2 key X-Factors can propel LA Rams to victory in Week 10
This Sunday, November 13, 2022, the LA Rams will take on the Arizona Cardinals in a pivotal NFC West matchup for both squads. The Rams (3-5) are hoping that this could be the get-right game that they desperately need it to be to get their season back on track. The Cardinals (3-6) come into this game just as desperate for a win as well, as a loss will almost certainly end their season.
Coming into this game, the Rams have questions at quarterback. With Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford currently in concussion protocol, it could very well be Rams backup quarterback John Wolford leading the way this Sunday.
With that being said, all is not lost for the Rams if Stafford can’t go. They still hold the advantage in many different position groups over this Arizona Cardinals team. Two of these positional advantages could actually help propel the Rams to victory Sunday in SoFi Stadium. Here are the offensive and defensive x-factors for the Rams this week.
Offense: Darrell Henderson
Earlier this week, Rams head coach Sean McVay told the media that the team’s RB Darrell Henderson could generate more touches going forward. Against a reeling Cardinals team, the timing couldn’t be any better. Last week against a not-so-good Buccaneers run defense, Henderson tallied 12 carries for 56 yards, good for 4.7 yards per carry. For comparison, if he were given 10 more carries in that game, he’d have eclipsed 100 yards rushing with 103.
As of late, the Cardinals have been very friendly to running backs, giving up 138.7 yards rushing per game over the last three weeks. Last week against Seattle, Seahawks rookie running back Kenneth Walker III lit the Cardinals up with 26 carries for 109 yards and two scores.
The Rams’ running game hasn’t been great this year, but it is obvious that Darrell Henderson has been their best back so far. He’s averaged 4.1 yards per carry this year with a bad offensive line and has consistently shown that he is a capable back when given the opportunity. Many fans have been wondering exactly what Henderson can be in a lead-back role. It sure sounds like this is the week we will see that come to fruition.
If Matthew Stafford can’t suit up Sunday, look for the Rams to lean heavily on Darrell Henderson to help carry the load.
Defense: CB Troy Hill
So far in 2022, The Rams’ defense has consistently been the best unit on the field. In the secondary, injuries have piled up for the Rams resulting in many players having to step up like Rams rookie CB Derion Kendrick. After the bye, however, the Rams started getting some of those players back, including Rams veteran CB Troy Hill.
Last week was his second game back in action, and it may have been the best game of his short season. Hill had seven total tackles, a tackle for loss, and two pass breakups. One of those breakups was a near pick-six in the third quarter on Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady. Hill plays the game with confidence and a huge amount of swagger. He seems to always be near the ball and sometimes takes some huge chances to create turnovers.
Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is known to make some big mistakes during tough games, especially when the other team is able to generate a pass rush. In Troy Hill’s career, he has loved playing the Arizona Cardinals. In 2020, his last year as a Ram prior to rejoining the squad in 2022, Hill had two pick-sixes against the Cardinals in as many contests.
With Cardinals WR Deandre Hopkins back for Arizona and Rams All-Pro CB Jalen Ramsey likely to take on that matchup, look for Murray to spread the ball around to other receivers on the opposite side and in the slot. Troy Hill will see the likes of Cardinals pass catchers AJ Green, Robbie Anderson, and Rondale Moore. Look for Hill to show up big again on Sunday for the Rams.