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Cardinals vs. Rams preview: Stats, history, connections, possible milestones

A deeper look into the game, its matchups and more

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, the Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams face one another in St. Louis. The Cardinals look to win their sixth straight and also finish their NFC West road schedule undefeated. The Rams, though, have not lost a game in the division, sitting at 3-0 vs. the NFC West and 1-7 against everyone else. A Cardinals win would eliminate the Rams from contention for the division crown as well.

Let's look into this matchup some more.


These two teams go way, way back. They first faced one another when the Cardinals were in Chicago and the Rams were in Cleveland. That was 1937, and the cardinals got a 6-0 win. Overall, the Cardinals hold a slight 36-35-2 edge in the all-time series. It will be the 15th game between the teams since the rams relocated from Los Angeles to St. Louis. Arizona has won nine of the previous 14 games,

We all remember the last time the two teams met. The Rams beat the Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium 24-22 in a game in which David Johnson fumbled the initial kickoff and dropped a touchdown pass, Jermaine Gresham dropped a third down pass inside the five-yard line, Carson Palmer misfired on two pretty easy throws to put the team in position to get a game-winning field goal and also in which Todd Gurley rushed for 123 fourth quarter yards.

However, the last time the Cardinals were in St. Louis, the got an ugly 12-6 win. IN that game, Drew Stanton left the game with a knee injury and Ryan Lindley had to close out the game.


Offensively, these two teams are very different. The Cardinals are the league's number one team in points scored (32.3 per game) and yards (410 per game). The Rams are second to last in both categories (16.9 points, 304 yards per game). Arizona has scored 42 touchdowns. The Rams have scored 20.

The Cardinals are fourth in the league in passing (nearly 295 yards per game), while they are 12th in rushing (over 115 yards per game). The Rams run the ball well, averaging 123.1 yards per game (good for seventh in the league), but are dead last in passing at 189 yards per game.

Defensively, they are even. Arizona gives up 20.8 points per game. The Rams give up 20.9. The Cardinals have given up 25 touchdowns. The Rams have allowed 22. The Cardinals give up under 327 yards per game (fifth in the NFL in total defense), while the Rams allow 341 -- 13th. The Cardinals are fourth in the league against the run and 10th against the pass. St. Louis is eighth against the pass, but 21st against the run.


Believe it or not, not a single player on either active roster has ever played for the other team. That does not normally happen. There are connections, though.

The biggest connection is the Cardinals. They played in St. Louis before relocating to Arizona in 1988.

Cardinals linebackers Markus Golden and Sean Weatherspoon went to Missouri in college. Cardinals nose tackle Xavier Williams went to high school in Missouri. Cardinals team president Michael Bidwill was born in St. Louis and graduated from St. Louis University in 1987 before the Cardinals moved.

St. Louis has Chuck Cecil and Clyde Simmons on their coaching staff, both of whom played for the Cardinals in the 90s. Rams assistant head coach Dave McGinnis was the Cardinals head coach from 2000-2003.

T.J. McDonald is the son of former Cardinals safety Tim McDonald.

Possible milestones:

With a win, the Cardinals would tie for the fourth-longest winning streak in team history. It would be their sixth straight win. They did it last season, but before that it was 1977.

With a win, the Cardinals would reach double digit wins for the third straight season. It would be only the ninth time in team history to reach 10 wins and just the second time the Cardinals have done so in three consecutive season. The other time the team achieved this was from 1974-1976.

With a win, head coach Bruce Arians would become only the 100th coach in NFL history to win 10 or more games in each of his first three seasons as head coach.

Larry Fitzgerald needs only eight receiving yards to reach 1000 for the season. He has not had 1000 yards in a season since 2011. He needs only eight receptions to reach 1000 for his career. Reaching that mark today would make him the youngest player ever to reach 1000 catches. He needs 56 yards to pass Hall of Famer Andre Reed for 15th place on the all-time receiving yardage list. With eight ctaches, he would tie Hines Ward for 10th overall on the NFL all-time list for receptions in a career.

Carson Palmer needs three touchdown passes to tie the season record for TD passes in a season. With only 51 yards passing, he will (in just 12 games) enter the top 10 in passing yards for a season in team history.

If Chandler Catanzaro makes one kick, he will become the first player in Cardinals history to score at least 100 points in each of his first two NFL seasons.

Calais Campbell still needs one sack to pass Eric Swann and move into fifth place all time in franchise history for sacks in a career.

If David Johnson has a touchdown reception, he would join Larry Centers as the only Cardinals running backs in the last 39 years to have at least four touchdown receptions in a season.