Shorthanded Rams, banged-up Cardinals meet with playoffs on the line

Cardinals (8-7) at Rams (9-6)

4:25 p.m. ET | CBS

Matchup rating: 57.4 | Spread: ARI -3 (40.5)

What to watch for: The Rams have won seven straight against the Cardinals under coach Sean McVay, and despite an injury-depleted offense, a top-ranked defense makes eight possible. Watch for defensive tackle Aaron Donald and cornerback Jalen Ramsey to wreak havoc against quarterback Kyler Murray and his arsenal of playmakers. In Week 10, Murray was sacked twice and limited to 173 passing yards, though he did toss three touchdowns. The Cardinals' defense has a chance to capitalize on a Rams offense that will be led by backup quarterback John Wolford, who will be making his first NFL appearance. -- Lindsey Thiry

Bold prediction: The Cardinals will finish with fewer than 250 yards of total offense in the most important game for this franchise in the past five seasons. The Rams' defense is ranked first overall in yards per game, yards per play, passing yards per game and passing yards per play, along with third in rushing yards per game and per play. With Murray dealing with a leg injury, the Cardinals' offense will feel the effects, which will be compounded by the Rams' stout defense. -- Josh Weinfuss

Stat to know: Arizona wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins can become the fourth player in franchise history with eight 100-yard receiving games in a season. Rob Moore had eight in 1997, David Boston had nine in 2001 and Anquan Boldin had eight in 2005.

Playoff/draft picture: This one is huge for both sides. The Rams can clinch a playoff berth with a win or a Chicago loss, while the Cardinals can punch their ticket with a win. The Rams have an 87.7% chance to make the playoffs, according to FPI projections, while the Cards are at 37.3%.

Injuries: Cardinals | Rams

What to know for fantasy: Murray has 29 rushing attempts over his past three games, nearly doubling the 15 he had in his prior three games. He has only 43 rushing yards in three career matchups with the Rams, but at least the effort is being made to utilize his most fantasy-friendly trait. See Week 17 rankings.

Betting nugget: The Rams have covered each of the past seven head-to-head matchups (six of which were by more than a TD). Read more.

Weinfuss' pick: Rams 24, Cardinals 21

Thiry's pick: Rams 13, Cardinals 10

FPI prediction: LAR, 62.7% (by an average of 4.3 points)

Matchup must-reads: Cardinals' roller-coaster season comes down to one game ... Rams place Kupp on reserve/COVID-19 list ... Murray says he'll play in must-win game ... Who is QB Wolford?