The 5-6 Arizona Cardinals pulled out a win at home last weekend against one of the NFL's best defenses.
If they want to climb back to .500, they'll have to put together a repeat performance Sunday when they face the 8-3 and NFC West-leading Los Angeles Rams at University of Phoenix Stadium.
The Rams blanked the Cardinals 33-0 during their meeting in London in October. Can the Cards return the favor in Glendale to remain relevant in the NFC playoff race? Here are a pair of predictions from the ABC15 sports team.
ABC15 sports anchor Jason Snavely
Of any Cardinals prediction I’ve made this season, I probably have the least amount of optimism heading into their Week 13 matchup against the Rams. As much as I’d love to see the Cards pull off the upset, I think the stars would have to align in Glendale. And it’s a day game, so -- no stars. They don’t even have that going for them.
As I’m sitting at my desk writing this prediction in the ABC15 sports office, it’s unclear whether Adrian Peterson will play Sunday. To me, the only effect that will have on the game is whether the Cards lose by a little, or a lot. Then again, when these two teams met a week and a half ago, Peterson was held to 21 yards on 11 carries and the Cardinals suffered their worst loss in 5 years. And that was with a healthy Carson Palmer and D.J. Humphries.
Plain and simple, the Rams are 8-3 for a reason. They’re good. They’re healthy. And when compared to the Cardinals (and many other teams), they’re playing better football in all three phases of the game. In a perfect world, the Red Sea rises up and the Cardinals upset the first-place Rams in front of a rowdy home crowd. In reality, we’ll want these four quarters over with as soon as possible.
Rams 30, Cardinals 14
ABC15.com sportswriter Shane Dale
The Cardinals' defense did a tremendous job in limiting the Jaguars to 219 yards of offense last weekend, but the big difference between the Rams and Jags is at the quarterback position. Second-year pro Jared Goff is simply much better than Blake Bortles; he ranks among the NFL's top 10 in passing yards, passing touchdowns and QB rating, and he's only thrown five interceptions all season.
Goff will be without leading receiver Robert Woods on Sunday, but he has plenty of other weapons, along with one of the NFL's best rushers (Todd Gurley), at his disposal. The Cards bottled up rookie RB Leonard Fournette last week, but Gurley rushed for over 100 yards in the Rams' meeting with Arizona in London.
Cardinals QB Blaine Gabbert has played much better than expected in his two starts thus far, but the Rams are 4-1 on the road this year, and they've beaten the Cardinals in each of their last two meetings in Glendale. With or without Peterson, who was held to 21 rushing yards by the Rams on Oct. 22, expect LA to do enough to get the season sweep against their division rivals.
Rams 27, Cardinals 24