Rams vs Cardinals could hinge on Ramsey vs Hopkins

NFL

One of only two games matching teams with winning records this week, the Rams and Cardinals go at it in Arizona. Another defeat for either side in the rugged NFC West could cause major problems for any January plans.

Los Angeles (7-4) trails the division-leading Seahawks by one game. The Cardinals (6-5), losers of three of the last four, are in even more dire straits.

The Rams come off a second loss this season to San Francisco, which is last in the division.

”Yeah, it’s flush it,” quarterback Jared Goff says of not letting that sweep linger. ”You can’t control it, we play 16 of them and each week’s a different week.

”We were bummed about it but we moved forward, and it’s really easy to move forward when you have a good team you’re playing, another division game, another team that you have to really spend a lot of time on and focus on. So, it makes it a little bit easier.”

Arizona handed away its game at New England last weekend. The Cardinals might need a huge performance from star receiver DeAndre Hopkins, but he’s going against shutdown cornerback Jalen Ramsey.

”Yeah, I’m sure it’ll be a great matchup,” coach Kliff Kingsbury says. ”Ramsey is a tremendous competitor, tremendous player, really like watching him play. I like the way they’re using him. Not only just matching up at corner, but letting them play in space and chase the football. He’s really shown what a complete defensive player he is. So, they’ll have a heck of a battle on Sunday, I’m sure.”

We like Ramsey, Aaron Donald and the rest of the Rams, No. 8 in the AP Pro32, over No. 14 Arizona, which is a 3-point underdog at home.

RAMS, 30-21

KNOCKOUT POOL: Cleveland made it closer than it should have been at Jacksonville. Now, it’s the DOLPHINS we trust.

No. 24 Denver (plus 14) at No. 2 Kansas City

Hey, Broncos, want to see a real quarterback. Look at the other side in KC.

BEST BET: CHIEFS, 38-17

No. 18 New England (plus 1) at No. 26 Los Angeles Chargers

Again, we’re going with the pedestrian Patriots against the weak Chargers for …

UPSET SPECIAL: PATRIOTS, 18-16

No. 20 New York Giants (plus 9) at No. 6 Seattle

New York will keep it close, but it is outmanned minus its starting QB.

SEAHAWKS, 30-22

No. 5 Buffalo (minus 1) at No. 17 San Francisco , Monday

With this game switched to Arizona, please don’t mention ”Hail Murray” to the Bills.

BILLS, 27-23

No. 25 Washington (plus 8) at No. 1 Pittsburgh, Monday

Mike Tomlin is angry about how his team played in the delayed game with Baltimore.

STEELERS, 31-16

No. 28 Detroit (plus 3) at No. 22 (tie) Chicago

Motor City Mess vs. Windy City Wreck.

LIONS, 13-12

No. 30 Cincinnati (plus 11) at No. 12 Miami

Ryan Fitzpatrick beats another of his former teams – if Tua can’t go. Regardless …

DOLPHINS, 31-16

No. 11 Cleveland (plus 5) at No. 7 Tennessee

A chance for the Browns to prove they are legit after so many wins against lesser opponents.

TITANS, 26-23

No. 31 Jacksonville (plus 9 1-2) at No. 16 Minnesota

The Jaguars are feisty, but still a fiasco. Minnesota won’t romp.

VIKINGS, 27-20

No. 9 Indianapolis (minus 3) at No. 19 Houston

Indy must atone quickly for last week’s debacle at home.

COLTS, 26-20

No. 15 Las Vegas (minus 8) at No. 32 New York Jets

Yeah, yeah, we know how poorly the Raiders tend to play in the East. Still …

RAIDERS, 30-10

No. 3 New Orleans (minus 3 1-2) at No. 22 (tie) Atlanta

Pro Picks has a funny feeling on this one, though we’re not brave enough to pick the upset.

SAINTS, 23-21

No. 27 Philadelphia (plus 8) at No. 4 Green Bay

No funny feelings here. The Eagles are a major disappointment.

PACKERS, 26-13

No. 29 Dallas (plus 8 1-2) at No. 13 Baltimore, Tuesday

Yes, the Cowboys are as ugly to watch as anyone, but this spread seems high.

RAVENS, 21-16

2020 RECORD

Last Week: Straight up: 12-4. Against spread: 8-7

Season: Straight up: 117-59-1. Against spread: 88-76-4

Best Bet: Straight up: 10-2. Against spread: 7-5

Upset Special: Straight up: 5-7. Against spread: 5-5-2

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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