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What to watch for in Cardinals-Rams on 'TNF'

The Arizona Cardinals will look to become the NFL's first 11-game winner when they meet the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on Thursday night. Here's what to watch for in the game:

  1. The stakes are high for both teams. The Cardinals can put a stranglehold on a playoff spot (and keep the pressure on the Seahawks in the NFC West race) with a win. The Rams need serious help even if they win out.
  1. The Rams are coming off back-to-back shutouts, becoming the first team to do so since the Cowboys in Week 16 and 17 of the 2009 season. Consider it a surprise if the Cardinals score 20 points in this game. They haven't done that since Drew Stanton replaced an injured Carson Palmer four weeks ago.
  1. Keep an eye on the Arizona running game, which came to life with a season-high 141 yards against the Chiefs. Arizona is 8-0 this season when rushing for more than 70 yards in a game. Kerwynn Williams emerged from the practice squad to rush for 100 yards on 19 carries on Sunday. The former seventh-round pick will struggle to repeat that performance here.
  1. Shaun Hill is playing the game manager role very well. The veteran quarterback has posted a passer rating above 100 in three of four games since taking his starting job back from Austin Davis. The Rams have been smart not to ask Hill to do too much, and Hill is playing smart with the football.
  1. There will be sacks. The Rams and Cardinals have combined for 53 sacks since Week 9. They are No. 1 and No. 3 in that category, respectively, over the past five weeks. Rams defensive end Robert Quinn has 10.5 sacks, all in the past eight weeks.
  1. Do you like random stats that don't particularly mean anything, but are still kind of cool? Well, the Cardinals haven't won a game on a Thursday since Nov. 25, 1948. They're either long overdue or totally screwed.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast reacts to the fallout of Cam Newton's car accident and debates how the Browns will look with Johnny Manziel at QB. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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