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Cardinals vs. Rams picks and predictions: Madden Simulation predicts a field goal shootout

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Madden thinks this game will be a battle of the kickers.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Madden is back. So far our Madden 16 simulations are 1-2 when it comes to the Arizona Cardinals simulations. For this week's simulation, I used our usual settings (All-Pro, 8-minute quarters, and a 10-second accelerated clock).

Chris Johnson started a running back for this game even though Andre Ellington will be returning. I also started Mike Iupati who will be playing on Sunday, John Brown, Alex Okafor, and LaMarr Woodley. Rookie J.J. Nelson was taken out of the simulation for his shoulder injury.

For St. Louis, I removed Maurice Alexander, Eugene Sims, and Chase Reynolds since none of them practiced on Saturday.

Now for the fun part: Who does Madden 16 think will win this NFC West matchup?

Final Score: 12-9 Cardinals (OT)

It was a field goal shootout at University of Phoenix Stadium, which differs quite a bit from what we have seen from the Cardinals thus far.

In terms of the passing game, the two performed pretty evenly. Carson Palmer was slightly better with 275 yards on 62 attempts with a 51% completion percentage. Nick Foles had 196 yards on 47 attempts with a 46% completion percentage. Neither Palmer nor Foles threw for a touchdown or an interception in this game.

On the ground, the game was pretty evenly matched as well. Todd Curley had 97 yards on 25 attempts, averaging 3.8 YPC. Chris Johnson had the ball the majority of the time for the Cards with 20 attempts for 78 yards averaging 3.2 YPC. Andre Ellington had 7 attempts for 26 yards averaging 3.7 YPC. No fumbles came from any running back during the game. So this game lacked turnovers completely.

Larry Fitzgerald led the Cardinals receivers with 9 catches for 87 yards. Michael Floyd followed with 9 catches for 72 yards. John Brown had 6 grabs for 68 yards. Jaron Brown 4 catches for 48 yards. So the Cards spread the ball pretty evenly this game. Kenny Britt was the clear #1 WR for the rams with 13 catches for 140 yards. The next best Rams receiver performance came from Stedman Bailey who had 8 catches for 55 yards.

The Rams defense out performed the Cardinals as the Cards finally allowed the defense to get to Palmer a total of 5 times. Nick Fairley had 2, Aaron Donald and Chris Long both had 1. Tyrann Mathieu led the Cardinals team with 11 solo tackles closely followed by Justin Bethel who had 9.  Alex Okafor had the Cardinals 2 sacks.

Both kickers were perfect on the day. Greg Zuerlein was 3 for 3 from 23, 35, and 46. Chandler Catanzaro was 4 for 4 ofrom 26, 31, 36, and hit the game winner from 45.

I pretty big change from the past Cardinals games. As usual, we put our full confidence in the Cardinals, but if you have the chance, you might want to pick up Cat Man from the waiver wire in your fantasy league.