Key IV: Stop the big play from Kyler Murray
The LA Rams have had their way with the Arizona Cardinals because the defense has never allowed Kyler Murray to get into a rhythm. But in the lone road game so far this year, the Rams seemed to struggle in trying to contain quarterback Carson Wentz.
Kyler Murray is more mobile than Wentz this year. And so far, he’s been far more accurate as well. The Rams defense has been able to exploit the young and, at times, naive Cardinals quarterback with disguised coverages and a steady pass rush that forced his internal clock to rush passes. That has resulted in mixed performances, but five touchdowns and four interceptions.
The key to the Rams squelching Murray has been their pass rush. In 2019, the Rams sacked Murray six times in one game. He threw for 163 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. Later that same year, the Rams were only able to get to him once, and he threw for 325 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions.
Murray was injured in the last game of 2020 and was forced to sit it out as the Rams defense pushed the Cardinals up and down the field. That experience no doubt has burned in his mind, and he likely aims to repay the Rams for that devastating and embarrassing loss.
The Rams have one of the best NFL secondaries in the NFL, and I believe they step up to this challenge. The Rams just faced one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in Tom Brady and held that 40-point scoring offense to 24 points.
The Rams have been getting after quarterbacks very well this year, and they should do even better in this one. While the Rams have placed OLB Justin Hollins on injured reserve, the team has activated both Justin Lawler from the practice squad and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo from injured reserve. They have been called up with one purpose in mind: Sack Kyler Murray.
Four keys to one win. How many do you think the LA Rams will accomplish?