National Football League
Preview
Arizona at L.A. Rams
When: 4:05 PM ET, Sunday, September 16, 2018
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California

After needing the first 30 minutes of their season opener to shake off the rust, the Los Angeles Rams resembled the team that won the NFC West last year in the second half. Los Angeles figures to be in top form from the onset when it hosts the division rival Arizona Cardinals on Sunday in its home opener.

The Rams' offensive starters did not play during the preseason while many of their top defensive players saw little action, and the lack of time was evident early last week as the team trailed at halftime before outscoring Oakland 23-0 in the second half en route to a 33-13 victory. Jared Goff threw for 233 yards and two touchdowns without an interception while Todd Gurley rushed for 108 yards and caught a TD pass as Los Angeles made easy pickings of the Raiders' beleaguered defense. Arizona will need to put forth a better effort than it did in its season-opening loss to Washington in order to avoid suffering the same fate as Oakland. The Cardinals trailed 21-0 at halftime as they had only three possessions and were outgained 429-213 overall as David Johnson rushed for only 37 yards on nine carries while Sam Bradford completed 20-of-34 passes for 153 yards in his team debut.

TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Rams -13. O/U: 45

ABOUT THE CARDINALS (0-1): Johnson, who agreed to a three-year contract worth a reported $39 million the night before the season opener, is battling a back injury but practiced Thursday and is expected to play against Los Angeles. Bradford, who spent the first five years of his career with the then-St. Louis Rams after being drafted first overall in 2010, stated he is focused on performing well but is not preparing harder just because he's facing his former team. "If (the matchup) would've happened sooner, maybe there would be more (emotion)," he told reporters on Wednesday. "There's just not a lot of connection that's still there for me."

ABOUT THE RAMS (1-0): Marcus Peters had a successful debut for Los Angeles after being acquired from Kansas City in March, returning an interception 50 yards for a touchdown. Fellow cornerback Cory Littleton also had a big game, picking off a pass while registering a career-high 13 tackles. Goff has passed for 908 yards and seven TDs with just one interception in his last three games at home.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Rams LB Mark Barron (ankle) has not practiced and could miss his second straight contest.

2. Arizona WR Larry Fitzgerald had made 16 career touchdown catches against the Rams, which is his second-highest total versus any opponent (17 against San Francisco).

3. Los Angeles K Greg Zuerlein was named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week after going 4-for-5 on field-goal attempts and 3-for-3 on extra points.

PREDICTION: Rams 37, Cardinals 13
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
Arizona 0-1 L1 6.0 24.0 0-1 0-0 0-1 0-0 - - 0-1
L.A. Rams 1-0 W1 33.0 13.0 0-0 1-0 1-0 0-0 - - 0-0
Last Meeting
Arizona L.A. Rams
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
12/3/17 LAR 32 ARI 16 305 118 187 303 90 213
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Arizona B. Gabbert 56.2 221 1 2
L.A. Rams J. Goff 67.7 220 2 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Arizona K. Williams 16 97 6.1 0
L.A. Rams T. Gurley II 19 74 3.9 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Arizona L. Fitzgerald 10 98 9.8 1
L.A. Rams T. Gurley II 6 84 14.0 0
Touchdowns Player TD
Arizona L. Fitzgerald 1
L.A. Rams G. Everett 1
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Arizona S. Bradford 58.8 153 0 1
L.A. Rams J. Goff 54.5 233 2 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Arizona D. Johnson 9 37 4.1 1
L.A. Rams T. Gurley II 20 108 5.4 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Arizona L. Fitzgerald 7 76 10.9 0
L.A. Rams B. Cooks 5 87 17.4 0
Touchdowns Player TD
Arizona D. Johnson 1
L.A. Rams T. Gurley II 1