Showdowns in the NFC West will regularly feature a number of elite “matchups” based on the immense talent that has come into the division over the last decade. The LA Rams really started firing off in that war when Sean McVay arrived in 2017, while the Arizona Cardinals have had their greatest injection of talent beginning with the selection of Kyler Murray in 2019.
When the Rams host the Cardinals this Sunday afternoon, we won’t be robbed of chances to see some of the NFL’s greatest facing off in battle. Which of these matchups do you think warrants the most attention this weekend?
Matthew Stafford vs Kyler Murray
Ah, the classic retort: “Quarterbacks face defenses, not each other.”
It’s true. Stafford has to face Arizona’s defense and Kyler has to worry about Aaron Donald, not anybody on the Rams’ offense. But which of them will do better? To complain about the “QB vs QB” matchup is literally the same as saying “It’s not Rams vs Cardinals. It’s Rams offense vs Cardinals defense, and Cardinals offense vs Rams defense, and Cardinals special teams vs...” and so on until you don’t talk to that person anymore.
If you want to make a good and original argument against the “QB vs QB” matchup, here’s one: The QB vs QB matchup is flawed because it still demands that their teammates win their matchups. Maybe in some cases a running quarterback is doing everything on his own but he won’t win the game unless some of his teammates are winning their own battles.
The quarterback who has the better day often wins. Who will have the better Week 4?
Aaron Donald vs Rodney Hudson
NFC West teams are most concerned about upgrading the interior of their offensive line specifically because of two meetings per season with Aaron Donald.
Jalen Ramsey vs DeAndre Hopkins
How often will the two face off?
Jalen Ramsey vs A.J. Green
Four years ago, when they last met, Green retaliated against Ramsey by putting him in a chokehold and throwing a punch.
Andrew Whitworth vs Chandler Jones
Whitworth might be the tackle that edge rushers want to test more than Rob Havenstein right now, but Matthew Stafford has been kept clean most of the year. Jones had five sacks against a bumbling Taylor Lewan in Week 1.
Sean McVay vs Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph
McVay is 8-0 against Arizona and 4-0 against the trio of Kliff Kingsbury-Kyler Murray-Joseph.
Cooper Kupp vs Byron Murphy
Who will cover Kupp, the NFC’s Offensive Player of the Month? Murphy is riding high — he just won NFC Defensive Player of the Week — and this is probably the matchup that Stafford will want to test the most. Unless it isn’t and then maybe it’s Robert Woods vs Robert Alford or DeSean Jackson vs one of those guys. Maybe a Tyler Higbee kind of day.
Any running back vs any run defense
Both teams seem to be in situations where they don’t necessarily have a healthy three-down workhorse running back off to a fantastic start, nor do they play great run defense. Will this turn into a battle of the trenches rather than a shootout between two early-season MVP candidates?
What’s the matchup of the week?
This poll is closed
McVay vs Joseph
Whitworth vs Jones
Kupp vs Murphy
Stafford vs Murray
Rams RB vs Cards Run D
Cards RB vs Rams Run D
Ramsey vs Hopkins
Ramsey vs Green
Donald vs Hudson