Arizona Cardinals will look to continue their recent good form against the LA Rams at Twickenham on Sunday.
The Cards have momentum moving in to week seven after an emphatic win over Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the veteran trio of Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald and new signing Adrian Peterson are starting to turn the screw.
Peterson, 32, who signed from the New Orleans Saints this month, has set alight the Cardinals offence and silenced the fears of a season without the expertise of David Johnson.
Bruce Arians’ men arrived on Tuesday in London ahead of their first game outside the United States since 2005 in Mexico City.
Head coach Arians said: “It’s a very big game, it’s a very big division game and it’s the first time we face the Rams this year and they are playing extremely well.
“Teams that I’ve talked to that have done both have been more successful coming early and getting acclimated to the time.
“If they want to see London come in March, we are here to win.”
Quarterback Palmer added: “Adrian is one of one, there is nobody in the league like him right now, that runs the ball the way he does or has.”
Under head coach Sean McVay, 31, the Rams sealed their third away victory in a row last week, a feat not achieved since 2001.
All eyes will be on the Rams form Running Back Todd Gurley, whilst special teams’ Pharoh Cooper will look to replicate his 103-yard kick-off return touchdown from last week.
The head coach has a different travel plan for the LA team and is hoping their Thursday arrival will avoid distraction and keep the players fresh.
McVay is very much aware of the threat of Adrian Peterson and has focused on his skill set this week.
He said: “You know you have an idea of the way Coach (Bruce) Arians has operated and why he’s been so successful offensively. But, they’re (Cardinals) still doing the same things schematically, they’ve just got a great player in Adrian Peterson who is doing those.
“He can go up the middle and I thought he gave their offense as a whole and, really, their team a bunch of juice.”
“When I was in Washington last year, we traveled on that Thursday to go play Cincinnati in London and we felt like that was a pretty seamless transition – as seamless as it can get I guess when you’re adjusting with that different time zone change.”
The Cardinals defense yielded 19 points in the fourth quarter at Tampa Bay, which is the third time the Cards have allowed multiple scores in the final quarter.
Many see the NFC West conference game as a past versus future match-up between the return of ageless Peterson and young buck Jared Goff on the opposing side.
Peterson has been crucial to his side, while Rams’ QB Goff has struggled the last two weeks against the league’s leading defenses and was brutally sacked seven times by the Cards last time out.
The two teams have met 77 times in the all-time series, with the Cards narrowly coming out on top with 38 wins.
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