Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals – Monday 9.25am NZT
This NFC West divisional match up features two teams who had their own reality TV series produced and shown pre season
The Arizona Cardinals “All or Nothing” series was a fly on the wall look at last year’s season up until the point where they lost out heavily in the NFC Championship game to go to the Superbowl. Head Coach Bruce Arians comes across as a player’s coach with plenty of emotion and F bombs. In possibly the his last job (and surprisingly his first as a head coach) Arians he possibly realises that last season was his best chance to get his own Superbowl ring, as the Cardinals this season maybe on a slight decline. Quarterback Carson Palmer is another one that is possibly at his last team in a career that has lasted 16 years however veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald still has the goods, and last year’s rookie running back David Johnson is now one of the best in the NFL
The Los Angeles Rams play their first season in California since 1995. Previously based in St Louis a quick divorce occurred when their owner (and also current Arsenal FC owner) formalised plans for a new stadium in the LA area. St Louis is really a baseball city at the end of the day. They were also the feature team on the “Hard Knocks” pre-season TV series that shows the preparation for the season ahead, and also documents the business end of the NFL. Head coach Jeff Fisher has a tag of an 8-8 coach – always producing a competitive team but never quite getting over the next hurdle. His relationship with Bruce Arians is frosty at best so there no doubt be a will to get one over him. Defensively the Rams are OK but offensively is where they struggle, however their win last weekend scoring 37 points may be deceiving. Their no.1 draft pick, quarterback Jared Goff, is nowhere near ready to play at this level so they are currently led by journeyman Case Keenum.
The Cardinals will see their main threat in the division as Seattle (even though the Cardinals won it comfortably last season) however they will not be wanting the Rams to upset the current momentum. Arian’s men had a shock loss to the Bills last week but this week should see them back on track. They have a 7.5 point start over the team from LA which they should comfortably achieve
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