NFL: Cardinals try to snap stalemate at home vs. Rams
The Arizona Cardinals will try to end a six-game losing streak at home when they face the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday in Glendale, Ariz.
The Cardinals haven’t beat the Rams inside State Farm Stadium since a 31-14 win on Nov. 9, 2014, when the Rams were still based in St. Louis.
That was also a long time ago for Arizona head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who was the coach at Texas Tech at that time.
Kingsbury knows one of the keys to ending the streak will be containing Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald, a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
“Nobody has a plan for that,” Kingsbury said of Donald. “We just have to make sure he doesn’t wreck the game.”
The Cardinals (1-1) hope to retain the momentum they built last week when they rallied from a 20-0 halftime deficit on the road against the Las Vegas Raiders and won 29-23 on a fumble return in overtime.
Arizona lost its leading rusher from last season, James Connor, to an ankle injury against the Raiders, but Kingsbury didn’t rule him out against Los Angeles.
“He’ll be day to day,” Kingsbury said. “He’s a tough guy.”
Turnovers could play a key role in Arizona’s chances of ending its home losing streak.
The Cardinals have turned the ball over just once in two games, while the Rams have forced seven turnovers, tied for the most in the NFL.
“We’ve got to tighten everything up,” Kingsbury said. “The first two weeks haven’t been the standard for us as far as execution goes and play calling, and all of those things in all three phases.”
The Rams (1-1) bounced back from an embarrassing season-opening loss to the visiting Buffalo Bills and beat the Atlanta Falcons 31-27 last Sunday in Los Angeles, but the Rams also let a 28-3 lead slip away in the second half before holding on for the win.
The Rams made it through the game without any significant injuries to skill players, but they did lose starting offensive guard Tremayne Anchrum Jr. to a fractured fibula that will sideline him for the season.
Alaric Jackson has been tabbed as Anchrum’s replacement in the starting lineup.
“That was a tough thing to see,” Rams tackle Rob Havenstein said of Anchrum’s injury. “That actually happened on the first play and he tried to gut through, but we’re going to get after it and go back to work for him.”
Los Angeles rookie cornerback Cobie Durant took advantage of his opportunity for more playing time on Sunday, taking the field after Troy Hill went down with a groin injury that has since placed him on injured reserve.
Durant’s 51-yard interception return just before the end of the first half set up a 3-yard touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford to Cooper Kupp, which gave Los Angeles a 21-3 lead at the break.
“I went out there and showed off,” Durant said. “I didn’t even expect that. Whenever my name gets called, my number gets called, I’m always ready, but I didn’t expect it to be this early. It’s a blessing honestly.”
Los Angeles head coach Sean McVay said wide reciever Van Jefferson (knee) likely won’t practice this week, leaving him unavailable for Sunday’s game.
–Field Level Media