Playoffs: Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams
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Next up: the Wild-Card-Round. Two of the strongest NFC teams meet on Tuesday night. While the Cardinals were considered the title favorites, the Rams have been reworking their team for quite a bit. With success.
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If you look at the two games between the Cardinals and Rams in the regular season, you’re not necessarily any smarter. In October, Arizona won 37-20, and in their last meeting in mid-December, Los Angeles came away victorious 30-23. In our last power ranking, the Rams were ranked 3rd, the Cardinals only 5th.
In our opinion, the Cardinals have already peaked. For a long time, the team from Glendale was considered unbeatable. No wonder, after all, they started the season with 9 wins. But then DeAndre Hopkins was absent because of knee problems, the star receiver missed large parts of the regular season. And suddenly they lost against the Panthers, the Rams or even the Lions (very surprising). Also, the two running backs James Conner and Chase Edmonds are currently fighting with injuries, both are still questionable. But there is also positive news: Pass rusher J.J. Watt celebrates his comeback just in time for the playoffs.
In California, they might be a little upset about last week’s narrow loss to the 49ers. With a win, they could have secured second place in the NFC. Instead, they now have to play the Cardinals for the third time.
Probably the biggest weakness, however, is QB Matthew Stafford. That’s because the 33-year-old is like a box of chocolates. Head coach Sean Mc Vay never knows which Stafford he’s going to get. Sometimes he’s a genius (QB rating 139.2, 3 TDs & completion rate over 76%), other times nothing goes right (QB rating 46.8, 3 Int & completion rate at 56%). But the Cardinals seem to suit the experienced QB, his best performance was against Arizona.
Fans can definitely look forward to some offensive fireworks, with both franchises averaging 55 points in their two games this season. Overall, however, we see the Rams as having the more complete package, with a super strong offense (Highbee/Kupp/Michel) and some defensive specialists like Aaron Donald (12.5 sacks) or Von Miller. Our team therefore goes with the L.A Rams.