Winners and Losers from Arizona's 17-3 Loss at St. Louis

Andrew NordmeierContributor IIIOctober 5, 2012

Winners and Losers from Arizona's 17-3 Loss at St. Louis

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    The Arizona Cardinals' undefeated run to open the season hit a brick wall in St. Louis as the Rams knocked off the Cardinals 17-3 Thursday night. 

    Arizona was again plagued by horrible offensive line play as they allowed nine sacks on the night. They couldn't get the ground game going again. In three trips to the red zone, they picked up a field goal and were stopped on downs twice. 

    St. Louis improved to 3-2 on the season and stand just one game behind Arizona (4-1) in the NFC West. 

    Although the Cardinals lost, start the slideshow below and see who the individual winners and losers were from this divisional showdown. 

Loser: Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis

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    Sam Bradford had an awful night passing and Arizona couldn't capitalize. 

    Outside of a 44-yard completion to Danny Amendola and a 51-yard touchdown pass to Chris Givens, Bradford posted awful stats. How awful?

    Try 5-of-19, 46 yards 1TD;1INT awful. One week after allowing rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill to throw for more than 400 yards against them, the Cardinals limited Bradford to a total of 141 yards of passing. 

    Normally in the NFL, those numbers are usually associated with the phrase "losing quarterback." Tonight, however, those are the stats of the winning quarterback. 

Winner: Kevin Kolb, QB, Arizona

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    Kevin Kolb finished 28-of-50 for 289 yards without a touchdown and without an interception. Despite his team putting up all of three points, Kolb still comes out as a winner. 

    Consider that he faced immense pressure all night. He was sacked nine times, took 13 hits and was knocked down 13 times. Kolb was also hurried 21 times against the Rams. 

    And yet he still finished a little shy of back-to-back 300 yard games. 

    Larry Fitzgerald wound up being his No. 1 target and caught eight passes for 92 yards. All told, Kolb did a good job distributing the ball as 10 different Cardinals recorded at least one reception.

    Kolb's team didn't win tonight but he didn't give up, despite the rush. 

Loser: Danny Amendola, WR, St. Louis

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    Danny Amendola was the key receiver for the St. Louis Rams in 2012. He was amongst the league leaders in receptions and yards through four weeks. 

    He made a highlight-reel grab in the first quarter for a 44-yard gain. And then it went sour, quickly. 

    Amendola tried to make the catch in the photo and landed awkwardly on his right shoulder. He walked off the field under his own power and was being looked at by the trainers. 

    According to ESPN, Amendola went back to the locker room and reappeared on the sidelines in the second half with a sling on his right arm. 

    While a formal diagnosis is not yet available, an injury to the collarbone and/or clavicle seems likely based on the way his arm was just dangling on the sidelines. 

    Either way, Amendola will miss a significant amount of time, if not the rest of the season. 

Loser: Arizona's Offensive Line

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    After allowing eight sacks to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, the Cardinals had to show they could do better and protect Kevin Kolb. As if it wasn't possible, they actually performed worse Thursday night in St. Louis. Remember, this was the team that allowed 105 sacks the last two seasons combined. 

    Kolb got sacked nine times by the Rams. Robert Quinn led the way with a three-sack game while six other players recorded one each. Kolb has been sacked 17 times in the last five days and Arizona quarterbacks have hit the turf 23 times in five games. 

    Arizona will host Buffalo next Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals will have to find a way to slow down Mario Williams, who is one of the best edge rushers in the league, otherwise Kolb will continue to sacked over and over. 

Loser: Ryan Williams, RB, Arizona

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    Ryan Williams' woes continued against the Rams. The running back from Virginia Tech has yet to really find his stride and the Rams defense did a good job of bottling him up. 

    Williams finished with 33 yards on 14 carries with a long of 12 yards. Yes, he's hamstrung by the offensive line's inability to block but he's still not getting the lanes he needs. 

    Williams reportedly hurt his shoulder in the loss. According to NFL.com, Williams suffered a left shoulder injury early in the fourth quarter and didn't return. 

    St. Louis hasn't exactly been iron-clad against the run this season. The Rams have allowed opposing running backs or quarterbacks (RGIII) to rush for at least 50 yards and a touchdown in every game. That is, until they ran into Williams and shut him down. 

    Outside of his 13-carry, 83-yard game against Philadelphia, Williams has been a poor running back this season. 

Loser: Ken Whisenhunt, Head Coach, Arizona

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    It was a rough night for Ken Whisenhunt. His offensive line is in tatters. He lost a running back to injury and is almost out of healthy ones on his roster. 

    The play-calling is what really has to irritate Arizona fans. The Cardinals got into the red zone three times and came away with a field goal. The other two times they were stopped on downs. It was puzzling to understand why the call was for a 10-yard pass on 4th-and-goal from the 15-yard line. 

    The other thing that has to be a bitter pill to swallow is that the offense needs a lot of time to move down the field. Arizona's lone scoring drive was a borderline-Bataan Death March. It took 17 plays to move the ball 63 yards in 9:24 for that one field goal. 

    After that series, Arizona punted on seven if its next eight possessions with the lone exception being a missed field goal. They were stopped on downs on their next two series and gave up their final possession on a fumble. 

    The Cardinal's have been living on the play of their defense and special teams. Whisenhunt and his coaches have 10 days to come up with a better plan before Buffalo comes in for week six.