The NFL’s top-scoring offence touches down at Twickenham on Sunday when the Los Angeles Rams face off against NFC West divisional rivals the Arizona Cardinals, in what should be the pick of the International Series games.
So far us Brits have been witness to two forgettable encounters in London but the Rams and Cardinals look to have too much talent not to light up HQ.
The story of the two running-backs alone should make this Week 7 match-up a watchable one as LA’s Todd Gurley looks to eclipse his football idol, Adrian Peterson, who stole the show on debut for Arizona last week.
Having cut short his time in New Orleans, who could not figure out how best to use him, the Cards helped number 28 record his first 100-plus rushing yards game since the end of 2015 in the 38-33 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Peterson had two touchdowns last week and is fancied to get in the end zone any time against a Rams defence which is the fourth worst against the run in the league this season.
The man trying to steal his thunder in London will be Gurley, who has the fourth most rushing yards in the league, while the 23-year-old also has an impressive 245 receiving yards. All of this has contributed to Gurley scoring seven touchdowns this season to help the Rams sit at 4-2 at this stage, while they are 4/7 to win this weekend.
However, he might not have it all his own way on Sunday with the Cardinals defence having not given up a 100-yard game to a rusher yet this season.
The Rams are the surprise leaders of the NFC West, with the Cardinals 3-3 after a real mixed bag of a season for them. Arizona have had to cope with the loss of star running back David Johnson, hence the signing of Peterson, while quarterback Carson Palmer looks a shadow of the man who took this team to the NFC Championship game two years ago.
Having not so long ago been considered Super Bowl contenders, the Cardinals are now struggling to stay in the play-off picture. However, the 6/4 on offer for them to win is a very tempting price given these two look evenly matched on paper, while those wanting a bit of security might like the 50/51 on offer on the points spread with a plus-3 handicap.
This is a big test of the Rams’ credentials, as they got the better of another young, upstart team last week in Jacksonville but have come unstuck against experienced defences this season.
While they have the experience of winning at Twickenham, the Cardinals potential to shut down Gurley and force quarterback Jared Goff to beat them, something last year’s number one draft choice might not be capable of, means they are the pick on Sunday.