With Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Sean McVay possibly sitting out for the the birth of his first child, SoFi Stadium hosts the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, October 15. Opening kickoff is set for 1:25 p.m. PST.
L.A.’s record stands at 2-3 for the season after last week’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, while Arizona sits at 1-4 and is trying to snap a two game losing streak, falling to the Cincinnati Bengals and San Francisco 49ers. After a string of tough opponents to start the season, could the Rams get caught looking past the Cardinals?
In their quintet of efforts, the Cards have been powered by a Top 5 run game. Led by James Conner, the rush attack is ranked 5th in yards gained (716), 2nd in yards per carry (5.5), 6th in rush yards per game (143.2), and 5th in expected points contributed by the run game (14.26). But Conner is out for Rams game, placed on the Injured Reserve List and his backups, rookie Emari Demarcado and sophomore Keaontay Ingram have combined for only 63 yards at a 2.4 per rush clip. Speedy wide receiver Rondale Moore has chipped in 116 yards around the edges.
Journeyman quarterback Josh Dobbs has taken over the starting job with the injury to Kyler Murray. After bouncing around through stints with the Pittsburgh Steelers (twice), Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns (twice), Detroit Lions, and Tennessee Titans, Dobbs gets his first regular starting shot. He’s a poor man’s dual threat QB, good arm with a quick release and play-making ability with his athlericism outside the pocket. so far in 2023, he’s completed 66% of passes for 980 yards, six touchdowns and only two interceptions. He’s also chipped in to the run game with 142 yards, a touchdown, and 12 first downs.
There’s plenty of speed in the Cards receiver’s room. The aforemenioned mentioned Moore partners up with Marquise Brown as the small, fast guys and rookie MIchael Wilson adds some size and contested catch strength. Veterans Zach Ertz and Geoff Swaim team with Round 2 pick Trey McBride for a three-way snap split at tight end.
The Cardinals run defense has been mediocre, allowing 621 yard gained (21st), 4.2 per carry (19th), and 124.2 yards per game (22nd). Linebacker Kyzir White (47) and safety K’Von Wallace (40) are the leading tacklers.
Arizona has struggled mightily against the pass ranking 28th. They are giving up 251.4 yards per game at a 72% completion rate, and -45.36 expected points contributed by the pass defense. The pass rush is pretty static, only using the blitz on 19.3% of dropbacks. They rank 30th in pass rush pressure percentage (16.3%), but have gotten home for 15 sacks. 2018 undrafted free agent Dennis Gardeck leads in sacks (four) and tackles for loss (five). The Cards rank 27th in scoring defense allowing 27.2 points per game.
The Cardinals rank 27th in scoring defense, surrendering 27.2 points per game. They have been pierced for an average of over 400 yards offense in each of their last four games.
Can the Rams take advantage of the Cards soft defense and pull to .500? Here’s how to watch and/or listen.
How to follow the game
Date: Sunday October 15
Kickoff: 1:25 p.m.
Location: SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Ca.
Watch it live on TV: Regionally on Fox. Nationally on Youtube TV’s Sunday Ticket
Live stream: A host of streaming services including LA Rams Mobile App, NFL+, ESPN+, fuboTV, DirecTV Stream, Hulu Live TV, and Sling TV
Listen: ESPNLA 710 AM, KWKW 1330 AM, JACK 93.1 FM
ESPNLA’s affiliate radio stations:
- KMET/1490 AM & 98.1 FM - Banning, CA
- KFIG/1430 AM & 790 FM – Fresno, CA
- KAVL/610 AM & 106.7 FM – Lancaster, CA
- KRHQ/102.3 AM - Palm Springs, CA
- KTIE/590 AM – Riverside, CA
- KGB/760 AM – San Diego, CA
- KXTK/1280 AM & 101.7 FM – San Luis Obispo, CA
- KSMA/1240 AM & 99.5 FM - Santa Maria, CA
En Español: Tu Liga Radio 1330 AM
Tu Liga Radio’s affiliate radio stations:
- KTMZ/1220 AM – Pomona, CA
- KCAL/1410 AM – San Bernardino and Riverside, CA
- KOXR 910 AM – Oxnard and Ventura, CA
Current betting odds @ DraftKings Sportsbook
Line: Rams -7 -108 / Cardinals +7 -112
Over/under total: over 49 -108 / under 49 -112
Money line: Rams -310 / Cardinals +250