A critical matchup between the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams is set to take place as the playoff picture starts to take shape. Both of these teams are facing possible elimination with a loss.
Arizona is out if they fail to win, while Los Angeles can get in by winning. The Bears are on the tails of each of them.
Unfortunately for the Rams, Jared Goff and Cooper Kupp will not be available for this game. Kyler Murray is the better quarterback in this matchup, now finishing up his second year as a starter in the league. His counterpart has never taken the field in the NFL.
John Wolford is a 25-year-old quarterback who played in the failed AAF, which was shut down before the first season was even finished. The reps he got in that league will be huge for the Rams on Sunday as they try and hold off the Cardinals and secure a playoff berth. They can also help the Bears by winning, making sure Chicago gets in, despite a six-game losing streak earlier in the year.
The visiting Cardinals are serving as three-point favorites in this one. The over/under is set at 40.5.
Arizona Looks to Climb Back
If the playoffs started now and this week’s slate wasn’t happening, the Cardinals would be on the outside looking in. Their loss last week crushed their hopes, so now they not only need to win, but they need a Chicago loss. The Bears will be facing Green Bay, so the odds do still favor these guys.
Murray has had his ups and downs, but they will need him to be perfect in this one. They will need the running backs to show up and pound the ball. If they aren’t gaining several first downs on every drive, they’re just making it easy for a first-time starting quarterback to get comfortable.
The defense is full of big-play guys, and they’ll have to step up. Look no further than Budda Baker, who has done some great things.
In what will be his first start in the NFL, young Wolford is being thrust into the spotlight without his top wide receiver. Kupp is on the COVID-19 list and will be unable to play in this one. This is the franchise’s biggest game since the Super Bowl loss to New England, a game where they also didn’t have Kupp and managed just three points.
The running attack might also be a little short-handed again as Darrell Henderson Jr. remains out with an ankle injury. This leaves them with Cam Akers and Malcolm Brown, who have shown flashes of greatness during this odd season.
The Rams will be leaning heavily on Aaron Donald to make game-changing plays. There isn’t a game that goes by where his presence isn’t felt.
Cardinals Get the Win
There will be no scoreboard watching as the Green Bay at Chicago game will be played at the same time. But the Cardinals will do their part and get the win.