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NFL 2016 Week 4: Los Angeles Rams @ Arizona Cardinals preview

Can the Rams go for a third straight victory, or will the Cardinals be able to stop the surprising LA side in this NFC West rivalry?


The Los Angeles Rams roll into Arizona with a bit of confidence after winning their previous two games, while Arizona is coming off a surprising defeat and are looking to bounce back. The Rams somehow, someway have got themselves to a 2-1 record after failing to score a touchdown in their first two games. Grinding out results has been the early theme of the season for the Rams; on the other hand, Arizona has had the opposite fortunes, not meeting expectations for the talent they have. They will look to regain their credibility as an elite team this weekend.

What happened in Week 3

Los Angeles Rams

Last week saw by far the best performance for the Rams through the first three weeks of the season as they found their way to the end zone plenty of times. Defensively, there is a great amount of work to do, as they conceded nearly as many points as they scored in their 37-32 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; however the big takeaway is that they were able to put points on the board. Case Keenum threw for 190 yards (14-26), two touchdowns and one interception, while Todd Gurley racked up 27 carries for 85 yards, entering the end zone twice. Even the Rams defense were in a scoring mood, forcing a fumble by Jameis Winston and returning it for a 77-yard touchdown.

Arizona Cardinals

After bouncing back in Week 2 with a win, Arizona seemed unprepared for their matchup against the Buffalo Bills, losing 33-18 on the road. The struggles began on the offensive end as the Cardinals went three-and-out in their first five drives. Carson Palmer had a horrendous game, throwing four interceptions, and proving unable to move the chains when needed. Running back David Johnson continued to be one of the few bright spots for the team as he carried the ball 19 times for 83 yards, including two touchdowns. The Bills simply outplayed the Cardinals in this one.

Three keys to the game

Fast start for the Cardinals

The Cardinals have had their fair amount of slow starts in the first three weeks of the season, and it will be imperative for them to not let that happen once again. From the beginning, they need to move the chains and gain some confidence on the offensive side of the ball. Los Angeles come into the matchup as underdogs, but they do have momentum on their side, so this could be a tricky challenge.

Rams running game

Todd Gurley got into the end zone twice last week, and the Rams will need to keep their star running back involved. Once he gets going, he can be hard to stop, so if they can get him 20-plus carries again this week then there’s every chance of LA notching up another victory.

Costly turnovers

The Cardinals turned the ball over five times last week; that just cannot happen if they want a chance to win the game this week. Taking care of the ball will need to be a primary focus for Arizona, especially Carson Palmer.

Prediction

We predict the Arizona Cardinals will top the Rams by a 24- 17 scoreline.

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NFL 2016 Week 4: Los Angeles Rams @ Arizona Cardinals preview

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