Cardinals vs. Rams Preview

Find out this week's players to watch, key matchups and a prediction of who'll prevail on Sunday between the Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams.

For the second straight week, the Arizona Cardinals will battle a division rival in the midst of a two-game home stand.

This could be considered the early season game of the year for the Cardinals as a win or a loss will go a long way towards setting the tone for the team’s 2015 success going forward.

A loss against the St. Louis Rams will derail a terrific start and would be a major setback in the race for the NFC West division crown.

QB Sam Bradford is gone to the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona fans are very familiar with his replacement, Nick Foles, due to his collegiate career at Arizona. Foles is still a bit of a wildcard and his performance could dictate who wins or loses this Week 4 clash.

So far on the year, Foles has a respectable QB Rating of 87.5 and is completing over 62 percent of his passes. Big plays have been limited and Foles will need to stay patient with those as he attempts to navigate through a play-making Cardinals secondary.

Offensively, Arizona must continue to protect QB Carson Palmer against a dynamic St. Louis front. The Cardinals have allowed only one sack on the season and if that's still the case following this game, it would be safe to say that the Arizona offensive line is legitimate group.

Helping Palmer's cause will be a rejuvenated rushing attack and a trio of weapons at wide receiver.

RB Chris Johnson is once against expected to start in place of Andre Ellington and he's filled in admirably thus far.

Meanwhile, wideouts Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown and Michael Floyd have put Palmer in a position to have a career-season and that group will look to continue that trend this week.

Rams player to watch: RB Todd Gurley

Gurley has been hyped up by seemingly every expert heading into 2015 and coach Jeff Fisher stated this week that he expects Gurley's workload ton increase significantly in this game. The Rams have limited Gurley’s touches early on in the year, but he appears to be close to full speed by this point.

The Cardinals will need to keep the intensity up this week as it’s a bit of a letdown spot following a showdown with the San Francisco 49ers and with the Detroit Lions on deck.

Expect this game to perhaps be a tougher than the experts call for, but Arizona will make plays down the stretch and move to 4-0.

Prediction: Arizona 34 St Louis 24

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