By Danny Cox

With the end of the season right around the corner, numerous teams are still fighting to make it into the playoffs. Actually, with week 15 approaching, not a single team has clinched a playoff spot as of yet. The Arizona Cardinals can take one spot this weekend with a win over the St. Louis Rams and a bit of help. The Rams, on the other hand, need a lot of help and would likely need victories in their final three games of the season to get into the postseason.

Dan Fouts of CBS Sports took some time to speak with us about the upcoming NFC West match-up, and how things are looking for both the Cardinals and the Rams. All four teams are still alive in the NFC West, and the Rams know that this is a necessary game for them if they want their season to continue. Even with that a priority, on the horizon is next season and what may be to come.

Until the loss of Carson Palmer, the Cardinals looked like the top team in the NFC. How far do you think they can go in the playoffs with Drew Stanton?

Dan Fouts: “First of all, he’s got to get them into the playoffs. Once there, it all depends on who they end up playing and where they play as well. That won’t be known for some time and Stanton has done a good job, but he’s going to have to do even better. It’s not easy in the playoffs because you never know where you’re playing and who will be there. First of all, it’s going to be interesting to see how he does against a strong Rams defense on Thursday.

Call me back right before the playoffs and I’ll tell you how far they can go.”  

St. Louis has outscored their last two opponents 76-0, what kind of game plan do the Cardinals need to put some points on the board?

DF: “Number one, they’ve got to control the pass rush. They have to protect Stanton and give him time to pass the ball and find his weapons down the field.

The strength of the Rams is the creativity of Gregg Williams and the schemes he can put together as far as pressure is concerned. There is no defensive coordinator that likes to bring pressure as much as Williams does and as creatively as he did. Then again, you’ve got a great offensive mind in Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians. This is going to be a great match-up.”

Has Sam Bradford’s time in St. Louis come to an end?

DF: “Well, I think they need to take a real hard look at Bradford and see where he is in his rehab, and will need to wait until right before the NFL Draft to make that official decision. At some point, the Rams have to be looking toward the future and simply say they need someone who is more durable.”

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