The Arizona Cardinals return home to take on the Los Angeles Rams for the first time since 1994.
The Arizona Cardinals return home as they host the NFC West leading Los Angeles Rams. The Rams (2-1) beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 37-32 in a shoot out last week. On the other hand, the Cardinals (1-2) are coming off a shocking 33-18 loss at Orchid Park against the Buffalo Bills.
History: Arizona and Los Angeles have faced each other 74 times in the regular season and once in the playoffs. The Cardinals playing 13 of these games as the St. Louis Cardinals and 26 as the Chicago Cardinals. The Cardinals have an all time 37-36-2 record against the Rams. The last win against the Rams came in Week 13 of last season in a game where the Cardinals held the Rams to 3 points in a 27-3 win.
What: Arizona Cardinals vs Los Angeles Rams
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
When: 1:25 PM Arizona Time (4:25 PM EST)
Radio: Arizona Sports 98.7 FM
Keys to Victory:
Quarterback Carson Palmer had one of his worst games last week against the Bills. Palmer was sacked 5 times and threw four interceptions on concurrent drives in the loss. A home game against the overachieving Rams is a great opportunity for Palmer to have a bounce back game. If Palmer can get into a rhythm quickly, the Cardinals have a great chance of winning this game.
However, the key to getting Palmer in a rhythm is to keep upright. The Rams have a formidable pass rush featuring Pro Bowlers Aaron Donald and Robert Quinn. If the offensive line can hold their own against the Rams, Palmer can prove that last week was just an isolated performance.
Speaking of offensive line, right guard Evan Mathis was limited in practice this week and it is yet to be determined if he will suit up this week. If Mathis is unable to go, Earl Watford will once again start in his place. Watford struggled last week, and needs to get it together against a hungry Rams pass rush.
Aside from keeping Palmer on his feet, the offensive line will need to work to create gaps for running back David Johnson. Johnson only missed 3 snaps for Arizona last week and will continue to have a large role on the offense.
The biggest advantage the Cardinals offense has over the Rams defense is with their wide receivers. For a struggling offensive unit, it may be better for Palmer to target receivers on short and intermediate routes to help sustain drives.
Tight end Troy Niklas was placed on injured reserve with a wrist injury. Ifeanyi Momah, a stand out from the 2015 preseason, was activated from the practice squad to take his place.