After the LA Rams were embarrassed by the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1, it looked like the Rams were well on their way to being the worst team in the NFL. Not so fast here, because the Rams are 2-1 and look like a totally different team. Classic overreaction to one week of action, which typically happens, especially in Week 1. If you were to say that the Rams would be 2-1 after Week 1 and the Cardinals would lose to the Buffalo Bills, numerous people would have told you that you’re nuts. The Cardinals lost to the Bulls in Buffalo last week, appearing like the Cardinals wanted to be in any city but Buffalo. The Bills caught them napping, earning a much needed 33-18 win. Rex Ryan put to rest dismissal rumors for another week. Simply put, though, the Bills need to make the playoffs for him to keep his job.
The Rams have responded two weeks in a row after dropping that terrible loss to the 49ers, a 28-0 loss in a game where their offense looked like a high school offense. The defense didn’t play all too poorly, they just couldn’t overcome defending poor field position all night long. The offense was just a bit better against the Seattle Seahawks, but they were at least able to play a better strategy with positive field position. The Rams edged the Seahawks out 9-3, so it doesn’t matter if the Rams are in St. Louis or LA, the Seahawks don’t get along well playing them.
The offense came to life in Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs’ poor defense came up to offer zero resistance, as the Rams easily put together their best offensive game of the year in a 37-32 victory. The Buccaneers have proved they’re able to score the ball with Jameis Winston at quarterback, but they will need a defense to be a serious contender.
Case Keenum threw for only 190 yards, but he was able to connect twice in the end zone. Todd Gurley had a productive game, rushing for 85 yards and 2 touchdowns. However, he still hasn’t had that big breakout game. We’ll see if it comes on the road in Arizona, but it won’t be any easier than the past few weeks. I will provide some additional thoughts for the Rams and Cardinals and give my pick below.
St. Louis Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals NFL Betting Odds:
vs. Cardinals -8(-120)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Rams vs. Cardinals Pick:
The Cardinals looked flat on the road last week. The long distance trip to Buffalo seemed to get to them, as they appeared to take the Bills lightly. Carson Palmer had his worst start of the year, passing for no touchdowns with 4 interceptions. He looked a lot like the guy we saw falter in the postseason last year. David Johnson rumbled for 83 yards and 2 touchdowns to help the Cards out. I don’t care who your team is, though, if your quarterback throws 4 interceptions it’s almost always going to result in a loss. Unlike the playoffs, Palmer has the chance to it around quickly in one week. The Cardinals need to get better protection up front to defend the Rams.
The defensive line is the strength of the Rams, if you neutralize them, it’ll make for an easy win. Easier said than done, though. The Rams have allowed only 21 points per game this season. Let’s be honest, though, what kind of offenses have they played? On their resume is the 49ers, Seahawks, and Buccaneers. And the only quality offense they played, the Buccaneers, moved the ball effectively on them. The 49ers are the 49ers, and the Seahawks have been dealing with issues on the offensive line. The Rams’ defensive line just blew them up at the point of attack.
The Cardinals’ offense was in shambles last week. The Bills’ defense looked something like the unit Rex Ryan was envisioning. Note that the Rams are only 17th against the pass and 16th against the run. So, they have given up some yardage, but were able to take advantage of poor offenses in San Francisco and Seattle. When they played one that could actually finish, they allowed 32 points. I expect the Cardinals to respond after such a poor showing in Buffalo. Palmer should have a solid game, and the Rams are going to need more than 200 yards passing from Keenum to hang around in this one. I’ll be taking the Cardinals.
PICK: CARDINALS -8 (-120)