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5 key matchups to watch in Rams vs. Cardinals on Sunday

September 22, 2022 02:31PM
[theramswire.usatoday.com] 5 key matchups to watch in Rams vs. Cardinals on Sunday


Cameron DaSilva
September 22, 2022 11:50 am PT


The Rams have had very little trouble beating the Cardinals in recent years, going 10-1 against them since 2017. Arizona won’t go quietly against the Rams after their dramatic win over the Raiders in Week 2, and they have some players who create difficult matchups for Los Angeles.

Here are five of the biggest matchups to watch in Sunday’s matchup, with the Rams visiting the Cardinals at their place.

1
A.J. Jackson vs. J.J. Watt
Jackson will be the Rams’ starting right guard with Tremayne Anchrum Jr. injured and Brian Allen still sidelined. He filled in for Anchrum against the Falcons and did an excellent job, especially considering he had to face Grady Jarrett. It won’t get any easier this week with Watt lining up across from him, but Jackson should be up to the task.

He’s got great length for a guard, being a more natural tackle, which will help him against Watt on the interior.


2
Cooper Kupp vs. Byron Murphy
Kupp has been the most consistent and reliable receiver in the league since the start of last season, but the Cardinals have done a good job of limiting his production. They’re the only opponent to keep him under 92 yards, actually holding him under 70 yards twice in their last three meetings.

Murphy is a big reason for that and even if he doesn’t shadow Kupp everywhere he goes, he’ll be a tough matchup for Kupp when they do line up across from each other.


3
Ernest Jones vs. Kyler Murray
Keeping Murray in the pocket and limiting his damage on the ground is critical. The Rams will try to do that with their edge defenders, containing the elusive quarterback, but Jones will need to track him down in the open field, too.

Whether it’s on zone reads, scrambles or designed runs for Murray, Jones will need to keep his eyes on Murray when in zone coverage. The Rams should utilize Jones’ speed by having him spy Murray, hopefully containing his rushing yards.


4
Leonard Floyd vs. Kelvin Beachum
Floyd did very little in the opener against the Bills but he was more effective on Sunday against Atlanta. The Rams still need more from him and he’ll be rushing against Beachum most of the time on Sunday. Beachum has allowed one sack and committed three penalties this season, but his PFF grade is a respectable 71.0.

It’s not enough to just pin your ears back and rush Murray, either. Floyd needs a pass-rush plan because if he gets too far upfield, he’ll give Murray an escape lane to the inside.

5
David Long Jr. vs. Marquise Brown
The Rams’ cornerback group is a bit thin this week. Troy Hill is on injured reserve and Cobie Durant is nursing a hamstring injury that’s likely to leave him with a questionable tag. Long was also limited by a groin injury Wednesday, so he may not be 100%.

With Jalen Ramsey likely taking on the bigger A.J. Green, Long will get Brown and Rondale Moore at times. Brown has an advantage over Long with his speed, so expect to see some safety help shading to his side of the field to prevent deep balls over the top.
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  5 key matchups to watch in Rams vs. Cardinals on Sunday

BerendsenRam55September 22, 2022 02:31PM