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Cardinals vs. Rams 2012: An 'inspired defensive performance' from St. Louis in victory

With a 17-3 victory on Thursday night, the Rams gave the Cardinals their first loss of the 2012 season and got themselves over the .500 mark for the first time in six years. Fresh off a 2-14 season in 2011, the win was a showcase for the amount of progress the Rams have made in a short amount of time and the future looks bright for the young franchise.

Particularly bright was the performance of the Rams defense. While they were unable to come away with an interception for the first time in 2012, their relentless pass rush finished with nine sacks and held the Cardinals to just three points. Ryan Van Bibber of SB Nation's Rams blog, Turf Show Times, called the performance an "inspired" one by the Rams defense:

"There's only one place to start, with the defense. It was the most inspired defensive performance at the Edward Jones Dome in at least as many years. The crowd ate it up, giving the home team an advantage most of the players have never experienced, not with this team at any rate."

Robert Quinn led the Rams with three sacks, while his counterpart Chris Long as well as five other players on the St. Louis defense each added one. Quinn also registered a forced fumble on his third and final sack, stripping Kevin Kolb of the ball and turning the ball back to the Rams offense to kneel out the clock.