Arizona Cardinals vs St. Louis Rams: Preview, prediction

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Nov 29, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) carries the ball against the San Francisco 49ers during the fourth quarter at Levi

The biggest headline for the Cardinals heading into this game is the absence of running backs Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington. Johnson is out 6 weeks with a fractured tibia and Ellington is in California seeking treatment with a turf toe injury. With the top backs out, rookie David Johnson will now be the starting back. In Week 4’s game against the Rams, David Johnson did his damage in the passing game as he caught 4 passes for 63 yards and caught the Cardinals only touchdown pass. This time around, Johnson will need to do his damage on the ground and should be able to have some success as the Rams enter this game only having the 21st best rushing defense. Kerwynn Williams, who was activated from the practice squad this week, and Stepfan Taylor will serve as Johnson’s back ups.

The biggest threat to the defense and St. Louis’ best weapon is rookie running back Todd Gurley. In his first game against the Arizona Cardinals, Gurley ran for 146 on just 19 carries. The defensive line will need to clog up running lanes as fast as possible to neutralize the threat that is Gurley and force quarterback Nick Foles to win the game for the Rams. The pass rush has been relatively week this season, and the Cardinals best way to ensure a victory is to close up any running lanes and put as much pressure on Nick Foles to force him to take a sack or throw errant passes.

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Arizona -4.5

O/U 43


This game will not be a blowout. It will have the same tone and feel as last week’s game against the San Francisco. This is an NFC West road game, and the Rams will make the Arizona Cardinals earn every yard, every down and every point. However, don’t expect the Cardinals offense to suddenly sputter in the red zone. Palmer should be able to punish the Rams secondary and challenge them to make plays. In what could be the Cardinals’ last visit to St. Louis, as the Rams may consider moving to Los Angerles, expect the Cardinals to make this trip a memorable one. Cardinals 28 Rams 17