Tread carefully. LA Rams faces formidable Arizona Cardinals in Week 4

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Jalen Ramseyy
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

Who wants it more?

If there is such a thing as a psychological advantage in this game, who has it? You could argue that the Arizona Cardinals, a team that has been turned away all eight times by the LA Rams in the past four seasons, will eventually win by the law of averages.  The Cardinals clearly reworked their roster to match up better against the LA Rams.  Now, they’ll put their new roster to the test.

On the other hand, the LA Rams have won the past eight games because their team has simply had a better game plan. It could not have been the players, because the Rams won with backup quarterback John Wolford as well. It has to be more than just who is matching up against who.

A year ago, the Rams defense simply snuffed the Cardinals’ offense. Quarterback Kyler Murray had an aggregate 29 of 50 for 260 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception in two games. That was after the Cardinals traded for wide receiver Deandre Hopkins. Since that didn’t seem to be enough, the Cardinals have now added wide receiver A.J. Green. In three games, Hopkins is the fourth most productive wide receiver for the Cardinals, which has over 1000 passing yards.

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To place it into perspective, the LA Rams have just 942 passing yards.

Of course, some might say that it is the LA Rams who have the psychological advantage. The Rams know that they can defeat the Cardinals. But the Cardinals enter the game without that psychological reassurance. They don’t know, because many of the players on the team do not remember a time when they did win with the Cardinals.

Still, there is that ‘hype’ factor. The LA Rams are 3-0. The Arizona Cardinals are 3-0. And yet the media is beginning to ask those questions that always seem to be a precursor to a rude awakening. Is this the year of Matthew Stafford earning the MVP award? Is this the year that the LA Rams win a Super Bowl? Matthew Stafford has won the NFC Offensive Player of the Week twice in three games. Cooper Kupp has won the NFL Offensive Player of the Month. Earned awards? Yes. But they also serve to motivate divisional rivals who either feel slighted or who use those distinctions to measure themselves. No need to wave flags in front of a bull…