The Los Angeles Rams hit the road to face the divisional rival Arizona Cardinals in Week 13. With the season dwindling down and the playoff picture being sorted out, the Rams' backs are against the wall (hypothetically).
Let's visit the matchups to watch:
QB Kyler Murray vs. Rams’ defense
The Rams will need to rebound on the defensive side of the ball just one week after QB Lamar Jackson shredded them in every way. Murray is a fantastic player, but he’s a rookie who could be baited into mistakes. The diminutive passer has 14 touchdowns and five interceptions on the season, but he also poses a massive threat with his legs and his speed. The Rams’ pass rush will need to remain disciplined and pressure him early and often.
DT Aaron Donald vs. G Justin Pugh
Pugh is one of the better lineman on the Cardinals’ roster (and in the league), but he has the ultimate test this week opposing the great Donald. AD — and every other defender — was invisible last week, which could make for a massive rebound contest. I expect #99 to dominate the game from start to finish, particularly because Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips will move him around on the defensive line to optimize his matchups.
QB Jared Goff vs. CB Patrick Peterson
Goff would be wise to elude one of the better cornerbacks in the league in Peterson. Pat Pete has only played in five games this season due to a six-game suspension, but as always, he’s been very good. Goff has developed into a severely mistake-prone signal-caller, likely leaving the Cardinals’ defenders licking their chops. Ideally, the Rams will suffer no turnovers, but that has become a rarity in 2019.
OT’s Andrew Whitworth/Bobby Evans vs. EDGE Chandler Jones
Death. Taxes. And Jones producing a 10-sack season. In only 11 games, Jones is already up to 12.5 sacks on the year, giving himself a shot to set a new career-high with a strong finish. Rookie third-round pick Evans will get another start with Rob Havenstein being ruled out, but Whitworth will get some reps against Jones too. It is crucial that the bookends keep their quarterback clean.