The Los Angeles Rams (6-5) could not get an offense going against the Baltimore Ravens (9-2). The Rams were routed 45-6 and their playoff hopes are now on life support. They would need to win at least four more games to stay in contention.
After Monday’s lackluster performance by the Rams on all three phases of the ball, they need to figure a way to invigorate their play. A win against the Arizona Cardinals (3-7-1) on Sunday at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona will help. It would also give the Rams a 19% chance to make it to the post-season.
The Cardinals have another mobile quarterback in Kyler Murray, whose performance in Week 11 almost put Arizona over the top against the powerhouse San Francisco 49ers (10-1). The Niners boast the best record in the NFC. Murray threw 24 completions on 33 attempts for 150 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. He was sacked four times. Murray also rushed with eight carries for 67 yards and one 22-yard touchdown. He currently leads the Cardinals in rushing and passing. Veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (in his 16th season with Arizona) had five catches for 37 yards and one touchdown. He leads in receiving for the season with 55 catches for 593 yards and three touchdowns. Pharoh Cooper had three catches for 35 yards and one touchdown. Christian Kirk led the team with six catches for 41 yards. Kirk has 46 catches for 508 yards and three touchdowns for the season. On defense, Arizona has linebacker Jordan Hicks who leads the team with 110 tackles and three interceptions.
The Rams did not put up good stats against the Ravens, but there were a few shiny nuggets throughout the game. Running back Todd Gurley had six carries for 22 yards, one of which was a long of 15 yards. Wide receiver Robert Woods was back in action after missing for personal issues. He had six receptions for 97 yards with a long of 38 yards. Receiver Brandin Cooks is also back from concussion protocol. He had two catches for 32 yards with a long of 22 yards. Kicker Greg Zuerlein made two field goals from 32 and 46 yards, keeping the Rams from getting blanked. Linebacker Samson Ebukam stepped up with 1.5 sacks, including three quarterback hits. Defensive tackle Michael Brockers had one sack.
Rams quarterback Jared Goff put up 26 passes on 37 attempts for 212 yards and no touchdowns. He was sacked twice and had two interceptions. It was another poor showing from Goff who continues to struggle reading defenses. Half of his yardage was in garbage time after the Ravens sat Jackson early in the fourth quarter and put in backup quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Even though the Rams offensive line has been the talk as to the reason for the offense’s struggle, they have improved with the addition of two rookie players and a recent acquisition. They are still working out the kinks, but the injury-prone line along with its numerous penalties this season has not done them any favors.
The Rams defense had no answer to containing Jackson. Players were fooled by misdirection plays, allowing Jackson to rush for big yardage. There were several missed tackles on defense and special teams. Coverage was also blown by the defensive backs creating big pass plays in the endzone.
The Cardinals have had several close games throughout the season. Their record does not reflect their talent or how well they played so far in 2019. They lost a close one to the Ravens in Week 2, 17-23, and two close games with the Niners in Weeks 9 and 11. They will be a challenge for the Rams.
This matchup will be a test for the Rams to see if they can get past another team with a talented dual-threat quarterback. The Rams defense is still loaded big playmakers and the offense still has weapons, but they need to figure how to use them on Sunday. If the Rams offense wakes up on Sunday, this may be a promising game for them. However, the defense will need to be able to stop the Cardinal offense in order to maintain a balanced offense. Something the Rams couldn’t do last week.
Kickoff is at 1:05 p.m. PST on FOX.