Rams, Cardinals meet with both teams on slide
BY BOB BAUM Associated Press
Sunday, November 25, 2012
11/25/12 at 7:02 AM
GLENDALE, Ariz. - Seven weeks ago, Arizona's surprising 4-0 start to the season ended with a thud in a dominant Thursday night victory by the Rams over the Cardinals.
Neither team has won a game since.
The Rams have gone 0-4-1, with a 24-24 tie with NFC West-leading San Francisco the only relative bright spot. The Cardinals' 17-3 loss to St. Louis sent them into a tailspin of six straight losses and counting.
"We had a really good night that night," Rams defensive end Chris Long said. "A lot of things came together. That's our goal every week, to have a day like that."
That promise has evaporated for the Rams, who in their first season under coach Jeff Fisher started the season 3-2. The loser of Sunday's game will find themselves in the NFC West basement with five games to play.
"We see improvement," Fisher said. "Some of the younger players improving on a weekly basis. Our issue right now is one of consistency. We'll put a drive together and get points, and then come back and struggle a little bit."
The Cardinals could say the same thing, especially about their offense, which stumbles into the game ranked next-to-last in the NFL. Coach Ken Whisenhunt, his patience obviously worn thin, benched quarterback John Skelton early in last Sunday's 23-19 loss at Atlanta and replaced him with rookie Ryan Lindley.
Lindley, a sixth-round draft pick from San Diego State, will get his first NFL start Sunday. Asked if he expects the Rams to try to take advantage of his inexperience, Lindley said "without a doubt."
The Cardinals should benefit from the return of running back Beanie Wells, back from the injured/designated to return list. Wells missed seven games after going down with a turf toe injury in Week 3 against Philadelphia. While the toe was the official reason for placing him on the NFL's new list, Wells said the real benefit was resting his surgically repaired right knee, which had bothered him in the early going.
St. Louis, coincidentally, also has a Wells coming back from the injured/designated for return list. Center Scott Wells, sidelined with a foot injury, will return for the first time since the season opener.
Original Print Headline: Rams meet Cardinals with both teams reeling
3:25 p.m. Sunday
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Arizona quarterback Ryan Lindley will get his first NFL start Sunday against St. Louis. RICH ADDICKS / Associated Press