Monday's game will be the third meeting between the teams after splitting the regular-season series. The Cardinals won the first round, 37-20, Week 4 at SoFi Stadium but the Rams captured round two, 30-23 Week 14 at State Farm Stadium.
The matchup is also the second time two teams meet on a Monday night and then in the postseason in NFL history.
When: Monday at 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)
Betting line: Rams by 3.5, according to FanDuel Sportsbook
How they got here
The fourth-seeded Rams: After the regular season finale against the San Francisco 49ers (10-7), the Rams won the NFC West, making it four appearences in five seasons as Head Coach for Sean McVay.
WR Cooper Kupp solidified his “Triple-Crown” season with seven receptions for 118 yards, one rush for 18 yards and one receiving touchdown. Cooper Kupp is just the fourth player in NFL history to win the receiving Triple-Crown, and most recent since Steve Smith Sr. in 2005. Kupp’s touchdown was one of three Rams touchdowns on the day and his 16th of the season, the other two came from TE Tyler Higbee.
Completing the air raid, QB Matthew Stafford completed 21 passes for 238 yards to six different targets. Stafford passed QB Kurt Warner for most single-season passing yards in franchise history with 4,886. RB Sony Michel led the rushing charge for the Rams with 21 carries for 43 yards.
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The fifth-seeded Cardinals: The other half of the NFC West played in Arizona during Week 18. The Cardinals lost to the Seattle Seahawks (7-10), 38-30. Cardinals QB Kyler Murray completed 28-of-39 attempts for 240 yards and one touchdown. Ari- zona rushed for 118 yards on 28 carries. The Cardinals defense made 52 stops. Cardinals OLB Chandler Jones recorded a sack for nine yards, and Cardinals S Jalen Thompson picked off Seahawks QB Russell Wilson for a 33-yard return.
"You have to get back up – it's a new season," coach Kliff Kingsbury said, adding that he wasn't lamenting the missed opportunity of an NFC West crown. "We would've liked to have won the division, but we're in the playoffs, we'll go play them next week and it should be a heck of a game."
The Cardinals finished 3-5 at home -- the first time a Cardinals playoff team has had a losing record at home since moving to Arizona -- and even Kingsbury had to acknowledge "it appears that way" when asked if it might be better to play on the road for the postseason.
Former Clemson players
Isaiah Simmons: The sophomore Arizona Cardinals linebacker has started all 16 games so far, playing 92% of defensive snaps in 2021 after just 34% in his rookie year. He has stuffed the stat sheet with 100 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, an interception, and four forced fumbles this year.
Deandre Hopkins: Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins will not be available for Monday night's game against the Rams. Hopkins is still not ready to play after having knee surgery to repair a torn MCL in mid-December.
Hopkins suffered the injury in Arizona's 30–23 loss to the Rams in Week 14.
Arizona's star receiver tallied 42 receptions and eight touchdowns in 2021. He is a five-time Pro Bowler, spending his first seven seasons with the Texans before a trade to Arizona in March 2020. He has 68 touchdown catches since entering the NFL in 2013, tied for eighth-most among active players.
Tremayne Anchrum: The former Clemson offensive lineman has not played in any games for the Rams this season after playing in 11 games for the Rams last season, with no starts.