While the Los Angeles Rams will have their top running back ready to go on Sunday, the Arizona Cardinals may be without theirs when they host their NFC West rivals. Todd Gurley has been a major reason why Los Angeles sits one game ahead of Seattle for first place in the division as he leads the NFL with 11 touchdowns and ranks second with 1,344 scrimmage yards.
The 23-year-old Gurley registered 128 total yards in last Sunday’s 26-20 triumph over New Orleans, which got the Rams back on track after their four-game winning streak was halted by Minnesota the previous week. The Cardinals, who snapped a two-game slide and remained in playoff contention with last week’s 27-24 upset victory over AFC South-leading Jacksonville, could be missing Adrian Peterson due to the neck injury he suffered in the win. The 32-year-old Peterson rushed 20 times for 79 yards against the Jaguars and has averaged 21.5 carries since being acquired from the Saints on Oct. 10. Arizona, which is one game behind Detroit for the second NFC wild card, also may be without Kerwynn Williams as the backup running back suffered cracked ribs versus Jacksonville.
TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Rams -7. O/U: 44.5
ABOUT THE RAMS (8-3): Gurley became the fourth player in franchise history to register 1,300 scrimmage yards and 10 touchdowns in the first 11 games of a season, joining Elroy Hirsch (1951), Eric Dickerson (1983) and Marshall Faulk (2000). He needs 135 yards rushing and 21 receiving against Arizona to become the fifth player in NFL history with 1,000 rushing, 500 receiving and 10 TDs through 12 contests. Jared Goff, who ranks sixth in the league with 2,964 passing yards, has averaged 311 while throwing nine touchdown passes and just one interception over his last four games.
ABOUT THE CARDINALS (5-6): Phil Dawson (42 years old) was the hero against Jacksonville as he booted a 57-yard field goal with one second left - the longest game-winning kick in the fourth quarter by a player 40 or older in NFL history. Larry Fitzgerald, who leads the NFC with 72 receptions, can join Jerry Rice (13), Tim Brown (10) and Tony Gonzalez (10) as the only players in league history with at least 75 catches in 10 or more seasons. Linebacker Chandler Jones is tied for first in the NFL with 12 sacks after recording two last week and is the only player in the league with at least 10 in each of the last three campaigns.
1. The Rams are second in the league with an average of 29.9 points scored.
2. Peterson is four rushing yards away from passing Faulk (12,279) for 11th place on the all-time list and 37 away from overtaking Jim Brown (12,312) for 10th.
3. Los Angeles posted a 33-0 triumph over Arizona in England during Week 7.
PREDICTION: Rams 27, Cardinals 10