The first round of the NFL playoffs comes to an end tonight. In the final wild card game, the Arizona Cardinals take on the Los Angeles Rams, and it will also be the final Monday night game of the year. Cardinals vs. Rams will kick off at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN and ABC. It will also air on ESPN 2 with Peyton and Eli Manning will host their MegaCast presentation. Streaming of the game will be available via ESPN+, ESPN App, NFL.com, NFL App and Yahoo Sports App.
The Cardinals (11-6) were the hottest team in the NFL to start the season as they won their first seven games. But after losing to the Green Bay Packers in Week 8, the Cardinals went on to win their next four of nine games. This is the first playoff appearance for quarterback Kyler Murray who finished the season with 3,784 passing yards, 42 touchdowns and five interceptions in 14 games.
"I was always raised on 'Win, no matter what. We don't lose," Murray said, per the Cardinals' official website. "Whether it was a race, chess match, getting first chair in band class, it didn't matter what it was. That's just the way I was raised. Everybody played football, baseball, basketball. I knew every player. I knew what they wore. I knew their number. I knew everything about them. For me, watching them growing up, I always wanted to be like the guys that everybody watched. They were usually the best players and usually played the best in the big-time games. If you want to be that guy, that's what you've got to do."
The Rams (12-5) are back in the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons. They are hoping to get strong production from quarterback Matthew Stafford who threw for 4,886 yards and 41 touchdowns in his first season in Los Angeles. But other than Stafford, the Cardinals will keep a close eye on wide receiver Cooper Kupp who caught 145 passes for 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns this year.
"We're going to spend our energy on things that we can control," Rams head coach Sean McVay said earlier this week, per the team's official website. "We're playing on Monday night, so the positive approach is we get an extra day of getting recovered and rejuvenated from a good, tough game yesterday. So, looking forward to a great atmosphere at SoFi on Monday night."