Though the Cardinals may talk as if they have a shot as the NFL post-season, they don’t. Their 5-6 record remains a mirage and this is a team that is a lot worse than their nearly-.500 record would indicate. The visiting L.A. Rams will give them a dose of that on Sunday, as Jared Goff and that high-octane attack travel to the desert looking to improve on their already impressive 8-3 record.
The Rams did kind of come out of nowhere to be so good in 2017, though when you delve deeper – they have talent everywhere on the field. I think the surprising part is that they are already this good, so soon. That talent should be able to overcome a pretty pedestrian Cardinals squad – fresh off an upset victory of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Rams know they’re entering a divisional rival’s home field – and that can at times be hostile, but this young and upstart group has their sights set on the NFC West divisional crown and know they’ll need a win here to hold off the charging Seahawks.
This is still a big test for the youthful Rams and it will be fascinating to watch them try to navigate the waters of entering as a decisive favourite this late into the season. As always, read on below for full game details and an official betting prediction for the Rams and Cards.
Rams vs. Cardinals Betting Odds:
Los Angeles Rams -6.5 (-115)
@ Arizona Cardinals +6.5 (-105)
Over 44 (-110)
Under 44 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Rams vs. Cardinals Pick:
Last week the Arizona Cardinals confused and ultimately upset a pretty good Jacksonville Jaguars team. Blake Bortles looked more lost than he usually does, and as a result – couldn’t effectively deal with Arizona’s front seven and pressure.
All of that will be moot come Sunday of Week 13 as nobody in the league blocks better than the Los Angeles Rams. Their offensive line is fully intact and healthy and they provide Jared Goff will all kinds of time and space to operate from the pocket. At left tackle, Andrew Whitworth will be able to limit Chandler Jones, and Goff should be able to pick apart Arizona’s secondary. Patrick Patterson can only blanket one receiver, and there isn’t much depth after that. Goff has a ton of weapons and should be able to spread the ball around to continually move the chains on Sunday.
On the ground, it has been an excellent season thus far for Todd Gurley. He’s a legitimate threat every time he touches the football, and should be able to take advantage of Arizona’s linebackers. That unit has shown an inability to cover pass-catching backs, and we all know that is where Gurley thrives. Expect him to be able to do that with regularity against the Cardinals. Expect a lot of offense on Sunday from the Rams.
Last week Arizona put up a lot of points for their mediocre attack. And to do that against the Jags’ defense made it all the more improbable. They’ll regress hard against Los Angeles in Week 13. For starters, their offensive line will not be able to block the ferocious duo of Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers. That pair should dominate the interior of the line of scrimmage, take away the run game entirely, and generate a lot of pressure on Blaine Gabbert.
Gabbert is awful and last week was an anomaly. I am certain of it. He plays behind a woeful offensive line, and the Rams are going to get after him for all four quarters. This should force Gabbert into poor throws, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see if this results in some turnovers. He won’t be bailed out by a running game either. Adrian Peterson is not expected to suit up on Sunday, and Kerwynn Williams is not going to rush for positive yardage against this Rams’ D all that often.
This game screams blowout to me based on talent alone. Even though the Rams have the Eagles to look forward to next week in a ‘Beasts of the NFC’ showdown, they still should have enough skill to overcome the obstacle of the Cardinals in Week 13. Los Angeles holds a decisive edge at virtually every key matchup on the field, and the Rams should cruise to a double-digit victory on Sunday.
PICK = Rams -6.5 (-115)