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2024 Rams opponent breakdown: Arizona Cardinals, Week 2

Now that the Rams' 2024 schedule is officially out, it's time to resume our offseason opponent breakdowns on

The series continues with Los Angeles' Week 2 road opponent, the Arizona Cardinals (Sept. 15, 1:05 p.m. PT on FOX). The Rams will also take on the Cardinals at home in Week 17 (Date and kickoff time still TBD).



The Cardinals endured a difficult first season under first-year head coach Jonathan Gannon, winning just one of their first nine games. They were 3-10 by their Week 10 bye and finished 4-13 overall at the end of the season.

Much of that could be attributed to not having star quarterback Kyler Murray, who didn't make his season debut until Week 10 (Nov. 12, to be exact) as a result of being sidelined by an ACL injury from the 2022 season for 11 months. While Arizona ranked 13th in pass defense allowing 212.5 yards per game, they it was last in the NFL in run defense, giving up a league-high 143.2 yards per game there.

Key Changes

The Cardinals landed the No. 4 overall pick as a result, and used it to select Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., who should instantly become Murray's go-to-target. They used their other first-round pick (No. 27 overall, which was acquired in a trade on Day 1 of the 2023 draft with the Texans), to address the defensive line with the selection of Missouri defensive end Darius Robinson.

Wide receiver Marquise Brown departed in free agency and signed with the Chiefs.

The Cardinals also traded wide receiver Rondale Moore to the Falcons for quarterback Desmond Ridder, who is expected to become with Clayton Tune for the backup job behind Murray.

Head coach

Gannon enters his second season as head coach of the Cardinals.

What to watch for

What does the Cardinals offense look like with new pieces and new roles?

Unlike last year, Murray will not only have a full offseason to prepare for the upcoming season, but he'll have an offense with new pieces between the addition of Harrison Jr. and Zay Jones, as well as projected starting right tackle Jonah Williams and third-round running back Trey Benson. Trey McBride will be in his first season as TE1 full time with Zach Ertz no longer in the picture.

It will be Year 2 for the unit under offensive coordinator Drew Petzing as well. James Conner is also back in the fold as their RB1.

Seeing how those variables come together will be fascinating, and certainly present the Rams with a different-looking offense from a personnel standpoint than they saw last year.

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