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Rams-Cardinals: Matchups to Watch

If they win these matchups, and the Rams are back at .500

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1) Jeff Fisher vs. Bruce Arians

I'll be blunt. The past 2 weeks, Jeff Fisher has been outcoached. The Rams came out extremely flat Week 2 against the Redskins and last week Fisher was waaaaaaaaaay too predictable.

A 1st down run would be stuffed by the Steelers, a short 2nd down gain would leave the Rams with 3rd and long. A receiver would run their route short of the 1st down marker forcing a punt. Rinse and repeat.

Toss in a questionable fake punt.... well you get the drift. While part of the blame belongs to Frank Cignetti and WR Coach Ray Sherman, Fisher is ultimately responsible for his coaching staff. If the Rams are going to hand the Cardinals their 1st loss, Fisher needs to step up his game - not just his coach speak.

2) Tavon Austin vs. Tyrann Mathieu

Entering their 3rd seasons in the NFL, both players have developed into the most dynamic playmakers on their respective units. Tavon is clearly the most explosive offensive weapon on the Rams Offense while Mathieu has overtaken fellow DB Patrick Peterson as the premier playmaker on the Cardinals Defense.

Mathieu flexes into the slot frequently and Brian Quick's return could mean that Tavon sees more of the slot this week. Expect these two to be battling most of the game.

3) Rams DL vs. Cardinals OL

Alright, so this is a bit of a cop-out. I couldn't decide between Robert Quinn / Jared Veldheer and Aaron Donald / Jonathan Cooper. Gregg Williams likes to be creative to force favorable matchups so I just lumped the units together.

The Cardinals have only allowed a single sack on the season, but they haven't exactly faced a murder's row of defenses either. The Saints, Bears, and 49ers have accumulated 14 sacks in 9 combined games which equates to roughly 1.5 sacks per game. The Rams have 13 sacks through 3 games and will present much more of a challenge to the Cardinals OL.

Make no mistake, the winner of this battle will win the game.