After virtually everybody in football proclaimed Adrian Peterson done, perhaps the most shocking bit of news from Week 6 was his unbelievable showing against Tampa Bay for his new team, the Arizona Cardinals.
He clearly revived a running game that seemed dead, and picked up a squad that had absolutely nothing going right for it. Even though the Cardinals did take their foot off of the proverbial pedal in the second half, it was a big win for a struggling Arizona side. This week, they’ll travel to London to take on the L.A. Rams.
It’s been a great start to the 2017 campaign for the Rams and their young head coach Sean McVay. They continued their run of strong play last week in Jacksonville – easily disposing of the Jaguars on the road. This is an upstart group that plays complete football and hurts the opposition on both sides of the football. Although they are playing this game in England – it is worth pointing out that neither the Rams or the Chargers currently have all that much of a homefield advantage in Los Angeles at the moment either. This will be a fascinating game to follow as key questions will get answered. Are the Cards and A-Pete actually back? And are the Rams ready for the post-season? Read on below to find out, as well as an official betting selection.
Cardinals vs. Rams Betting Odds:
Arizona Cardinals +3 (-110)
@ Los Angeles Rams -3 (-110)
Over 45 (-110)
Under 45 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Cardinals vs. Rams Pick:
Don’t let last week fool you on the Arizona Cardinals. They got mostly lucky in all aspects and basically feasted on a disinterested and unmotivated Tampa Bay Buccaneers squad. That will not happen again this week against a much hungrier Rams group.
Arizona still doesn’t have much on their offensive line and I have zero clue how they plan on keeping QB Carson Palmer upright in this contest. Aaron Donald, Robert Quinn, and Michael Brockers are a feared threesome in the NFL, and will no doubt apply all kinds of pressure to a relatively immobile Carson Palmer. Los Angeles has also done an excellent job of bottling up opposing run games, so don’t look for a repeat outing from veteran Adrian Peterson. Without a legitimate run threat, expect Palmer to revert to his old, mediocre self. Lamarcus Joyner is also expected back for the Rams – a bad bit of news for Larry Fitzgerald who will likely be covered well for the entire contest.
Though the Cardinals also do a good job of bottling up the run game, that is unfortunately all they do well on this side of the football. They offer up virtually no pass rush and that will make things quite easy on Jared Goff. The Rams offensive line has given the young quarterback all kinds of time and space, and Goff will also do a good job of picking apart the Cardinals downfield.
Patrick Peterson hasn’t been himself of late due to a wonky quad. This is good news for the inconsistent Sammy Watkins who may be able to find more space than usual. Goff should also be able to connect with his tight ends as the Cards’ have also shown a complete inability to guard this position.
On a neutral field, the Rams are much better than just 3-point favourites over the aging and listless Cardinals. There’s a bit of recency bias at play here, and I suspect that after seeing Arizona rout Tampa Bay – people are thinking the Cards are ‘back.’ They are not and neither is A-Pete. Arizona just hasn’t shown enough this season for me to think this match-up will be all that close. The Rams continue to trend in the right direction, and look for them to demonstrate that once again on Sunday.
PICK = Rams -3 (-110)