The Los Angeles Rams are coming off a much-needed win in Week 11 over the Seattle Seahawks and they draw another NFC West rival in Week 12 as they take on the Arizona Cardinals on the road.
The offense finally seems to be getting healthier as Matthew Stafford returned against the Seahawks and Kyren Williams was activated off the injured reserve list ahead of the game against the Cardinals.
However, the Arizona offense is also getting back to full strength because both Kyler Murray and James Conner have returned and look solid on the field.
The Rams won the first matchup against the Cardinals back in Week 6 and if they claim the second game they will sweep the 2023 regular season series. A victory would also keep Los Angeles in the hunt for the final Wild Card spot, so hopefully they’re ready to play an Arizona team that’s been playing better football as of late.
Rams Offense vs. Cardinals Defense
Williams’ return comes at a great time as he had arguably his best game of the season against the Cardinals. Williams recorded 158 rushing yards and a touchdown, so he should be busy in his return toting the rock as Arizona struggles to defend the run.
Cooper Kupp is expected to suit up despite suffering an ankle injury against Seattle. Kupp admitted he’s not feeling 100 percent, so it’ll be interesting to see how many snaps he gets. With Kupp likely limited, expect Sean McVay to feature Puka Nacua and Tutu Atwell more in the pass game.
Rams Defense vs. Cardinals Offense
Murray presents a problem for the Rams defense as he is a mobile quarterback who isn’t afraid to take off with his legs if the pocket breaks down. Los Angeles’ defensive line has looked better in recent weeks, but they’ll need to pay attention to Murray on every down.
The Cardinals offense has looked better with Murray back under center, and the receivers have benefitted as they’ve got more opportunities to make plays after the catch. The secondary will have to try and limit any sort of damage on completed passes.
Keys to Victory
1. Keep Murray in the pocket
Murray can be prone to mistakes if he feels pressure, but more importantly keeping him in the pocket ensures that he can’t extend a play with his legs. Aaron Donald and company should be mindful of this and try to make him a passer as much as possible.
2. Dominate the run game
Williams will get his fair share of carries, but the Rams can also ride Royce Freeman who has been a good downhill runner. Between the two of them, L.A. should be able to control time of possession and tempo.