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Cardinals Prepare for Big Matchup in St.Louis

The 4-3 Cardinals head to St. Louis for a week 9 showdown with the 2-5 Rams that marks just the second division game for each club. The Cards opened the year with a road win at San Francisco while St. Louis’ lone NFC West contest to date was a week 3 loss at Seattle.

The Cards & Rams are both coming off road losses against quality teams and each team led in the second half. The defeats snapped two-game win streaks for each team.

After impressive home wins over Dallas and Buffalo, the Cards led 17-3 early in the third quarter at Carolina but the Panthers improved their 2008 home record to 5-0 by taking advantage of two Arizona turnovers and emerged with the 27-23 win. QB Kurt Warner completed 35 of 49 passes (71.4%) for 381 yards. That included 9 passes and 2 TDs to WR Anquan Boldin, who returned from the head injury that had sidelined him for the previous two games plus the bye.

The Rams will be playing their 4th game since Jim Haslett took over as head coach. St. Louis opened with a 19-17 win at Washington in week 6 and followed that up with a 34-14 home win over Dallas. Last week in Foxboro, the Rams led 16-13 early in the 4th but the Patriots scored 10 points in the final 8:22 to emerge with a 23-16 win. Marc Bulger threw for 301 yards with a TD and an INT, completing 18-34 passes.

Arizona enters Sunday’s game with a two-game division lead and Sunday’s contest at St. Louis kicks off a pivotal three-game stretch within NFC West. After the Rams, the Cards host the 49ers (2-6) on Monday night football and then travel to Seattle (2-5). The Rams are at the Jets next week.

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