football | NFL

Arizona Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Rams Pick & Prediction DEC 29TH 2019

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Having won back-to-back NFC West titles the past two seasons, the Los Angeles Rams seemed unlikely candidates to fall victim to the Super Bowl hangover after losing to the New England Patriots in February. Yet, the Rams have nothing to play for except the chance to finish with a winning record when they host the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday afternoon.

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Los Angeles is the ninth team since 2000 to fail to make the playoffs after losing in the Super Bowl the previous season, its hopes doomed by back-to-back losses at Dallas and San Francisco. "We're going to finish this season off the right way," vowed Rams coach Sean McVay. "To be able to finish with a winning record, that's the next thing. You always have the playoffs, but that's out the window. Well hey, let's have some pride." The Cardinals fell out of contention during a six-game slide that included a 34-7 drubbing at home by Los Angeles, but they have a chance to match a season-high winning streak after knocking off Cleveland and Seattle the past two weeks. "I think it's pretty evident and easy to tell that as a whole we're just jelling better than we have all season," said rookie quarterback Kyler Murray, the top overall pick in this year's draft.

TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Rams -7.5 O/U: 49

ABOUT THE CARDINALS (5-9-1): Arizona made what appeared to be a depth move by acquiring running back Kenyon Drake from Miami at the trade deadline, but he has been spectacular in the last two wins by rushing for a combined 303 yards and six touchdowns. Drake's emergence has eased the load on Murray, who has not passed for 200 yards in four of the past five games and has been limited in practice this week due to a hamstring injury. Larry Fitzgerald, who leads the teams in receptions (71) and yards (759), will be appearing in his 250th regular-season game amid speculation it could be his last. The Cardinals rank 31st against the pass, allowing 279.9 yards per game.

ABOUT THE RAMS (8-7): Jared Goff posted a season-best passer rating of 120.7 against Arizona on Dec. 1, throwing for 424 yards and two touchdowns, but he has tossed four interceptions over his last three games. Todd Gurley rushed for a pair of touchdowns in last week's last-second loss at San Francisco and has rushed for five scores in the last four games, including one against the Cardinals in which he ran for 95 yards on 19 carries. Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp each have over 80 receptions and 1,000 yards while tight end Tyler Higbee has emerged as a vital cog in the passing game. Los Angeles is 22nd against the run (115.9 yards) but limited Drake to 31 yards on Dec. 1.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Higbee started a franchise-record stretch of four straight 100-yard games with seven catches for 107 yards and a TD versus Arizona.

