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NFL 2014: Week 15 TNF Preview: Cardinals vs Rams
The NFL kicks off Week 15 on Thursday night on NFL Network when the Arizona Cardinals (10-3) visit the St. Louis Rams (6-7) at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis (NFLN, 8:25 PM ET).
Arizona enters Week 15 following a 17-14 win against Kansas City, improving to 7-0 at home this season. The Cardinals' seven home wins are the most for the franchise in a single season since 1925, when the team won 11 of its 13 home games.
Arizona quarterback Drew Stanton passed for 239 yards and the game-winning 26-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jaron Brown late in the third quarter. Stanton has won six of his past nine starts, including four wins as a starter this season.
"You have to love the NFL schedule," says Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. "You want a tough game against a great football team. St. Louis again played a really good game and those guys are rolling right now. It's always tough to play there, but we're going to be ready for the occasion."
Fitzgerald enters this week's matchup with 358 receptions for 4,697 receiving yards with 38 touchdowns against the NFC West since entering the league in 2004, the most of any player against his own division during that span. Against St. Louis, Fitzgerald has 131 receptions and 16 touchdowns, the most against any opponent in his career. In his past three meetings against the Rams, Fitzgerald has 29 catches for 288 yards and three touchdowns.
Fitzgerald's career receiving numbers against the NFC West:
|St. Louis Rams||21||131||1,601||16|
|San Francisco 49ers||21||115||1,625||12|
St. Louis aims for its third consecutive victory following a 24-0 win at Washington.
The win was the team's second consecutive shutout win (52-0 vs. Oakland in Week 13). The Rams have recorded back-to-back shutout wins for the first time since 1945 (September 30 and October 7). St. Louis is the first team to post consecutive shutout victories since 2009 (Dallas, December 27 and January 3).
"We are really focused in well right now and I thought it was huge to get two wins in a row," says Rams linebacker JAMES LAURINAITIS. "We have to challenge ourselves really hard the next three days in preparation for Arizona on Thursday night. We have to lock it in, and keep this thing going. There's definitely momentum right now, and we just have to keep fighting and keep stacking wins."
Laurinaitis (1.5), rookie defensive tackle AARON DONALD (one) and defensive end ROBERT QUINN (1.5) combined for four of the Rams' seven sacks against Washington. Donald (Round 1, No. 13 overall) leads all rookies with seven sacks in 2014. Quinn's 10.5 sacks rank fourth in the NFC, and he has led a defensive unit that recorded 13 sacks in the previous two games, the second most in the NFL during that span. For the season, St. Louis is tied for third in the NFC with 35 sacks.
On offense, rookie running back TRE MASON (Round 3, No. 75 overall) leads all NFC rookies with 628 rushing yards. In his past three games at home, Mason has 363 scrimmage yards (315 rushing, 48 receiving) and has scored four touchdowns (three rushing, one receiving).
The NFC rookies with the most rushing yards this season:
|Tre Mason||St. Louis||142||628||4.4||3|
|Andre Williams||New York Giants||158||524||3.3||6|
|Carlos Hyde||San Francisco||77||278||3.6||4|
Arizona Cardinals (10-3) vs St. Louis Rams (6-7) Game Notes
QB DREW STANTON has won 6 of past 9 starts
RB KERWYNN WILLIAMS rushed for 100 yards last week in 1st career game with att
WR LARRY FITZGERALD has 131 rec. & 16 TDs vs. StL, his most vs. opp. Has catch in 160 games in row, longest active streak in NFL. Since entering NFL in 2004, leads NFL with 98 rec. TDs (incl. playoffs). Rookie WR JOHN BROWN has 4 come-from-behind GW TDs, incl. 3 in 4th Q. WR JARON BROWN had GW TD last week
CB PATRICK PETERSON has 5 INTs & 3 return TDs (1 INT, 2 PR) vs. StL. In Week 10, had 2 INTs, incl. TD. Since 2011, is only player in NFL with 10+ INTs (14) & 5+ return TDs (5). In last meeting, rookie DE KAREEM MARTIN had sack & FF which CB ANTONIO CROMARTIE returned 14 yards for TD. DE CALAIS CAMPBELL has 7 sacks in past 9 vs. StL. In past 5, LB ALEX OKAFOR has 5 sacks & INT. DT FROSTEE RUCKER had career-high 2 sacks last week
Have back-to-back shutout wins for 1st time since 1945
QB SHAUN HILL has 4 TDs, 0 INTs & 124.8 rating in past 2
Rookie RB TRE MASON has 363 scrimmage yards (121 per game), 315 rush yards (105 per game) & 4 TDs (3 rush, 1 rec.) in past 3 at home. Leads NFC rookies with 628 rush yards
WR-PR TAVON AUSTIN had 78-yard PR-TD last week & has TD in 3 games in row (2 rush, 1 PR). Has 9 career TDs (4 rec., 3 rush, 2 PR)
TE JARED COOK had 2 TDs last week. In last home meeting, had 7 catches for 141 yards & 2 TDs
DE ROBERT QUINN has 7 sacks in 3 home games vs. Az. Has 10.5 sacks & 5 FFs in past 8. DT AARON DONALD leads NFL rookies with 7 sacks. Has sack in 6 of past 8. Since entering NFL in 2009, LB JAMES LAURINAITIS is only player in NFL with 15+ sacks (15.5) & 9+ INTs (9).
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