Just last week, we pointed out that something must give against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Something did give and that was the Rams losing streak in Week 3 games under Head Coach Jeff Fisher. They also notched their first 2-1 start in 10 years. The Rams can continue to cross off firsts, in a season that's had plenty, by winning in Arizona this week.
Having obtained their first 2-1 record under Fisher means the Rams couldn't have started 3-1 either, but with a win it would mark the first time that the Rams have been two games over .500 at any point in any season since Week 6 of 2006.
That's a long, long, long time.
Not only do the Rams have that on the table but they have the opportunity to dish out a first for their division rival Cardinals led by Bruce Arians. Since 2013, Arizona's longest losing streak has been two games, which they've only had happen on three occasions. None of those "2nd losses" have come at home in Arizona. Following last week's loss in Buffalo, the Rams could finally be the first team to give Arizona that back to back loss at home.
Jeff Fisher and the Rams swept Arizona during the 2012 season but are just 2-4, being outscored 146-84 since Bruce Arians and QB Carson Palmer arrived in 2013. The last meeting between these two teams resulted in a 27-3 slaughter by the Cardinals in St. Louis. With that bad taste leftover and some fiery 2014 comments by Arians that are sure to be rehashed this week, the Rams have plenty of bulletin board motivation.
Here is how the Rams have fared against Arizona since 2012 (Reminder: Arians and Palmer joined Arizona in 2013)
In order for the Rams to win Sunday, they must force Palmer and the offense into mistakes and get out of rhythm like the Buffalo Bills did. Forcing Arizona into five turnovers is probably very unlikely to happen again but was the primary reason Buffalo was able to win comfortably despite being unable to gain 300 yards of total offense. Rex Ryan and Jeff Fisher aren't all that different in how they approach and win games. The blueprint is there to beat Arizona but it won't be easy.
Three weeks into the season and the Rams have had "first" or "first time since" associated with them in a number of ways. Whether it be relocation, attendance, records and standings, sitting number one overall QBs, week 3 curses...the list goes on. Another week brings on more uncharted territory. As fans most of this has not been familiar in a long, long time.
Here's to adding more firsts this week in Arizona.