After getting arguably the toughest opponent on the schedule this year last week, things appear to get a lot easier for the team in Week 6. After facing the Super Bowl runner-ups, the team will face the 1-4 Arizona Cardinals. The team might be 1-4, but they’re much more difficult of an opponent than their record or circumstances would indicate. Here’s a breakdown of what’s going on with the team.
Rams vs Cardinals Predictions and News:
The team has faced more adversity than perhaps any other team this year. That said, their offensive production has somehow managed to maintain viability better than half the league. In terms of yards per game, the team ranks 15th. In points per game, the team ranks 19th.
This is in spite of the team losing Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, and now James Conner (more on that later). The team’s number one receiver is Marquise Brown, flanked by Michael Wilson and Rondale Moore. However, there is no guarantee that all three of those receivers will be on the field this week.
The Cardinals won’t likely be trying to defeat the Los Angeles Rams through the air, as they rank 28th in passing yards per game. Rather, their offensive strong suit is the ground game where they rank sixth in the league. However, there’s also no guarantee of seeing the same level of production this week.
Who is the quarterback for Week 6?
When Kyler Murray suffered a season-ending knee injury last year, fans hoped that he could be healed in time for 2023. Well, the season is nearly a third over and he’s nowhere to be seen. Initially, some believed that he would take the field in Week 5 after getting placed on the PUP list to start the year. However, with Week 6 coming up, the quarterback is still “weeks away from playing,” per Adam Schefter via ESPN.
As such, it will once again be Joshua Dobbs, who has played key situational football to allow the team to remain competitive in every game. He won’t be lighting the Rams up through the air, but he will avoid the early mistakes of many quarterbacks.
Defensively, the Cardinals hover near the bottom although nowhere near the now infamous Denver Broncos defense. The Cardinals rank 26th in total defense. They also rank at 26th in passing defense. This is great news for the Los Angeles Rams, who just got Cooper Kupp back and now also have Puka Nacua lighting up secondaries early and often.
The Cardinals also don’t exactly lockdown on the run, either. Right now, the team is ranked 22nd. As such, the team will likely be leaning on the run game in an effort to keep the opposing offense off the field. The question is whether they can be as effective without James Conner, which brings the conversation to the team’s long list of injuries.
James Conner will miss at least the next month due to a knee injury. That means that the duties will fall to wild card names Keaontay Ingram and Emari Demercado. There’s been some controversy this week about who will get the start and who will keep the position for the next month or longer.
Out wide, there is potential for the team to be without their number-one receiver. Marquise Brown has an illness, but participated somewhat in Thursday’s practice, per Tyler Drake of Arizona Sports via ESPN. If he doesn’t play, the burden will fall on Michael Wilson to pick up the slack.
Kyler Murray will be out for the contest as he doesn’t appear to return anytime soon, leaving the starting duties to Joshua Dobbs.
Overall, after losing to the Eagles on Sunday, the Rams have what should be a “gimme” of a game against a depleted roster. The biggest thing going against the Rams is that the 1-4 Cardinals’ only win came against the Dallas Cowboys. If Sean McVay’s squad overlooks the team, it could cost them dearly.