In last week’s Going for Broke column, I said it was pointless to try and make sense of the Arizona Cardinals’ 3-0 start—not to mention their 10-2 run dating to last November—and that you should just accept it and profit from it. And then the Cardinals dropped a giant turd against the Dolphins for much of Sunday’s game, only to rally for an inexplicable 24-21 overtime victory, except they failed to cover as a five-point favorite. Still, the Cardinals are one of three teams at 4-0 (and they’re an NFL-best 11-2 since last Halloween). And yet it continues to make less sense than Joe Biden in front of a microphone.
Do your realize that:
• Three of Arizona’s four wins (Seahawks, Patriots and Dolphins) were by a total of nine points, and all three victories weren’t secured until the final play of the game.
• Arizona ranks 31st (out of 32 teams) in total offense (271 total yards per game), 25th in passing (203 ypg), 29th in rushing (68 ypg) and tied for 31st in sacks allowed (14).
• Arizona ranks just 17th in total defense (357 ypg), 14th in rushing defense (101 ypg) and 21st in passing defense (256 ypg).
• Arizona’s quarterback the last 3½ games has been Kevin Kolb, whose 97.6 quarterback rating—somehow—ranks higher than Peyton Manning, Joe Flacco, Aaron Rodgers, Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Drew Brees!
In other words, the Cardinals are a fraud and about to get exposed—and I mean exposed like Pamela Anderson circa 1994. And I say it happens tonight in St. Louis. The Rams are one last-second Detroit Lions touchdown away from being 3-1. They’ve had just one stinker this year (23-6 at the Bears, who are pretty damn good). They’ve won both their home games (19-13 vs. Seattle last week; 31-28 vs. Washington in Week 2). And they’ve covered in three of their four games—and four of five since last year’s season finale—all as an underdog.
In fact, the underdog is 3-1 ATS in the first four Thursday night NFL games. Also, Arizona has had the luxury of playing three of its first four games at home.
Rating:★ ★ ★ ☆
Wednesday’s Result: Angels-Mariners UNDER 7 (Loss)