort our guys give. We had a good week of preparation, and effort was fine These guys played their tails off; we just didn’t execute well enough to beat that team today. Hats off to them. They made their plays. When we had our change to make plays, we didn’t get it done. It was going to be a one-score game, and then they blocked the field goal. They did a great job of coming up the middle. The snappers and guards have just got to do a better job of protecting the middle. Same thing on the extra point. Those were obviously huge points. It was kind of the swing of the game because we only get back to six. Again, now we’re back down two scores. I thought that was probably the critical part of the game. Obviously, it was a poor start offensively, just a bad decision to throw the ball on the run. Get out there and get your feet set. He [Gabbert] knew he had the post and knew the post was going to be open. Roll out and get your feet set. Don’t try and throw it down there on the run, just things you try and continue to learn from.”
- In three starts for the Cardinals, Blaine Gabbert’s numbers include 6 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Gabbert is completing nearly 60 percent of his passes on 62 of 104 attempts for 719 yards.
Head coach Bruce Arians accessed Gabbert’s play so far. “Up and down. Up and down. I think he’s had his really good moments and some poor decision and some poor moments. Mostly not decisions, more throws. A lot of that can come with chemistry with guys. I think that rollercoaster, you’d like to see it just even out a little bit.”
- For the contest against the Rams, Gabbert overcame two early interceptions in the first quarter and having the offense stall for much of the quarter with the first 1st down occurring with just over one minute to play in the first quarter. Gabbert finished the afternoon 18 of 32 for 221 yards and 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions.
Blaine Gabbert discussed over-coming the bad first quarter start. “Yeah, definitely not the start any of us wanted. But bouncing back from that, you got to have a short-term memory, especially playing the quarterback position. I took a shot, it’s one of those things, if you hit it, it’s a great play. If you don’t, it’s a bad one. It didn’t go our way that time but I think the biggest thing coming out of that game is that the guys kept swinging for four quarters against a great football team.”
Blaine Gabbert is on a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals, but now in his seventh year in the league. Gabbert evaluated his own progress. “It’s so week to week. I’m just trying to improve each and every week. I’ll have to watch the film tomorrow, but there’s going to be bumps in the road. My biggest focus right now is to just be a leader in that huddle, being a leader for this football team, and taking it one week at a time.”
- Kerwynn Williams received the start at running back in place of Adrian Peterson who did not practice all week due to a neck injury. Williams was also dealing with an injury of his own, cracked ribs. But Williams almost had a career day, rushing for 97 yards on 16 carries. (Williams’ previous best came on December 7, 2017 against the Kansas City Chiefs where he had 19 carries for 100 yards).
Kerwynn Williams discussed his big game and spark for the Cardinals offense. “I think the offensive line did a great job of getting a body on somebody. Every time we would run the ball, they opened up a lot of holes.” Williams added that he feels alright and he tried not to let the injuries affect him. “I think you just have to go. Honestly, if you think about it too much, it will slow you down. So you just have to stay focused on the task at hand and just do what you can to go out there and play.”
- Larry Fitzgerald, or Larry Legend as he is being called these days continues to have game-after game in which milestones are reached and surpassed. Fitz ended the day with 10 catches for 98 yards and 1 touchdown. The 15-yard touchdown grab for Fitz was his 1,200th reception of his 14 year career. Playing in his 214th career game, Fitz became the fastest player to reach the 1,200 catch club (Jerry Rice: 221, Tony Gonzalez: 247). In addition, Fitzgerald grabbed a 12 yard pass in the fourth quarter to surpass Isaac Bruce for fourth all-time on the receiving yards list. Bruce sits at 15,208 yards and just ahead of Fitz in third place is Randy Moss (15,292).
Larry Fitzgerald is focused on getting wins and his individual accomplishments will have to be reflected upon in retirement. “No, not when you lose to the Rams, a division opponent. The season hasn’t gone the way we had hoped. It is hard to take any joy in losing. So, when I am done and retired and I see you over at Starbucks one day we can reminisce about it. But I don’t feel good about it[the milestones] now.”