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Los Angeles Rams vs Arizona Cardinals: Matchups to watch

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The Cardinals are in a down year, but there are still places where they could exploit the Rams.

Jacksonville Jaguars v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams enter their matchup with the Arizona Cardinals as 7 point favorites and it feels like the spread should be larger than that. That said, this is still a very talented Cardinals squad and the Rams will have to work to contain their best players if they are going to walk out of Arizona with a W.

Larry Fitzgerald vs ?

The Cardinals are still without Carson Palmer and David Johnson, but that hasn’t mattered much for Fitz. He is still capable of putting up 10/150/2 on any given Sunday. He’s an all-time great that father time hasn’t quite caught yet.

As he’s matured in his NFL career, he’s taken on more of a slot WR role, but he can still line up and beat you on the outside too. Whoever lines up against him will have to be at the top of their game or risk being shown up by the 34 year old receiver.

Chandler Jones vs Andrew Whitworth

Jones is consistently among the league leaders in sacks and is just now entering the prime of his career in his age 27 season. Whitworth is a 35 year old OL in a league that usually isn’t kind to older linemen. On paper this is a big mismatch.

But in reality, Whitworth in the same class as Jones. He’s currently the 8th rated tackle in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus, and has outrun father time in the same way Fitzgerald has. He’s still a great player, but he’ll have his hands full with Jones today.

Patrick Peterson vs Sammy Watkins

Watkins has always been labeled as a #1 WR and he has occasionally shown the ‘diva’ attitude that often comes along with that. However, I’ve been surprised at how Sammy has bought into McVay’s offensive system.

He’s faced a littany of shutdown CBs this season and has persevered to put up respectable numbers considering he wasn’t a part of the Rams offseason program. Peterson is next up for Watkins, who may have to settle for being a distraction instead of a game changer at the position this week.