LA Rams Cooper Kupp is hot, but Robert Woods warming up for Cards

Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Robert Woods Cooper Kupp
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Cardinals pass defense overmatched at WR3

So far in 2021, the Arizona Cardinals have fared well at defending against the pass. Of course, they’ve faced Ryan Tannehill, Kirk Cousins, and Trevor Lawrence, none of whom are particularly intimidating in the pocket. But the Cardinals defense has been rather effective in one key strategy.

The Cardinals held the Tennessee Titans’ top two receivers, A.J. Brown and Julio Jones, to 7 of 14, 78 yards, and one touchdown. They held the Minnesota Vikings’ top two receivers, Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, to 12 of 17, 104 yards, and two touchdowns. Finally, the Cards held the Jacksonville Jaguars’ top two receivers, D.J. Clark and Marvin Jones, to 9 of 14, 111 yards, and one touchdown.

But the Cardinals’ defense gets a bit shaky when defending the third, fourth, and fifth receiver. It just so happens that this LA Rams offense specializes in creating mismatches by getting good receivers matched up against lesser talented defensive backs. So far this year, Woods is trailing Cooper Kupp, DeSean Jackson, and Van Jefferson in receiving yards.  He only leads tight end, Tyler Higbee, running back Darrell Henderson, and running back Sony Michell in receiving yards.

With that being said, will the Cardinals’ defense place their best defensive back on Woods? The second best?  It’s the game of strategy right now, and by emphasizing the performances of Cooper Kupp and DeSean Jackson early in the season, the Rams have practically forced defenses to use their top defensive back to cover Kupp and to use both a cornerback and a safety over the top to defend DeSean Jackson.

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That should open up the field for Robert Woods and Tyler Higbee this week. And like we’ve said. Robert Woods is consistent. In Week 4, that dependability will pay huge dividends for the player and the offense.