NFL’s SNF Week 16: Los Angeles Rams @ Cardinals Preview

December 19, 2018 by Ryan Knuppel

Los Angeles Rams vs Arizona CardinalsThe Rams fight to get back on track against a faltering Arizona Cardinals team this week. The Rams lead the all time series 42-38-2, and have won 4 of the last 5 head to head dating back to 2016.

The Rams lost back to back games for the first time under Sean McVay, most recently a 30-23 loss to the Eagles. In week 13, they beat the Lions 30-16, and lost 15-6 to the Bears in week 14.

The Cardinals were blown out by the Falcons last week by a score of 40-14. In week 13, they beat the Packers 20-17, and lost 17-3 to the Lions in week 14.

BetOnline has the Rams as 14 point favourites with an O/U total of 47.5.

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams are reeling right now, but face a lighter stretch against the Cardinals and 49ers to get back on track before the playoffs. Jared Goff has really struggled the last few weeks, and on the year has thrown for 4273 yards, 27 TDs and 13 INTs while completing 64.5% of his passes and averaging 8.3 YPA. Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks are the top 2 beneficiaries in the pass game, going for 78/1106/5 and 72/1107/3 respectively, while Todd Gurley has caught 59 balls for 580 yards and 4 TDs as well. Gurley is also the workhorse in the run game, rushing 256 times for 1251 yards and 17 TDs.

The Rams defense is ranked below average in scoring defense, allowing 24.5 PPG. Their pass defense ranks middle of the pack. Allowing 239.8 yards per game and 27 TDs through the air while their pass rush ranks below average with 34 sacks. Their run defense ranks below average as well, allowing 123.3 yards per game and 11 TDs on the ground. The Rams have forced 26 turnovers (t-3rd), and own a +8 turnover differential.

Injuries and Inactive Watch

RB Todd Gurley (knee) – questionable, RB Justin Davis (shoulder) – questionable

Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals now hold the #1 overall pick in the draft, and you have to imagine they will be playing to hold onto that spot. Josh Rosen leads the offense and has thrown for 2042 yards, 10 TDs and 14 INTs while completing 55.7% of his passes and averaging 6.1 YPA. Larry Fitzgerald continues to be Mr. Reliable, catching 59 balls for 645 yards and 5 TDs. David Johnson is also featured with 46 catches for 408 yards and 2 TDs. On the ground, Johnson has rushed for 843 yards and 7 TDs on 231 carries, while Chase Edmonds gets some work as well with 50 carries for 174 yards and 2 TDs.

The Cardinals are ranked in the bottom quarter of the league in scoring defense, allowing 26.2 PPG. Their pass defense ranks 5th, allowing 211.5 yards per game and 19 TDs through the air while their pass rush ranks in the top 10 with 41 sacks. Their run defense ranks near the bottom of the league , allowing 144.9 yards per game and 20 TDs on the ground. The Cardinals defense has forced just 14 turnovers, and they own a -12 turnover differential as a team.

Injuries and Inactive Watch

CB David Amerson (concussion) – questionable, OT Joe Barksdale (concussion) – questionable, WR Chad Williams (hamstring) – questionable

Predictions

The Rams offense has a nice opportunity to get back on track against a less than stellar Cardinals team, but the offense still faces a tough task against an above average pass defense. Chandler Jones has the potential to change games at the line of scrimmage, while Patrick Peterson and Buddha Baker can sit back and play the ball. The Rams need to get back to the ground game, with or without Todd Gurley, for the sole purpose of getting Jared Goff back on track. If they can set up the play action and deep shots, their offense will be back to the unstoppable force we saw through the first 12 weeks.

The Cardinals offense is a mess. Their offensive line is among the worst in the league, and that is not a good sign against a gamewrecker in Aaron Donald. If they can’t get David Johnson going, it’s going to be another long day for the Cardinals. However, the Rams have been susceptible to the run and Arizona will be ready to attack the middle of their defense. 14 points is just way too much for a team that is not playing even close to the top of their game, and the Cardinals feel like the safe side here.

Final Pick: Cardinals (+14)

Ryan Knuppel

Ryan Knuppel Author

Ryan (aka Knup) has been writing sports betting content for over a decade now. He covers anything and everything related to United Stats sports including football, basketball, baseball, golf and more. He has finished first place in several gambling related contests over the years which gives him instant credibility in the betting world. Ryan is a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan that currently resides in sunny Orlando, Florida.

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