The sun rises in the east, but at the end of the day, it settles in the west. For the Arizona Cardinals, their season will come to end after today’s matchup against the Los Angeles Rams, in sunny California. Both teams are suffering from the painful results of hard-fought battles, insurmountable odds, and finishing with a losing record. Both teams need this victory to lean on as they head into the off-season. Desperation can do wonders to a match up deemed maybe insignificant to the rest of the league. As for the fans, this game means everything. Game time today is 2:25pm, on FOX.
“For us,” said quarterback Carson Palmer. “To be able to go in and get a win and finish off the season strong against our division is huge for us. It‘s going to be emotional, I‘m sure.”
Arizona Cardinals Ending Season In Los Angeles
As a team, the Rams are as beatable as any in the NFL. At 4-11, the Rams have lost their last seven games in a row and sit third in the NFC West division. Of the four wins, ironically, one of them was against the Cardinals. This match up is more than just a game of pride for two organizations in dire need of something-anything-positive to happen. This is about redemption.
Last week the Cardinals defeated the Seattle Seahawks 34-31 in one of the most exciting match ups in NFL history. The team needs to bring this same kind of game, this same sense of urgency, with them today when they face the Rams. If the Cardinals can stay focused for four quarters of football, the team should have no problem clinching a victory in Los Angelas.
“The win last weekend (against the Seahawks) was bittersweet,” Palmer also said. “As good as it felt, it hurt so much to know that team is going to the playoffs and we essentially beat them twice. They’re going and we’re not. That’s a pill you don’t swallow. You choke on that one. But I’m proud of the way this team has fought.”
A Little About The History
Historically, the Cardinals haven’t played a game in Los Angeles since 1989, when they faced the then Los Angeles Raiders. The team hasn’t played against the Rams in L.A. since 1979. In a rivalry that dates back to 1937, the Cardinals have the advantage of 14 wins over the last 20 games against the Rams. This season, the Rams beat the Cardinals 17-13 on Oct. 2 at University of Phoenix Stadium.
KEYS TO THE GAME
At home, the Rams have somewhat of an advantage against the visiting Arizona team. So, what’s it going to take for the Cardinals to defeat the Rams? Here are three keys that the team may want to consider.
The city of Los Angeles on New Years Eve was filled with glitz and glamour and big city lights well past the mid-night hour. Hopefully, the Cardinals were able to overcome the many temptations that may have haunted them through the festive evening. Struggling to focus on a game after a long night of drinking truly hinders anyone’s athletic abilities.
Unleash The Running Attack
Palmer will get his share of yardage through the air, but stat-hog running back David Johnson should do very well against the Rams poor defense. Last week against the Seahawks, Johnson accumulated 95 yards on the ground and three touchdowns. Johnson was honored with the team’s MVP Award earlier this week. For the season, Johnson has recorded 2,074 overall yards and 20 touchdowns.
The Cardinals should do well containing running back Todd Gurley. What’s important in this match up, is to pressure rookie quarterback Jared Goff. Also important, don’t get beat again by wide receiver Brian Quick.