When these two teams last met a little over 50 days ago. the Cardinals were undefeated. The game marked a turning point for both teams - Neither has won a game since then.
The Cardinals' defense continues to carry their team. They'll be starting a rookie at quarterback - Ryan Lindley - in the hope of sparking the 31st ranked offense in the NFL. Beanie Wells will be back to help out the run game, but their offensive lines woes continue. In the last meeting between these two teams, Arizona's Kevin Kolb was sacked NINE times. Ouch!
The Rams defense sputtered last week against the New York Jets, and they hope to find their lost mojo today against the Cardinals. Sam Bradford needs his offensive line to dig deep, because the Arizona defense will have their ears pinned back all day long. Sam will be without Danny Amendola, so the rest of the receiving corp needs to step up. Will they?
What might shock fans of both teams is neither is all the way out of the post season hunt. This game will feature a team filled with rookies against a team that's still reeling from six straight losses. The Cardinals play well at home, and they have a tendency to excel as the season winds down. This will be a physical, low scoring game. It will also feature lots and lots of mistakes by both teams. This could be ugly, but I have no doubt that it'll be fun to watch.
Keep an eye on Lindley, who specializes in ridiculously long passes. Look for Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Roberts to challenge Janoris Jenkins and Craig Dahl on deep routes early and often. The Rams will pound the ball against the Cardinals' defense. Steven Jackson will get 20+ carries if Jeff Fisher has his way.
Fun Fact: The Arizona defense is ranked #8 in the NFL overall (#20 against the run, #4 against the pass). The Rams defense is ranked #10 overall ( #16 against the run, #13 against the pass).
Enjoy the game!