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|Team||Point Spread||Points Total||Odds|
|Los Angeles Rams||-4
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As of Week 3, the Arizona Cardinals have a top-2 offense led by quarterback Kyler Murray and their defense is almost in the top-10, so expect them to give this Rams team a run for their NFC West money, an important divisional matchup between two undefeated teams that is sure to bring out the best in receivers A.J. Green and Christian Kirk.
It’s a brand new Rams team now that head coach Sean McVay got his wish granted for a quarterback who can execute his game plan, and that is Mathew Stafford, who just led Los Angeles to a ten-point win over Brady’s Bucs, so now (arguably) the NFL’s best player, Rams DT Aaron Donald, will face this powerful Cardinals offense.
These two NFC West rivals have played each other 85 prior times (including 1 postseason game), with the Los Angeles Rams winning 45 of those games and the Arizona Cardinals winning 38 of the games, also with two ties.
The Cardinals face a revitalized Rams offense on Sunday now that it is led by QB Matthew Stafford, who has proven to be a dangerous passer if given the time to check all his reads, and that’s exactly what Arizona defensive end JJ Watt was hired to put an end to.
Watt, now in his eleventh NFL season (first with the Cardinals), is a notorious pass-rushing monster with an impressive resume of stats to back that up, including 101 total sacks and 283 career quarterback hits with 174 tackles for loss to his name.
The main task Watt must execute on Sunday is to rush Stafford and keep him constantly on edge (or better yet, on the ground) so that he can’t use that rocket arm of his to hit his receivers with the deep ball, something he exceeds at on this McVay powered Rams offense.
Los Angeles must figure out how to keep the Cardinals’ elusive quarterback Kyler Murray from scrambling outside the pocket for first downs and more, easier said than done given his speed and athleticism, and ability to throw the football from any given angle.
Thankfully the Rams have a not-so-secret weapon in the form of #99 named Aaron Donald, (arguably) the best player in the NFL who always seems to be everywhere on the field much to opposing quarterbacks’ dismay, the man with 87.5 career sacks in eight seasons and over 200 total quarterback hits.
Donald and his counterpart, D-tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day, should get to Murray mostly from the inside while counting on the defensive end A’Shawn Robinson to seal up the edge, with some help from the Rams linebacker to complete the net that needs to contain the speedy Murray.
Speaking of excellent sackers, the Cardinals have Chandler Jones, the powerful defensive end / outside linebacker with five sacks already (2nd in the league), all posted in Week 1 in a win over the run-heavy Tennessee Titans.
Now against the Rams’ pass-heavy offense on Sunday, Jones will have to pick and choose his moments to attack QB Stafford in the backfield, something that has only been done to him three times to sack completion so far this young season.
Jones, a veteran in his tenth NFL season has great numbers on the field with 102 career sacks, 181 total quarterback hits, and almost thirty forced fumbles to his name, a production that he will need on Sunday against this high scoring Rams offense.
One of the main reasons for Rams QB Stafford’s recent success is #10 Cooper Kupp, the wide receiver who has a constant habit of getting open and then gaining impressive yards after the catch with his tough running style.
Last week against the Buccaneers’ greedy defense, Kupp caught 9 passes for 96 yards, 2 touchdowns, and the win, the 5-year NFL veteran with five touchdown receptions on the season currently leading all receivers with 367 receiving yards on the season.
If Kupp can keep relatively healthy the way he has the last two years after missing half of 2018 to injury, he and Stafford should begin to emerge as one of the most productive QB-WR combinations in the league.
|Cardinals vs Rams Information|
|Teams||Arizona Cardinals vs Los Angeles Rams|
|Location||SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California|
|Time||Sunday, October 3, 2021; 4:05 PM ET|
|How to watch||FOX|
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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