2. Cardinals LB Chandler Jones had four sacks last week to boost his league-best total to 19.0.

3. Goff has a passer rating of 100-plus in his last three against Arizona.

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Arizona Cardinals

Los Angeles Rams

Player Position Lineup
Budda Baker primary: Free Safety Starter
Larry Fitzgerald primary: Wide Receiver Starter
D.J. Humphries primary: Left Tackle Starter
Chandler Jones primary: Strong Outside Linebacker Starter
Chris Jones primary: Cornerback Starter
Christian Kirk primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Corey Peters primary: Nose Tackle Starter
Patrick Peterson primary: Cornerback Starter
Justin Pugh primary: Left Guard Starter
A.Q. Shipley primary: Center Starter
Joe Walker primary: Inside Linebacker Starter
J.R. Sweezy primary: Right Guard Starter
Jordan Hicks primary: Inside Linebacker Starter
Kyler Murray primary: Quarterback Starter
Byron Murphy Jr. primary: Cornerback Starter
Maxx Williams primary: Tight End Starter
Jalen Thompson primary: Strong Safety Starter
Justin Murray primary: Right Tackle Starter
Cassius Marsh Sr. primary: Weak Outside Linebacker Starter
Kenyan Drake primary: Runningback Starter
Caraun Reid primary: Defensive End Starter
Dan Arnold primary: Tight End Starter
Aaron Brewer primary: Long Snapper Substitution
Mason Cole primary: Offensive Linesman Substitution
Pharoh Cooper primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Chase Edmonds primary: Runningback Substitution
Dennis Gardeck primary: Linebacker Substitution
Zane Gonzalez primary: Kicker Substitution
Andy Lee primary: Punter Substitution
Haason Reddick primary: Linebacker Substitution
Trent Sherfield primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Ezekiel Turner primary: Linebacker Substitution
Brett Hundley primary: Quarterback Substitution
Max Garcia primary: Offensive Linesman Substitution
Damiere Byrd primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Andy Isabella primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Michael Dogbe primary: Defensive Linesman Substitution
Miles Brown primary: Defensive Linesman Substitution
Charles Washington primary: Safety Substitution
Kylie Fitts primary: Linebacker Substitution
Jalen Davis primary: Cornerback Substitution
Chris Banjo primary: Safety Substitution
Zach Kerr primary: Defensive Linesman Substitution
Keishawn Bierria primary: Linebacker Substitution
Vontarrius Dora primary: Linebacker Not active
David Johnson primary: Runningback Did not play
Charles Clay primary: Tight End Not active
Deionte Thompson primary: Safety Not active
KeeSean Johnson primary: Wide Receiver Not active
Lamont Gaillard primary: Offensive Linesman Not active
Joshua Miles primary: Offensive Linesman Not active
Drew Anderson primary: Quarterback Did not play
Andre Chachere primary: Cornerback Not active
Player Position Lineup
Austin Blythe primary: Center Starter
Michael Brockers primary: Defensive End Starter
Brandin Cooks primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Aaron Donald primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Dante Fowler Jr. primary: Weak Outside Linebacker Starter
Jared Goff primary: Quarterback Starter
Todd Gurley primary: Halfback Starter
Tyler Higbee primary: Tight End Starter
Sebastian Joseph-Day primary: Nose Tackle Starter
Cooper Kupp primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Cory Littleton primary: Inside Linebacker Starter
Nickell Robey-Coleman primary: Left Cornerback Starter
Andrew Whitworth primary: Left Tackle Starter
Darious Williams primary: Right Cornerback Starter
Robert Woods primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Eric Weddle primary: Free Safety Starter
Clay Matthews primary: Outside Linebacker Starter
Taylor Rapp primary: Strong Safety Starter
Bobby Evans primary: Right Tackle Starter
David Edwards primary: Right Guard Starter
Troy Reeder primary: Inside Linebacker Starter
Austin Corbett primary: Left Guard Starter
Malcolm Brown primary: Runningback Substitution
Marqui Christian primary: Safety Substitution
Samson Ebukam primary: Outside Linebacker Substitution
Gerald Everett primary: Tight End Substitution
Morgan Fox primary: Defensive End Substitution
Johnny Hekker primary: Punter Substitution
John Kelly primary: Runningback Substitution
Jake McQuaide primary: Long Snapper Substitution
Johnny Mundt primary: Tight End Substitution
Josh Reynolds primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Tanzel Smart primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Mike Thomas primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Greg Zuerlein primary: Kicker Substitution
Dont'e Deayon primary: Defensive Back Substitution
Travin Howard primary: Linebacker Substitution
David Long Jr. primary: Cornerback Substitution
Greg Gaines primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Nick Scott primary: Safety Substitution
Chandler Brewer primary: Offensive Linesman Substitution
Natrez Patrick primary: Linebacker Substitution
Nsimba Webster primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Coleman Shelton primary: Center Substitution
Kenny Young primary: Linebacker Substitution
Jamil Demby primary: Offensive Linesman Not active
Rob Havenstein primary: Offensive Tackle Not active
Troy Hill primary: Cornerback Not active
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo primary: Outside Linebacker Not active
Blake Bortles primary: Quarterback Did not play
Kendall Blanton primary: Tight End Not active
Jake Gervase primary: Safety Not active
Jalen Ramsey primary: Cornerback Not active

Arizona Cardinals

Los Angeles Rams

  • Match Start
  • Period 1
  • MIN 3
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 23 Yards
    • Pass Receiver: Dan Arnold
    • Passer: Kyler Murray
    • Conv Kicker: Zane Gonzalez
  • MIN 9
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 47 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Greg Zuerlein
  • Period 2
  • MIN 0
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 31 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Zane Gonzalez
  • MIN 3
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 6 Yards
    • Pass Receiver: Cooper Kupp
    • Passer: Jared Goff
    • Conv Kicker: Greg Zuerlein
  • MIN 10
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 3 Yards
    • Rusher: Malcolm Brown
    • Conv Kicker: Greg Zuerlein
  • Period 3
  • MIN 4
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 3 Yards
    • Pass Receiver: Damiere Byrd
    • Passer: Kyler Murray
    • Conv Kicker: Zane Gonzalez
  • Period 4
  • MIN 3
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 1 Yards
    • Rusher: Kenyan Drake
    • Conv Kicker: Zane Gonzalez
  • MIN 7
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 11 Yards
    • Pass Receiver: Robert Woods
    • Passer: Jared Goff
    • Conv Kicker: Greg Zuerlein
  • MIN 13
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 4 Yards
    • Pass Receiver: Tyler Higbee
    • Passer: Jared Goff
    • Conv Kicker: Greg Zuerlein
  • Match End

GAMES

Last 10

W 50% L 50%
5 5
  • @New England L 17 - 20
  • @Seattle L 21 - 28
  • Buffalo W 30 - 32
  • Miami L 34 - 31
  • Seattle W 34 - 37
  • @Dallas W 38 - 10
  • @N.Y. Jets W 30 - 10
  • @Carolina L 21 - 31
  • Detroit L 26 - 23
  • Washington W 15 - 30
W 60% L 40%
6 4
  • San Francisco L 23 - 20
  • @Tampa Bay W 27 - 24
  • Seattle W 16 - 23
  • @Miami L 17 - 28
  • Chicago W 10 - 24
  • @San Francisco L 16 - 24
  • @Washington W 30 - 10
  • N.Y. Giants W 9 - 17
  • @Buffalo L 32 - 35
  • @Philadelphia W 37 - 19

