The Arizona Cardinals have been the surprise package of the NFL so far this year boasting a 7-1 record, the best in the league but they face a tough divisional test this week in the form of the visit of the unpredictable St. Louis Rams.
The Cardinals are certainly in both impressive and historic form as they haven’t been able to boast a 7-1 record since 1974 when they were based in St. Louis and Dan Coryell winning the Coach of the Year award.
Cardinals on a roll
They are yet to be defeated by any NFC opposition so far this season losing out only to record breaker Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos. And more impressive still is the fact that quarterback Carson Palmer is yet to lose a game this year and has scored a touchdown pass in 18 straight games.
And the former Bengal and Raider will be buoyed this week after signing a three year contract extension worth $50 million which will keep him in Arizona until 2017.
Defensively they look impressive too allowing an average of only 80 yards per game this year – their Super Bowl credentials are certainly impressive and hold up to scrutiny this year.
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But for any NFC West side the ultimate test this year seems to be playing the St. Louis Rams – one that the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks have both failed.
Rams a tough task
The Rams have been about as inconsistent as they come this year looking abject in most games but transform into imperious victors whenever they face up against divisional rivals. Two of their three wins this season have come in their divisional clashes and they come into this one off the back of a 13-10 victory over the 49ers.
And in that game the Rams racked up an impressive eight sacks on Clion Kaepernick in which was their highest total since week 5 of the 2012 season when they faced – yep you guessed it – the Arizona Cardinals.
Despite propping up the NFC West the Rams actually boast the best divisional record. Another win could change the face of the division and open things up for the Seahawks to close the gap on the Cardinals. And should the Rams pick up their form against non-divisional sides in the second half of the season their tie breaking stats could make a big difference when the play-offs come around.