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Preview: St. Louis at Arizona
When: 4:25 PM ET, Sunday, October 4, 2015
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
The high-flying Arizona Cardinals, undefeated and leading the NFL in scoring, go for their fourth consecutive victory when they host the St. Louis Rams on Sunday in an NFC West matchup. Arizona’s hot start has been sparked by quarterback Carson Palmer, who suffered a season-ending torn ACL in a victory over the Rams in November 2014.
“What happened last time we played them?” joked Palmer, who has thrown for nine touchdowns and only two interceptions in the Cardinals’ hot start, which includes a combined 95 points over the past two weeks. Arizona has yet to trail this season and is averaging 42 points following last week’s 47-7 annihilation of San Francisco. The Rams need to get their offense untracked after scoring a combined 16 points in consecutive defeats against the Washington Redskins and Pittsburgh Steelers. The Cardinals have won the last three meetings while limiting St. Louis to a total of 30 points.
TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Cardinals -7. O/U: 42.5
ABOUT THE RAMS (1-2): Nick Foles, acquired in an offseason trade for fellow quarterback Sam Bradford, has tossed only one interception but has only two scoring passes for St. Louis, which ranks last in the NFL in total yards per game (274.3). Rookie Todd Gurley, the No. 10 overall pick in this year’s draft, made his season debut last week and rushed for only nine yards on six carries in his first action since tearing a knee ligament at Georgia last season. Defensive tackle Aaron Donald is an emerging star on a defense that is tied for the league lead with 13 sacks.
ABOUT THE CARDINALS (3-0): The return of Palmer has sparked a revival in the career of wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who has 23 catches on the season and has hauled in five touchdown passes over the past two weeks. Chris Johnson, signed in late August, has provided a huge lift in the absence of injured starter Andre Ellington, rushing for 110 yards and a pair of touchdowns last week. Arizona’s secondary promises to provide a formidable challenge for Foles after returning a pair of interceptions for touchdowns less than six minutes into last week’s win over the 49ers.
1. Palmer has won his last nine starts, the longest active streak in the league.
2. Rams leading WR Kenny Britt did not practice Tuesday and Wednesday due to an ailing shoulder.
3. Fitzgerald has at least one catch in 173 straight games, playoffs included.
PREDICTION: Cardinals 27, Rams 13