Sunday, November 22, 2009

St. Louis Rams Arizona Cardinals Matchup

For the second straight week the St. Louis Rams face a high-powered NFL offense as Kurt Warner and the Arizona Cardinals come to town. This is another awful matchup for the St. Louis Rams. On paper it looks like another long day for the St. Louis Rams down at the Edward Jones Dome.

Whenever the Rams play a team that can light up the scoreboard I do not like the matchup. Even though the Rams played well last week let's not forget that they actually lost. The Rams allowed 28 points and 420 total yards to the New Orleans Saints. Fans may think that is progress and maybe it is but these Rams are not going to win a single game when they allow 28 points, it's just not going to happen. The Saints gashed the Rams for 200+ yards rushing and they don't really have a #1 RB. The Rams also allowed 60% third down conversions, a trend that continues.

On to this week where matchups on both sides of the ball are frightening. The Arizona Cardinals score 25+ points per game and have been hot of late winning 5 of their last 6 games and they are undefeated on the road. Now with a healthy Anquan Boldin the Cardinals feature the best trio of wide receivers in the game and the Rams are very think and inexperienced at cornerback. The Rams will have no answer for Larry Fitzgerald who continues to be the best wide receiver in the NFL. The Rams need to pressure Kurt Warner into mistakes, and since they are 29th in sacks they will need to come of with some plays to get to him. In addition to these facts the Cardinals are starting to work Beanie Wells into their running game and he has been running hard. If they can supplement their passing game with any rushing at all they will put up 30+ points today.

When the Rams have the ball they will once again have to rely on Steven Jackson for production. The Rams lack of downfield passing makes them a sitting duck week after week. The Cardinals are 30th in pass defense but that is not the Rams or Marc Bulger's strength. The Cardinals play down hill all of the time and are super aggressive. Look for them to play 10 players within 10 yards and sometimes 5 yards of the line of scrimmage to shutdown Jackson. The Cardinals are 5th in sacks and will get pressure on Bulger throughout the game. Darnell Dockett is a beast and they will have to block him with Jacob Bell. Bell has no shot at blocking Dockett, the Rams need to play a fullback more often today. Adrian Wilson who usually eats the Rams alive only has half a sack on the season, look out for him today. Steven Jackson will have to do a great job in blitz pickup today. The Cardinals will lock down on Donnie Avery and Brandon Gibson with tight man to man coverage from Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie & Bryant McFadden. Over the top they will have Adrian Wilson and Antrel Rolle both will be looking to shut down Steven Jackson. You can get big plays against the Cardinals but they will keep coming.

The St. Louis Rams just do not have the type of offense to hang with Arizona Cardinals. The Rams will have to be at least +3 in turnover differential to hang in this one. I liked how hard they played last week but let's face it you only get 16 chances to win you should play hard 16 times. This whole thing is a complete mismatch.

Prediction Arizona Cardinals 30 - St. Louis Rams 10

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