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Cardinals vs. Rams Thursday Night Football preview: 4 matchups that matter

Take a closer look at the Thursday Night Football divisional matchup.

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Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals take on the St. Louis Rams on Thursday Night Football. It will be a very tough matchup because the Rams have been playing very well, the are very physical, the Cardinals are not healthy and St. Louis would like to exact some revenge after having lost the first matchup in Week 10 31-14.

What are some key matchups? Let's take a look.

Cardinals vs. history

Is there anything else that needs to be said about that? Road teams are at a disadvantage to begin with, because of travel and the short week of practice.

Excluding Week 1 and last week's game between the Cowboys and Bears, both of whom had a full week to prepare after having played the previous Thursday on Thanksgiving, road teams are 6-8 on Thursdays.

Now would be a great time to buck trends and history for the Cardinals.

Drew Stanton vs. the road

It has been a tale of two very different stories when away from University of Phoenix Stadium. He is 1-3 as a starter on the road this year and he has completed less than 53 percent of his passes and had only one touchdown pass to go with three interceptions.

he has also been sacked eight times on the road, compared to only twice at home.

Kerwynn Williams, Stepfan Taylor and Marion Grice vs. Rams defensive front

St. Louis has been hot and cold against the run this year. The first seven games of the season, the Rams allowed over 144 yards per game on the ground, allowing less than 100 in a game only once. In their last six games, they are allowing less than 59 yards per game on the ground. They gave up over 100 only once, and that was the last game they lost.

Arizona got a 100-yard performance from Kerwynn Williams on Sunday, the first such performance by an Arizona back this season. Can the Cardinals run effectively against the Rams?

Sacks vs.  protection

Arizona sacked Austin Davis six times in Week 10. That game started a sack parade for the Cardinals. They have 23 sacks as a team since then, the most in the NFL. 15 different players this season have sacks.

St. Louis sacked Carson Palmer/Drew Stanton three times in that game.

It was just two seasons ago on Thursday Night Football when the Rams sacked Kevin Kolb nine times and hit him another roughly 100 times in what would mark the beginning of the train wreck of that season.

St. Louis has not been as good at sacking the QB at home. They only have 11 of their 35 sacks at Edward Jones Dome.

Can the offensive line protect Stanton and give him time and can the defense get to Shaun Hill?

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