The St. Louis Rams welcome the Arizona Cardinals to the Show Me State today as the two NFC West rivals engage in a season opening clash at the Edward Jones Dome. Kickoff in this afternoon's meeting between the Cardinals and Rams is set for 4:25pm ET on FOX. NFL Week 1 Odds have St. Louis listed as a -4 against the spread home favorite and the Over/Under set at 41.5 points.
Things started well enough for the Cardinals last season as they jumped out to an unlikely 4-0 record, but the Rams exposed what everyone knew was a sham when they hosted Arizona on Thursday, October 4th.
St. Louis, which produced just 12 first downs and 242 yards in the game, scored a 17-3 win after decimating the Cardinals horrendous offensive line. The Rams finished the night with nine sacks and 11 quarterback hits, leaving Kevin Kolb virtually no chance of moving Arizona's offense.
The Cardinals went on to lose ten of their next 11 games, including another meeting with St. Louis (31-17), to close out the year and the Ken Whisenhunt era with a 5-11 record.
The arrival of Bruce Arians, who seemed to have a wizard's touch while serving as interim head coach for the Colts last season, and quarterback Carson Palmer has fostered hope that Arizona can be something other than a doormat this year.
With Palmer under center and some new pieces along the offensive line, the Cardinals certainly have a better opportunity to utilize what are some talented skill players. No one is predicting great things for Arizona this year, but it does look like a viable NFL team and one capable of spoiling four point lines like the one it is getting this afternoon against the Rams.
St. Louis is, for obvious reasons, viewed as the better club here, but as they season plays out that may not be the case. Today could provide the first positive evidence in the Cardinals on going battle to change their image.
NFL Week 1 Odds Cardinals vs Rams:
Arizona Cardinals +4 (-110), Over 41.5 (-110), +180 (Moneyline)
St. Louis Rams -4 (-110), Under 41.5 (-110), -215 (Moneyline)
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