Game Scout: Cardinals @ Rams

SERIES: 59th meeting. Rams lead, 30-26-2. Since the teams have been in the same division, the Rams lead, 7-5, but Arizona has won the last three. In those three games, Arizona has won by a combined score of 116-70. The Cardinals have also won three consecutive games in St. Louis and have scored at least 34 points in each game.


KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET

GAMEDATE: 11/02/08

SURFACE: FieldTurf

TV: FOX (Thom Brennaman, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa)

PREDICTION: Cardinals 33-24

KEYS TO THE GAME: The Rams' rejuvenated defense will face a litmus test against the Cardinals. St. Louis is still allowing 233.9 passing yards per game and doesn't have any cover men who match up well against WRs Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, much less third WR Steve Breaston. The Rams' only real chance is to stuff the run with their front seven, allowing the safeties to focus on the pass and hope to create multiple turnovers. ...

Rams QB Marc Bulger acknowledged the Cardinals "are going to score a bunch of points," and that St. Louis needs improve in the red zone, where it has scored just three touchdowns in 10 possessions. RB Steven Jackson expects to play but could still be limited, so the onus falls on Bulger.

The promising aspect is the emergence of WR Donnie Avery. The big-play ability he has shown the past two weeks should prevent the Cardinals from constantly rolling coverage to Torry Holt.

Key Injuries: Cardinals: TE Ben Patrick (knee) is likely to be questionable; TE Leonard Pope (foot/ankle) is out.

Rams: Jackson (quadriceps) and DE Leonard Little (hamstring) participated in limited practice midweek and hope to play.

Need to know: A victory would give the Cardinals a winning record after eight games for the first time since 1988. ... The Rams are 4-15 in their past 19 games against the NFC West.



--RB Steven Jackson had another day of practice and it appears he will play Sunday against Arizona.

--DE Leonard Little remains questionable for Sunday's game after doing individual work Thursday, but very limited reps in team work. Little injured his hamstring Sunday against New England.

--DT Adam Carriker seems unlikely to play Sunday because of an ankle injury that caused him to miss last Sunday's game against New England. Carriker participated in individual drills Thursday, but had very limited reps in team.

--LT Orlando Pace was limited in team segments Thursday, but it was just an effort to give him some rest and give other players some reps.

--OL Adam Goldberg worked with the first unit at left tackle Thursday, and also got in some work at guard to limit the work of LT Orlando Pace and LG Jacob Bell, who have had some injury issues this season.

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