Next Games

  • L.A. Rams(12-01-19) L 34 - 7
  • @N.Y. Giants(10-20-19) W 27 - 21
  • Philadelphia(10-26-14) W 20 - 24
  • San Francisco(10-31-19) L 28 - 25
  • @L.A. Rams(12-29-19) L 24 - 31
  • @Arizona(12-01-19) W 34 - 7
  • New England(02-03-19) L 13 - 3
  • N.Y. Jets(11-18-12) L 27 - 13
  • @Seattle(10-03-19) L 29 - 30
  • Arizona(12-29-19) W 24 - 31

Last Meetings

  • Cardinals @ Rams 24-31
  • Rams @ Cardinals 34-7
  • Rams @ Cardinals 31-9
  • Cardinals @ Rams 0-34
  • Rams @ Cardinals 32-16
  • Cardinals @ Rams 0-33
  • Cardinals @ Rams 44-6
  • Rams @ Cardinals 17-13
  • Cardinals @ Rams 27-3
  • Rams @ Cardinals 24-22

Last Injuries

Los Angeles Rams

  • Ogbonnia Okoronkwo

    Elbow
    Ques Sun | I-R

    Okoronkwo has landed on the Injured Reserve/Designated for Return list after recovering from an elbow injury. The team has two weeks to activate him.

  • Terrell Lewis

    Knee
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Lewis missed the last game with an injured knee, leaving his status for Sunday's contest against the Cardinals in question.

  • Trishton Jackson

    Illness
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Jackson has missed the past four games due to an illness, and it is unknown if he will be available for Sunday's battle versus the Cardinals.

  • Brian Allen

    Knee
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Allen sat out his previous three games with a knee injury, and it is unknown if he will be available versus the Cardinals on Sunday.

  • Micah Kiser

    Knee
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Kiser is on the injured reserve list with a knee injury, and he will miss an undetermined length of time.

  • Tyler Higbee

    Elbow
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Higbee has an injured elbow, and it is undetermined if he will face the 49ers on Sunday.

Arizona Cardinals

  • Rashard Lawrence

    Calf
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Lawrence has been activated from the Injured Reserve/Designated for Return list after recovering from a calf injury, and it is unknown if he will return against the Rams on Sunday.

  • Justin Murray

    Hand
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Murray was held out of the last three games due to a hand injury, and it is uncertain if he will suit up for Sunday's showdown versus the Rams.

  • Jalen Thompson

    Ankle
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Thompson missed the last game with an ankle injury, and it has yet to be determined if he will line up against the Rams on Sunday.

  • Darrell Daniels

    Ankle
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Daniels has wound up on the injured reserve list due to an ankle injury, and he will miss an extended period.

  • Larry Fitzgerald

    Illness
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Fitzgerald has wound up on the Injured Reserve/COVID-19 list due to contact tracing purposes. Team officials have yet to provide an exact return date.

  • Trent Sherfield

    Illness
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Sherfield has ended up on the Injured Reserve/COVID-19 list, and it is unknown how long it will take for the symptoms to subside.

  • Deionte Thompson

    Illness
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Thompson has been placed on the Injured Reserve/COVID-19 list and will miss an unknown length of time.

  • Maxx Williams

    Illness
    Prob Sun | probable

    Williams is suffering from an illness, but he is expected to take the field against the Patriots on Sunday.

Arizona Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Rams

Jared Goff passed for 319 yards and three touchdowns as the Los Angeles Rams bid farewell to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for a second time in their history with a 31-24 victory Sunday over the visiting Arizona Cardinals.

In a battle of teams already eliminated from playoff consideration, Tyler Higbee and Robert Woods caught fourth-quarter touchdown passes for the Rams (9-7), while Cooper Kupp also had TD reception. Malcolm Brown had a rushing touchdown for Los Angeles.

Kyler Murray passed for 325 yards and two touchdowns as the Cardinals saw their two-game winning streak come to an end. Murray participated in the final game of his rookie season despite a right hamstring injury that limited his mobility. He was replaced briefly in the fourth quarter by Brett Hundley.

Murray, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2019 draft, finished his debut season with 3,722 yards passing, 20 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions. He did not have any rushing yards Sunday after entering with 544 on the season.

Murray became the sixth quarterback in NFL history to pass for at least 3,500 yards and rush for 500 yards in a single season. He is the second rookie to accomplish the feat after the Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton in 2011.

Damiere Byrd's 3-yard TD reception on a pass from Murray tied the score at 17 with 4:43 remaining in the third quarter. The Rams grabbed the lead for good with 13:34 remaining when Higbee caught a 4-yard scoring pass from Goff. Woods caught an 11-yard TD pass with 7:52 remaining to take a 31-17 lead.

The Rams' defense forced the Cardinals into a season-high four turnovers, two on interceptions from Murray, while allowing just 71 yards rushing.

The Rams, who failed to make the playoffs for the first time in three years under head coach Sean McVay, will move next season into a new $5 billion stadium south of Los Angeles that they will share with the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Rams went 17-15 at the Coliseum after moving to Los Angeles for the start of the 2016 season. They also played in the historic venue from 1946 to 1979 before moving to Anaheim, Calif.

--Field Level Media