Cardinals' defense had point to prove in rematch versus Rams
A Week 4 loss to the St. Louis Rams was fresh in the minds of the Arizona Cardinals in Sunday's rematch.
Not only were the Cardinals knocked off on their home field, but they allowed Rams rookie running back Todd Gurley to rush for 144 of his 146 yards in the second half of a 24-22 upset victory.
Arizona's defense turned the tables Sunday in St. Louis, holding the Rams to 212 total yards and limiting Gurley to 41 yards on nine carries - 34 of which came on one second-half run.
“I think we found our identity,” Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu said. “We’re a team that can stop the run, force people to throw the ball and that's what we want."
While it helped that St. Louis features the league's worst passing attack, star cornerback Patrick Peterson made it a point to let his teammates know that a repeat was not acceptable. Peterson called the defense into a meeting last Monday following a narrow victory over San Francisco even though coach Bruce Arians gave the team the day off.
"Coming into this game, everybody was focused,” Peterson said. “We knew that this team couldn’t beat us straight up. .... We knew they would come out and try some gimmicks, try to get our eyes in different spots, mix direction here and there. But for the most part, everybody was dialed in. Everybody was keyed on their assignment from the first play to the last play. It was complete focus for 60 minutes.”