Breakdowns

Rams-Cardinals Breakdown: Potential for Plenty of Points

Cooper Kupp vs. Cardinals

Keep It Up, Kyler

Arizona’s going to try to get Kyler Murray to play four quarters this week like he played the fourth quarter last week. Because in that quarter, he was unbelievable. If you only watched that quarter, you’d think Murray’s the MVP of the league.

Arizona has only had one turnover, and when they make it to the red zone, I know it’s a small sample size, but they’re scoring touchdowns at an 86 percent rate, which is off the charts unheard of. One thing I thought was a high tendency though was when they go under center, I thought they ran it every time. Arizona’s in shotgun probably 90 percent of the time, and I know with the height of Murray, they don’t want to throw it a lot from under center. But if you’re going to run it from under center, you should have a few play actions in there, too. — Koetter

How Does L.A. Contain Murray?

The Rams have to figure out how to stop Kyler Murray. You could spy him, but the thing about that is, who do you have? Do you want to make Jalen Ramsey the spy and take him out of coverage? What about Taylor Rapp? I don’t know if there’s anybody on this planet who could be the spy on Murray.

I don’t know what the plan is, but they have to come up with something. Keep him in the pocket and force him to throw from there because he’s so short. Make him throw from in the pocket, take away the throwing windows and lanes, and they’ll have a chance to slow that offense down. — Pagano

An Interesting Wrinkle

The Rams, they’re sticking to and executing the things that they do well. They’re completing 73 percent of their passes, and they’re over 50 percent on third down. Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp, Kupphad an incredible 145 catches last season, after two weeks they’re actually ahead of that pace, which is hard to believe. They did a great job of getting new receiver Allen Robinson involved last week.

What was cool that I hadn’t seen before is they took their big wide receiver Ben Skowronek, 6’4″, 224, they kept motioning him into the backfield and lining him up at fullback. They were running lead zone plays with him on a safety or linebacker, and that helped their run game and play action. Now I say it helped, but the Rams are still just 31st in the league in rushing, and they struggle with turnovers, too. — Koetter

Watch Out for Kupp

In Week 4 last season, Arizona beat the Rams, and Kupp only had five catches and 64 yards. But in Week 14, which the Rams won, Kupp had 13 catches, 123 yards, and a touchdown. So I would expect Arizona to look at that first game and see exactly what happened that worked for them.

The Rams don’t really want to run the football. They kind of do it just to do it in my opinion. But they’re still a tough offense to defend just because of the pace, motions, jets, tempo, misdirection, all of it. I don’t know know what Arizona’s going to do to try and fix this defense. That’ll be an interesting one. — Pagano

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