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Rams-Cardinals: The Turf Show Times’ Staff Predicts a Winner

The St. Louis Rams host the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday Night Football in Week 15. The Cardinals have secured a playoff berth...the Rams...well...aren’t necessarily out. Will they be? The TST crew have their predictions...

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Papa_Lurch [@Papa_Lurch]

This game screams good old fashioned NFC West slugfest. The Rams defense has obviously hit it's stride with consecutive shutouts. On the other side of the coin, while the Cards are struggling with injuries. Antonio Cromartie may not play and Fitz isn't 100% back from his knee injury.

Look for the Rams to harass Drew Stanton all day and force a few turnovers. I think a suddenly effective run game and improved play from the secondary leads the Rams to a decisive victory.

Prediction:  Rams 29, Cardinals 13

Mike Dietrich [@dvond]

The Cards and Rams are both coming off big wins but the big difference is where the games were won. The Cards are an excellent home team even with Stanton but put their shaky play on the road and things get very dicey for them. Stanton could have had 5 turnovers yesterday and will not be able to make the same mistakes against the improving Rams defense. The Cards still have a solid defense especially against the run. They were a much different team with Palmer and the odds makers see this as a even match up and Rams giving 3 due to HFA.

Prediction:  Rams 16, Cardinals 13

Frank "Dubs" Dobozy [@Bozy1313]

The Rams lost 31-17 the last time these two teams met in Week 10. A lot has changed in the interim. The Cardinal's offense has been struggling since the season-ending injury to QB Carson Palmer. Arizona is 2-2 in their last four games. Conversely, the Rams are on fire, and have won three of their last four games. The defense has been a dominant force, allowing only 34 points combined in the Rams' last four games. The over/under for this game is 39.5 points. I'm going with the under, and the Rams defense coming through with another dominant performance for the win.

Prediction:  Rams 20, Cardinals 16

Eric Nagel [@Eric_nagel]

Do the thing, win the points.

Prediction:  Rams 20, Cardinals 10

sergey606 [@thatsergey]

Quinn gets 5 sacks, Hill throws 15 TDs, Mason runs for another 10 (at least), secondary gets 3 picks.  The shutout machine keeps rolling and Mike D keeps predicting wrong outcomes. Hashtag smiley face.

Prediction:  Rams 375, Arizona Football Team 0

EddieP [@iAmEddieP_]

I ain't no bandwagon, I've been on. The Rams defense is playing how they're supposed to play. Dominant. The offense is playing mistake free. This game has a high probability of going our way at home.

But…Arizona is playing exactly how the Rams are playing. They have for the entire season.

I think the Rams continue their streak, though. It will be tough, but we will pull off the win.

Prediction:  Rams 19, Cardinals 13

northwestRAMSfan [@troilus22]

Whatcha gonna do when Sack City runs wild over you, brother?! The Rams defense is playing as well or better than any other unit in the NFL over the past 5 or 6 weeks. Yes the past two opponents aren't exactly the 1998 Minnesota Vikings or Greatest Show on Turf caliber offenses, but shutouts are shutouts baby. Consider this little fact, the Rams defense hasn't allowed a Red Zone TD since week 10 at the Arizona Cardinals. They also haven't allowed any red zone drives to three of their past 4 opponents, which includes the high octane Denver Broncos. The one Red Zone drive allowed to the Chargers occured following the Hill INT which gave the Chargers possession at the Rams 23 yard line. The defense is finally starting to get home with its blitzes, and the D-line is absolutely wreaking havoc. The Rams have also been absolutely dominating opposing teams rushing attack recently, surrending a mere 88 yards on 33 rushing attempts (2.66 ypc) the past two weeks. On the other side the Rams offense finally seems to be getting solid production from its young skill players. With Bailey, Austin, and Mason all coming on as of late the offense has been more than enough to win games when coupled with this teams Defense and Special Teams dominance. As long as the team continues to protect the ball I expect the wins to keep coming. While a third consecutive shutout seems unlikely the Rams defense should dominate the Cardinals offense. Can the Rams offense generate enough points against a very tough Cardinals D? Special teams should swing this game in the Rams favor, although you can expect a multiple sack effort from Robert Quinn.

Prediction:  Rams 24, Cardinals 13

DouglasM [@thenovelroad]

Riding high off of wins over a couple of - let's face it - suspect teams, the Rams have a chance to prove their upswing isn't a fluke of scheduling. But in a way, the 8 game gauntlet they went through set the stage for the Raiders and Redskins wins. If you play great teams - and get used to high caliber opponents - it definitely helps sway the 'ol learning curve in the right direction. In fact, if the Rams continue to play the way they have the last two weeks, and use it as a jumping board into next season, the tough schedule this year may very well be a huge blessing in disguise...

