How to watch the Arizona Cardinals vs. LA Rams' NFL playoff game on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPN+

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How to watch the Arizona Cardinals and LA Rams in the NFL playoffs?

Standing and screaming.

That’s the recommended method. Whether with joy or agony, well, that's the question. It’s been such an up and down season for Arizona, and the last few weeks have definitely been the down part. After starting the season 7-0, it’s been a bumpy ride for the Cardinals, including losing four of their last five.

So yeah, “on edge” is also a pretty good way to describe the mood for watching. That sounds a little more optimistic than “with dread” or “an impending sense of doom.”

Dang. When did Cardinals games become “The Conjuring” sequels?

Anyway, how you literally watch the game is up to you, as you have some choices.

What time is the 'Monday Night Football' playoff game on ESPN?

It’s the first-ever playoff game on “Monday Night Football,” and ESPN is offering a few options. Whether any of them will be worth watching ultimately is up to the Cardinals and the Rams, of course, but at least there’s some variety.

The traditional broadcast, with Steve Levy doing play-by-play and Brian Griese and Louis Riddick providing analysis, starts at 6 p.m. Arizona time on ESPN. This will also air locally on ABC 15.

They’ve called a Cardinals game before — the team’s first loss of the season, 24-21 to the Green Bay Packers on Oct. 28.

They are resoundingly, steadfastly, consistently OK.

Actually, Riddick is more than OK. He's smart and insightful and knows how to impart that. But since it’s a three-person booth there’s less time for everyone, which is too bad in his case. (In Griese’s? Eh.) You won’t miss anything watching this, but with the exception of Riddick’s commentary, you won’t really learn anything, either.

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'Peyton and Eli' will cover Cardinals vs. Rams on ESPN2 and ESPN+

“Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli” will also cover the game, starting at 6:15 p.m. Arizona time on ESPN2 and ESPN+. I like the Manning brothers in this format, though some don’t. It’s the best alternative broadcast anyone’s come up with yet, and there have been many attempts.

Granted, the novelty is starting to wear a little thin. Something goofy and spontaneous eventually can begin to get stilted. That hasn’t happened yet, but the show feels a little less odd than it did at the beginning of the season.

It’s also highly guest dependent — Marshawn Lynch dropping an F-bomb on live TV was a particular highlight. (Seriously, it was — not prurient or shocking, but funnier.) ESPN hasn’t announced the guests for Monday’s game yet, but here’s a vote for bringing Lynch back.

Also on ESPN+ at 6:15 p.m. is “Between the Lines,” which the network describes as a “combination of ‘NFL Live’ and ‘Daily Wager’ shows, talking analytics and sports betting.”

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Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker (3), linebacker Isaiah Simmons (9), and cornerback Robert Alford (23) tackle Los Angeles Rams running back Sony Michel (25) at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker (3), linebacker Isaiah Simmons (9), and cornerback Robert Alford (23) tackle Los Angeles Rams running back Sony Michel (25) at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

Mina Kimes, who grew up in Gilbert, will be part of 'Between the Lines'

Laura Rutledge, Mina Kimes, Dan Orlovsky and Marcus Spears from “NFL Live” and Doug Kezirian, Joe Fortenbaugh and Tyler Fulghum from “Daily Wager” will contribute. This option also includes data, stats, live odds and more. People like betting on games in Arizona, so this might be interesting.

Only if the game is, though. It’s been frustrating to watch the Cardinals the last few weeks. Never listen to anyone who talks about how good things used to be. But in this case, I think it’s OK since how it used to be was only back in September and October. The Cardinals were the most exciting team in football, with Kyler Murray putting up MVP-type numbers and DeAndre Hopkins seeming like he could catch anything, anytime.

It was fun.

Then Murray missed a few games with injury. Hopkins, too. Murray’s back, but it’s just impossible to watch the team with the same confidence of the first couple of months of the season. Then it seemed like they could do anything. Now it feels more like a matter of just trying to hang on.

That can all change Monday. If you’ve watched or listened or read anything about the Cardinals, you know that they’re 8-1 on the road this season, and they’re traveling to LA for this. Maybe they’ll turn things around. That would be fascinating, and great TV.

Or maybe they won’t, and they’ll just limp their way into the offseason as a massive disappointment. That would be decidedly less great TV, no matter how many options ESPN offers.

How to watch the Arizona Cardinals vs. LA Rams

"Monday Night Football"

6 p.m. Monday on ESPN and ABC 15.

"Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli"

6:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN2 and ESPN+.

"Between the Lines"

6:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN+.

Reach Goodykoontz at bill.goodykoontz@arizonarepublic.com. Facebook: facebook.com/GoodyOnFilm. Twitter: @goodyk. Subscribe to the weekly movies newsletter.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: How to watch or stream the Arizona Cardinals in the 2022 NFL playoffs

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