Arizona Cardinals overwhelming favorites over Rams in Week 13
By Erich Becker
One of only two teams to beat the Arizona Cardinals, the red birds get their revenge
For a number of reasons I’m looking forward to this week’s game. The two biggest are, so we can finally stop talking about how bad the 49ers game was for the Arizona Cardinals, and so the team can get some must deserved revenge on the Rams for spoiling their home record for the season.
The interesting thing about football is, other than division games, you hardly ever get a chance to play the same team again unless its the next season or the playoffs. Weird cases like the 2009 season when the Cardinals met the Packers in Week 17 and again in the Wild Card round, but for the most part, besides two games against the other three teams in your division are your only chances for timely revenge.
The Rams come into this game hurting, some have called them the worst offense in the NFL, and with starting QB Case Keenum out with a concussion, Nick Foles steps back into the role. Foles lit up the Cardinals in Glendale, but even with the red birds not playing their best football and turning it over, they still only lost by two points.
Look for a grind it out game, both teams will try to run, the Cardinals to open up the long ball, and the Rams because they can’t trust Foles with the ball. This may be one of the only times that Cardinals fans will outnumber home fans because of the general “meh” towards a sub-par season for the Rams and the talks of a move (back) to L.A. starting to heat up with a discussion set to happen at the NFL’s winter meetings in January.
Starting out at NFL.com, Elliot Harrison has the Cardinals eking out a win in OT 23-20:
"This game is no joke. No matter how bad the Rams have been, let us not forget that they walked into Arizona as underdogs and walked out victors in October. Todd Gurley ran wild in that game — his first career start — amassing 146 rushing yards. But after picking up 131 rushing yards per game over his first five starts, Gurley has been plodding along at 43.3 rushing yards per game in his last three. Stark contrast, huh?The Cardinals will be without their feature back, Chris Johnson, thus David Johnson will have to get traction on that Rams front four Sunday. Bruce Arians has faith in DJ. Do you? Arizona wins on a long throw from Carson Palmer to Michael Floyd. #AZvsSTL"
I think the game will be close, but maybe not this close. The Cardinals won a travesty of a game last season in the Field Goal-a-thon 2014, the Cardinals offense should be much better, the Rams, more of the same.
Both Microsoft’s Cortana and Nate Silver’s ELO models have the Cardinals winning in Week 13, the former by only a 54% chance, the latter by 74%. Both have been good for 11-12 correct over the last few weeks, let’s hope the Cardinals game is firmly in those numbers.
FOXSports entire panel has the Cardinals coming out on top this week.
Pete Prisco at CBSSports has the Cardinals winning 31-17, seeing the Cardinals offense get back on track after sputtering in Santa Clara.
"The Cardinals are playing consecutive road games and lost to the Rams earlier this season. But this Rams team is banged up and the offense is really limited. That’s not a good thing against Arizona. The Cardinals will get the offense back on track after a bad week."
Finally, at ProFootballTalk, Mike Florio has the Cardinals winning the game, handidly:
"Yes, the Rams actually beat the Cardinals in Arizona. Somehow. This time around, the Rams are falling apart and the Cardinals are closing in on a bye. it could get ugly."
However, his partner in crime gives the Cardinals the edge, but not by much, MDS says:
"The Cardinals have come back to earth a bit in recent weeks and aren’t looking like the juggernaut they were earlier in the season. But they should have enough to beat a Rams team that has looked downright awful."
The Cardinals came off of their early season slaughtering of teams putting up 40+ points to make them the highest scoring offense in the league to a down to Earth near 30 in the past two weeks, and only nearly 20 last week. Still, if the team can overcome the growing list of injuries, get through this game unscathed, and start the short week towards Minnesota at home, it’ll be a good week. The Arizona offense will be too much for the Rams to handle and they won’t be able to keep up, even after the early season success against the team in Arizona. Cardinals 31, Rams 10.