Having finally earned their first victory of the season, the St. Louis Rams are cautiously optimistic that their success can continue.
The way the Arizona Cardinals have played, they can only hope they remember how to win.
Seeking a second straight victory, the visiting Rams look to hand the Cardinals a seventh consecutive loss Sunday in a matchup of teams tied for last place in the NFC West.
Despite playing with its backup quarterback and facing one the NFL's most potent offenses, St. Louis (1-6) pulled off a shocking 31-21 home win over New Orleans last Sunday. The outcome was all the more unbelievable considering the Rams had not scored more than 16 points this season and the Saints were coming off a 62-7 rout of Indianapolis.
"Hopefully, you build on that," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "That's the hope.
"There's still plenty of work to do. We're certainly not blinded by the fact it's just one win."
The Rams, though, certainly have something to build on.
Steven Jackson rushed 25 times for 159 yards and two touchdowns while the defense recorded six sacks after totaling 11 the previous six contests.
"What's nice is you've been saying certain things to the football team all the way through this rough patch and what we thought they were capable of, and I think the players felt the same way," Spagnuolo said. "This is a little bit of the proof in the pudding, so to speak."
Despite the 0-6 start, St. Louis could now be in position to put together a winning streak. The combined record of the Rams' first seven opponents was 31-19, and the next four are 7-21.
St. Louis snapped an eight-game skid to the Cardinals (1-6) with a 19-6 road win Dec. 5.
"This Arizona team we're getting ready to play is going to be as tough a challenge as any of the seven we've already played. I really believe it," Spagnuolo said.
The Cardinals, though, are looking to avoid their second seven-game losing streak in as many seasons after blowing a 21-point second-half lead in a 30-27 defeat at Baltimore on Sunday.
Four of Arizona's six losses have been decided by four or fewer points.
"We're working hard to try to make sure we're taking care of business, and we haven't done that," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "We're working hard to try to get that fixed."
It appears the Cardinals won't have quarterback Kevin Kolb, listed as doubtful after not practicing this week due to turf toe on his right foot. Kolb, who passed for 153 yards and a touchdown versus Baltimore, has thrown all eight of his interceptions in the last six games and been sacked an NFC-high 24 times this year.
"A lot of your power comes from that side of your foot," Kolb said, "When I had to take off and run I didn't feel it or anything. It probably was just nagging a little bit but nothing to throw me off my game."
Second-year pro John Skelton is likely to start in place of Kolb. He started four games late last season and led Arizona to a 2-2 mark despite completing 47.5 percent of his passes and averaging 154.3 yards per game.
St. Louis also has issues at quarterback. Backup A.J. Feeley is 40 of 70 for 371 yards with a touchdown and an interception while starting the last two games in place of Sam Bradford, who has a high ankle sprain. Bradford, however, is no longer wearing a protective boot and was active in practice Friday, working in 7-on-7 drills as well as doing some individual work.
"He's as questionable as you can be," Spagnuolo said. " ... We'll take it one day at a time and see where we're at on Sunday.''
Bradford threw for 440 yards with a TD and four interceptions in two games against the Cardinals in 2010.
Jackson hadn't had a 100-yard game since running for 102 with a TD at Arizona in December. He's averaged 99.7 yards in his last three contests against the Cardinals.
Arizona's Beanie Wells, who had 83 yards rushing and a touchdown despite a sore knee last Sunday, has run for 166 with two TDs in three career games versus St. Louis.