Arizona is injury riddled, but they beat a fading Kansas City. As they enter the Edward Jones Dome this Thursday night, the odds of them beating the Rams aren't good. They've struggled at "The Lou" in the past, and if I were Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, I may even think about keeping any marginally healthy players out of this game. The Rams are beating people up right now, and unless Arizona completely collapses, they need to get ready for the playoffs. They can't handle losing another running back, let alone a wide receiver or quarterback.

The Rams have a chance to move forward as a team Thursday night. All eyes should be on the Rams offense. It will be ground 'n pound, so don't look for Shaun Hill to do much more than game manage. High percentage passes, bubble screens, and hitting running backs flaring into the flats should be all that's needed. Half the points the Rams will score in this game will come from the defense. In a low scoring contest, the Rams control the line of scrimmage, and beat up Cardinals' quarterback Drew Stanton for 5+ sacks, and a bunch of hurries. The Rams will feature quite a few defensive sets with three safeties. Mark Barron could be the player to watch, but I'm leaning toward T.J. McDonald. Rams safeties will snag a couple of interceptions in this game. The one spot to worry about, is if Janoris Jenkins is playing man coverage. It's been a while since he was burned long, and you just know it's coming, don't you?

The Edward Jones Dome will be rockin'...

Prediction:  Rams 17, Cardinals 7

Charles Martel [@CharlesMartel19]

On the one hand, the Cardinals are beat up and struggling, not anywhere as dominate as they were to start the season. On the other hand, they are coached by Arians and he is a fantastic leader. Their hard fought win over KC last week is proof of that. There is plenty of fight left in them and should not be taken lightly, especially with the chance of clinching a playoff berth on the line.

Kerwynn Williams is the wild card in this one. Coming out of nowhere he posted 100 yards on 19 carries against Kansas City. The Rams won't have a lot of tape on him obviously, so he may be able to rack up some yards, especially as it seems he has the speed to get the edge.

Still, the Rams are playing inspired football right now and I see that continuing...they want .500 more than Arizona wants the possibility of a playoff spot (!). A third shutout is too much to ask for, but I think the Rams take this one by a good margin.

Prediction:  Rams 31, Cardinals 10

Misone [@MightyOrMisone]

This game to me screams pass pass pass. Both run defenses are about as tough as it gets. So the quarterback that makes least mistakes are likely going to be on the winning team. Defensive touchdowns will be very likely as well. Special Teams will also play a huge role. With both teams struggling to run the ball, field position and possibly even points will be crucial in this game.

I view the cardinals as a team that even with their record is no getting the respect they deserve. This is still a very good team and should not be overlooked so easily. They will be the toughest matchup the Rams have seen in over a month. Stanton flashes often but still makes a lot of crucial mistakes. Those possible mistakes will be the deciding factor. Im betting on the Rams pass rush and suddenly improved secondary in this one.

Prediction:  Rams 30, Cardinals 9

3k [@3k_]

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

Prediction:  Rams 20, Cardinals 16

Joe Mazzi [@Joe__Mazzi]

Remember when the Rams defense compiled nine sacks in an all-out bludgeoning of then-Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb on TNF in 2012? Well, Arizona's Drew Stanton will soon be wishing that he were facing such a soft, gentle and unrelenting pass rush. St. Louis may not get its third consecutive shutout -- and it may not score an offensive touchdown -- but it will get its third consecutive 'W' Thursday night.

Prediction:  Rams 20, Cardinals 13

Brandon Bate [@NoPlanB_]

There are a bunch of reasons why the Rams should, and could, lose this one.  But I’m going last in this post, and I’m not going to be "that guy."  Mike D, who’s only picked the Rams to win once this year is picking them again...3k is still not well...and Sergey, who’s predicting the Rams to score 53 touchdowns tonight, refuses to call any team by their name at this point.

There’s something in the water in St. Louis.  It’s probably chlorine.  It appears there’s also an additive or two of sheer insanity.  Either way, it tastes good.

Prediction:  Rams 27, Cardinals 20


And there you have it, folks.  The Week 15 Thursday Night Football game between the Cardinals and Rams kicks off this evening, and as any good Rams’ blog would have it, all 13 prognosticators are picking the home team [Rams] to make it to secure victory, and make it to .500.

Staying as level-headed as this bunch, do you think the Rams stand pat at home, defeating a divisional opponent...which just so happens to boast the best record in the entirety of the NFC?