Rams vs. Cardinals: Madden predicts a defensive struggle and Arizona win

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

A look at what a video game simulation tells us.

Madden's prediction for a win last week was flawed, but then again, the simulation cannot account for poor officiating which we have already covered throughout the week. So I'm going to consider that a tie for Madden which is predicting wins at a better than 80% average this season for the Cardinals.

Using the updated rosters the Cardinals are currently ranked as a 79 overall team rating, where the Rams are ranked 77 overall team rating. I took a quick look through to see what roster changes were causing this increase in overall rating and it mainly came from an increase in the WR ranks and the RB rankings. Bradley Sowell is now rated at 61 at LT making me want to see how changing Sowell out for a free agent or LT who is above an 80 ranking would propel this team. We're looking for ideas for a finale at the end of the year, if you have anything you'd like SIM'd post it in the comments below. Now to the game.

This game was very much unlike what we've been seeing from the Cardinals lately, with a final score of 10-7 resulting in a Cardinals win. The final score is too close for comfort, but it highlighted too very talented defenses slugging it out. There were assumptions made in the SIM that Palmer played, but it didn't really make any difference when playing against the Ram's swarming defense.

The Quarterback play for both teams was terrible. Palmer's completion percentage took a major hit this week, only completing 48% of his passes while Clemens completed 55%. Neither team turned the ball over, which is surprising as both teams have a history of turning the ball over against high pressure defenses.

The few yards both teams produced made this look more like the first half of many other teams rather than a full game but our rushing leaders this week combined for 85 yards in the game, with Mendenhall rushing for 62 yards and one touchdown and Stacy rushing for 23 yards.

The top receivers, Mr. Fitzgerald with 97 yards and Chris Givens with 84. Luckily, we do not see Jared Cook in here, which means Madden is not predicting a repeat of his dominant week one performance.

The outcome of this game is all about defense, defense, defense. I don't like that the Cardinals were unable to even get within field goal range at the end of the game to try and extend their lead, but we'll see what happens Sunday in our dome where the Cardinals play their best.

Top Performers:

Cardinals:

QB: Carson Palmer 15/31 (48%) 172 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT, 65.5 Rating

WR: Larry Fitzgerald 7 rec, 97 yards, 13.8 avg

RB: Rashard Mendenhall 20 att, 62 yards, 3.1 avg, 1 TD

D/ST: John Abraham 7 solo tackles, 3 TFL, 3 sacks

Rams:

QB: Kellen Clemens 20/36 (55%) 238 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 85.2 Rating

WR: Chris Givens 6 rec, 84 yards, 0 TD 14.0 avg

RB: Zac Stacy 10 att, 23 yards , 2,3 avg

D/ST: John Laurinaitis 8 solo tackles

Box Score

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Final

Rams

0

0

7

0

7

Cardinals

3

7

0

0

10

Teams

Rams

Cardinals

Total Off.

264

236

Rushing

26

64

Passing

238

172

First

10

10

PR

8

11

KR

23

22

3rd Conv%

3-13(23%)

6-14(42%)

4th Conv%

1-2(50%)

0-0(0%)

2-Point Conv

0-0(0%)

0-0(0%)

Red Zone

1-2(50%)

2-2(100%)

Turnover

0(0)

0(0)

The Cardinals need to win out and they need help if there's any chance to make the playoffs.

What do you think, how close is Madden to the outcome this week?

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