Thursday Night NFL Odds and Prediction: Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
by Frank Martin
The Arizona Cardinals try to become the first team to five wins as they bring their perfect record into the Edward Jones Dome to face the NFC West-rival St. Louis Rams on Thursday. Arizona remained one of three undefeated clubs in the league with a wild 24-21 overtime victory at home over Miami in Week 4. The Cardinals extended their home winning streak to eight games, the longest run for the franchise since the 1925 Chicago Cardinals captured nine in a row.
St. Louis is coming off a spirited home triumph over Seattle in which it scored its only touchdown on a fake field-goal attempt. The rest of the offense came from rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein, who booted four field goals.
Zuerlein twice set the franchise record for the longest field goal, booting a 58-yarder in the first quarter before hitting from 60 yards in the third. The Rams had lost four straight and 13 of 14 against the Seahawks prior to Sunday.
Arizona Cardinals (4-0): The team is off to its best start since 1974, when it won its first seven games while based in St. Louis. Quarterback Kevin Kolb overcame eight sacks against the Dolphins to throw three touchdown passes, including a 15-yarder to Andre Roberts on 4th-and-2 with 22 seconds remaining in regulation. The Cardinals' running game was virtually non-existent as they gained 28 yards on the ground. Safety Adrian Wilson returned to action after missing a game with an ankle injury and made eight tackles while also recording a sack. Arizona registered four sacks, marking the NFL-best 10th straight game it has notched at least two.
St Louis Rams (2-2): Rookie punter Johnny Hekker, who was a quarterback in high school, threw St. Louis' lone touchdown pass Sunday. With Seattle expecting Zuerlein to boot his second field goal of the game, Hekker tossed the ball to a wide-open Danny Amendola for a 2-yard score. The Rams already have matched their win total from last season, when they finished tied with Indianapolis with a league-worst 2-14 record. They are 2-0 this year at home, where they were victorious just once in 2011.
1. Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald matched Mel Gray's franchise record Sunday by catching a pass in his 121st consecutive game.
2. Zuerlein is a perfect 12-for-12 on field-goal attempts.
3. Arizona has posted five overtime victories during its eight-game home winning streak.
NFL Football Prediction: Cardinals 27, Rams 17.