The Los Angeles Rams (3-0) host the Arizona Cardinals (3-0) at SoFi Stadium in Week 4, looking to stay undefeated on the season and also move into possession of first place in the NFC West. Kickoff in Inglewood is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. pacific time on FOX.
Ahead of the game, theRams.com examines 3 Keys to Winning for the Rams, powered by The Wallace Firm:
1) Limit explosive plays in the passing game
As Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey pointed it out in his press conference Friday, it's not just Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray's mobility that poses a challenge, but also staying with the playmaking receivers he's throwing the ball to.
Rookie wide receiver Rondale Moore is averaging 13 yards after the catch, most in the NFL according to Next Gen Stats. DeAndre Hopkins is averaging 12.2 yards per reception this season. Christian Kirk is coming off a Week 3 performance of seven catches for 104 yards. Even 33-year-old A.J. Green proved he's still got something left with five catches for 112 yards last week.
Whether it's receivers making plays after the catch or Murray launching the ball to them deep downfield, the Rams can increase their chance of success on Sunday by minimizing the number of explosive passing plays from Arizona's offense.
2) Set the tone at the edges
This goes for both sides of the ball.
Cardinals outside linebacker Chandler Jones is capable of wreaking havoc – see his five-sack performance against the Giants in Week 1 – and they also have three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt on their defensive line. On the Rams' side, this game emphasizes the importance of why the 6-foot-5, 240-pound Leonard Floyd was re-signed, with his length being a key piece their ability to disrupt dual-threat quarterbacks like Murray at or near the line of scrimmage.
Between those pieces, it's paramount for the Rams to not only protect quarterback Matthew Stafford, but also create pressure and contain Murray.
3) Capitalize on scoring opportunities
The Cardinals rank third in the NFL with 322.3 passing yards per game. The Rams are sixth at 304.3.
But more importantly, the Cardinals are tied with the Bucs in points per game at 34.3, while the Rams are third at 31.3.
Both teams are capable of airing it out and putting up a lot of points, which means it's critical for the Rams to not only execute in the redzone or when in field goal range, but also keep up if this turns into a high-scoring affair.
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