For four long seasons, the Arizona Cardinals have been owned on the playing field by the Los Angeles Rams. The presence of Sean McVay, the Rams youthful head coach, has spelled doom for the frustrated Redbirds. Arizona has lost eight straight matchups to their NFC West nemesis, but that ugly streak could potentially come to an end four weeks into the 2021 campaign.
On October 3rd, the Cards will travel to Los Angeles to take on a Rams squad that will feature a new quarterback under center. Jared Goff, the club’s starter since 2016, has been replaced by veteran Matthew Stafford. Los Angeles is expecting big things out of the 33-year old passer, despite the fact that Stafford never won a playoff game during a 12-season stint with the Detroit Lions.
Stafford will be working with a group of pass-catchers that includes Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Tyler Higbee and Van Jefferson. The Rams also brought in free-agent wideout Desean Jackson, an aging 34-year old who entered the NFL back in 2008. The organization did lose Gerald Everett, a fifth-year tight end who was lured away by the Seattle Seahawks.
The Los Angeles ground attack is led by Cam Akers, a second-year ball-carrier who played well as a rookie in 2020. In 13 appearances (five starts) last season, the 5’10, 217 pounder rushed for 625 yards and totaled three touchdowns (one receiving). Backing up Akers is Darrell Henderson, a 5’8, 208 pounder who ran for 624 yards and tallied six total scores.
Defensively, the Rams are led by seven-time Pro Bowler Aaron Donald. Linebacker Leonard Floyd racked up 10.5 sacks, 55 tackles and 19 quarterback hits in 16 starts last year. Shutdown cornerback Jalen Ramsey is the cornerstone of the Los Angeles secondary.
Arizona has been dominated by McVay’s Rams for far too long. Thanks to a bevy of offseason additions by the team’s front office, it appears as if the Cards may have finally caught up to their division rival. Cardinals 28, Rams 27.