National Football League
Preview
Los Angeles at Arizona
When: 4:25 PM ET, Sunday, October 2, 2016
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona

The Arizona Cardinals were touted as one of the preseason favorites to reach the Super Bowl, but they are off to a slow start and look to rebound from a humbling defeat when they host the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday in an NFC West matchup. The Cardinals dropped to 1-2 when they were bludgeoned 33-18 at previously winless Buffalo last weekend.

Quarterback Carson Palmer threw four interceptions and was sacked five times while registering a woeful 36.0 passer rating in the loss to the Bills. “Disappointed in the way we played, disappointed in myself and the way I played,” Palmer said. “But there’s a lot of football left, there’s 13 games left." Los Angeles rebounded from a wretched performance in a 28-0 loss at San Francisco in Week 1 by surprising division rival Seattle before outscoring Tampa Bay 37-32 on the road. The Rams have lost four of the last five matchups against the Cardinals, but they squeezed out a 24-22 victory at Arizona in October 2015.

TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Cardinals -8. O/U: 43

ABOUT THE RAMS (2-1): After ranking last in total offense in 2015 and managing only three field goals through the first two games, Los Angeles snapped out of its doldrums in Tampa Bay. Running back Todd Gurley got in the end zone twice on a pair of 1-yard touchdowns, but he averaging only 2.9 yards per carry as defenses continue to stack the box and dare quarterback Case Keenum to beat them. Keenum threw for his first two scoring passes of the season and 190 yards against the Buccaneers, but he lacks a go-to wide receiver and is completing 53.8 percent of his passes with 559 yards overall through three games. The Rams have a devastating force in defensive tackle Aaron Donald while defensive end Robert Quinn is returning to form after playing in only eight games last season.

ABOUT THE CARDINALS (1-2): Although Palmer established career highs in touchdown passes (35), yards (4,671) and quarterback rating (104.6) last season, he has been picked off 12 times in his last seven games (playoffs included) since injuring a finger on his throwing hand in Week 15 last season. Running back David Johnson was one of the few constants on offense last week with 83 yards rushing and a pair of touchdown runs while speedster John Brown finally emerged with six receptions for 70 yards after catching one ball in each of the first two games. As they prepare to face a run-heavy Los Angeles offense, the Cardinals need to tighten up a rush defense that was gouged for 208 yards by LeSean McCoy and Buffalo and ranked 28th in the league at 133.0 yards per game.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson has an interception in three of the last four matchups versus the Rams.

2. Gurley rushed for 146 yards at Arizona last season in his first career start but was limited to 41 yards in the rematch.

3. Palmer threw for 356 yards and two TDs in a 27-3 romp over the Rams in December.

PREDICTION: Cardinals 27, Rams 13
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
Los Angeles 2-1 W2 15.3 21.0 1-0 1-1 2-1 0-0 - - 2-1
Arizona 1-2 L1 26.3 21.0 1-1 0-1 1-1 0-1 - - 1-0
Last Meeting
Los Angeles Arizona
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
12/6/15 ARI 27 LA 3 212 66 146 524 175 349
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Los Angeles N. Foles 42.9 146 0 1
Arizona C. Palmer 65.0 356 2 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Los Angeles T. Gurley 9 41 4.6 0
Arizona D. Johnson 22 99 4.5 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Los Angeles K. Britt 2 41 20.5 0
Arizona J. Brown 6 113 18.8 0
Touchdowns Player TD
Los Angeles M. Alexander 0
Arizona D. Johnson 1
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Los Angeles C. Keenum 53.8 559 2 3
Arizona C. Palmer 57.3 862 5 4
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Los Angeles T. Gurley 63 183 2.9 2
Arizona D. Johnson 47 217 4.6 3
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Los Angeles K. Britt 14 199 14.2 0
Arizona L. Fitzgerald 20 218 10.9 3
Touchdowns Player TD
Los Angeles T. Gurley 2
Arizona L. Fitzgerald 3