Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams are traveling to play the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football. Kyler Murray and the Cardinals won the first division matchup in Week 4, and the Rams are hoping to bounce back.
All four of LA’s losses this season are tied together with a common thread - at least two turnovers resulting in an early lead for the opposing team that over the course of the game proves to be insurmountable. Can the Rams take care of the football, keeping the offense on schedule and giving the defense a fighting chance?
Robert Finn and I recorded our Last Minute Thoughts once again. Listen here or in your favorite podcast app:
It all starts with establishing the running game, and we saw Los Angeles deploy jumbo sets with a sixth offensive lineman, Joseph Noteboom, last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Will the Rams seek to set a more physical tone with Sony Michel as the lead back, or will the team re-install Darrell Henderson as the starter?
The LA defense would benefit from a more favorable game script, as they’ve recently faced quarterbacks, Jimmy Garoppolo and Aaron Rodgers, that prioritized getting rid of the football at a blazing quick pace. The result has been a lack of pass rush opportunities for several of the Rams’ stars - Aaron Donald, Von Miller, and Leonard Floyd. If Los Angeles can build an early lead, they could force Murray to hold the ball and potentially make mistakes.
This is certainly an important matchup in terms of the NFC West divisional race. If the Cardinals come out on top, the crown of the West is essentially theirs. The Rams need to win this game to have a shot at a division championship and potentially first place in the NFC conference.
Which team will emerge as the winner under the Monday night primetime lights?