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First Look: Rams head to Arizona for Monday Night Football divisional game vs. Cardinals

The Rams are back on the road in Week 14, traveling to Arizona for a Monday Night Football NFC West showdown with the Cardinals at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. pacific time nationally on ESPN and locally on ABC7.

Ahead of the contest, here is your first look at Rams-Cardinals:

Notable Cardinals additions

  • Signed RB James Conner to a one-year deal on April 13: Conner had modest production entering the two teams' Week 4 matchup – 35 carries for 122 yards and two touchdowns in three games – but saw a surge in usage in wake Chase Edmonds' injury. Conner is now up to 166 carries for 630 yards and 12 touchdowns, and has also made an impact in the passing game with 20 receptions for 209 yards and two touchdowns.
  • Acquired TE Zach Ertz in a trade with the Eagles on Oct. 15: In wake of starter Maxx Williams' season-ending knee injury, the the Cardinals traded cornerback Tay Gowan and a 2022 fifth-round pick to Philadelphia in exchange for Ertz, giving Murray another veteran target in the passing game. Ertz has 23 receptions for 279 yards and three touchdowns in six games with the Cardinals.

Top performers in Week 13

Murray completed 11 of 15 pass attempts for 123 yards and two touchdowns in the Cardinals' 33-22 win over the Bears.

Murray also added 10 carries for 59 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, but Conner paced the backfield with 20 carries for 75 yards.

Conner (two receptions, 36 yards) and WR DeAndre Hopkins (two receptions, 32 yards) were Murray's top targets and on the receiving end of each of his passing touchdowns.

Defensive lineman Jordan Hicks had a big game for the Cardinals defense with a team-high 13 total tackles and and two sacks. The Cardinals also nabbed four interceptions against Bears quarterback Andy Dalton.

On special teams, kicker Matt Prater made both of his field goal attempts and all three of his extra point attempts, while P Andy Lee averaged 49.5 yards per punt across two punts.

Early storylines to watch, and what they mean for the Rams

Revisiting the first matchup this season, one of the biggest stat lines that comes to mind is the Cardinals' 40 carries for 216 yards.

With Conner's emergence especially over the last several weeks, that's likely at the forefront of the minds of Rams defensive players as they prepare for Monday night's rematch.

Important as Murray and Hopkins being healthy again is for the Cardinals, their rushing attack has been crucial in each win since that game, with at least 94 rushing yards in their six victories since defeating the Rams and an average of 134.2 rushing yards per game. In their two losses, the Cardinals ran for 74 or fewer yards.

Keeping Murray and Arizona's passing game contained contained will no doubt be key, but of greater importance will be limiting the effectiveness of its run game, giving its role in the Cardinals' success over the last several weeks.

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