Arizona Cardinals fans will be worried with this Madden simulation. With Arizona facing the St. Louis Rams, it naturally means we should see what artificial intelligence says will be the outcome. The simulation says the Cardinals get their sixth straight win, getting by the Rams 21-19 when St. Louis cannot convert on a two-point conversion with a minute left in the game. What makes matters worse is Drew Stanton played the entire second half and the final drive of the first half as Carson Palmer had to leave the game.
Here is what happened.
Arizona was stout defensively in the first half, but there was adversity. The Cardinals fumbled the ball on the first offensive possession of the game, but the defense kept them out of the end zone, forcing a 31-yard field goal after Jared Cook dropped a third down pass.
Arizona responded driving down the field and Carson Palmer connected with Michael Floyd for a 10-yard touchdown.
The defense would force the Rams to go three and out on their next three possessions in the first quarter, but the Cardinals cannot extend the lead and even had a 45-yard Chandler Catanzaro attempt blocked.
Early in the second quarter, Palmer is intercepted by Rams linebacker Akeem Ayers and the Rams appear to score a touchdown on a 40-yard pass play from Nick Foles to Tavon Austin. The TD is called back and then Alex Okafor recovers a fumble to stop the Rams from scoring any points.
The Rams get a field goal on their next drive to cut the lead to 7-6, but the Cardinals answer with a touchdown drive, with Palmer finding J.J. Nelson for a 16-yard score.
The two teams trade punts, but Palmer leaves the game after getting sacked. Drew Stanton comes in and connects on four of five passes late in the second quarter, hitting Floyd on a 29-yard TD to give the Cardinals a 21-6 halftime lead.
The Cardinals offense would stall in the second half with Stanton in the game. He is sacked five times in the secon half and the offense doesn't score again.
The defense is strong earlyl in the third quarter. They force a three and out and then newly signed Corey White picks off a Nick Foles pass. However, after the Cardinals are forced to punt, the Rams finally get in the end zone with a lot of running the ball. Todd Gurley and Tre Mason move the ball down the field and Mason scores from three yards out.
The Rams are only down 21-13 when the fourth quarter begins.
Both teams trade punts and Tony Jefferson picks off a pass, but the offense stalls and they are forced to attempt a 48-yard field goal, which Catanzaro misses.
St. Louis drives down the field and decides to go for it on fourth down with about three minutes left in the game and in field goal range. They turn it over on downs. Arizona goes three and out and the Rams have another shot.
Nick Foles moves them down the field and throws a touchdown pass to Mason, bringing them within two points. But they cannot convert on the two-point attempt as Foles is forced to throw the ball away.
The Cardinals recover the onside kick and run out the clock with some kneeldowns. Arizona comes away with a 21-19 win, a sweep of the NFC West on the road, their sixth straight win overall, but they also lose Carson Palmer.
For Arizona, Palmer was 18/26 for 223 yards, two scores and an interception in the first half. Stanton was 10/24 for 189 and a score.
David Johnson was an effective 15 carries for 63 yards.
John Brown led all receivers with nine catches for 151 yards. Michael Floyd had five catches for 87 yards and two scores, while Larry Fitzgerald caught five for 76.
Defensively, Alex Okafor had two sacks and Corey White and Tony Jefferson had interceptions.
For the Rams, Nick Foles was 23/43 for 258 yards, one score and two interceptions.
Todd Gurley ran the ball 20 times for 83 yards.
Tavon Austin had six catches for 75 yards, while Tre Mason had five catches for 53 yards and a score, as well as a rushing touchdown.
The Rams defense sacked Arizona quarterbacks six times. Aaron Donald had three himself.