Week 3 Preview: Arizona Cardinals vs Los Angeles Rams

The Arizona Cardinals face off against the Los Angeles Rams for the first time since their disastrous 2021 Wildcard defeat this Sunday in Week 3. Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray played arguably his worst game as a pro in his postseason debut, and the Rams blew their division rival out for an easy 34-11 win. Now, the Rams go on the road as 3.5-point favorites in hopes of topping the Cardinals for a third straight time.

The Cardinals began their 2021 season with such promise, winning their first seven games to open the year. Then things soured. The Cardinals lost seven of their final 11 games, culminating in that humiliating Wildcard defeat to the Rams. Many placed the blame at Murray's feet. Litterally. An ankle injury suffered in Week 8 potentially derailed Murray's hot start to the season, and he simply wasn't the same player towards the end of the year. After hanging 268 passing yards on the Rams in a dominant Week 4 37-20 road victory, he was disastrous in his second visit to Los Angeles, averaging 3.39 net yards per passing attempt and falling behind 28-0 in the early third quarter. If the Cardinals want revenge, they'll need early-season Murray to make his return.
Photo Credit: © Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Things couldn't have gone much worse for the Los Angeles Rams in their season opener. In their first opportunity to defend their 2021 Super Bowl championship, the Rams took an epic 31-10 beating against the Buffalo Bills. Week 2 got off to a much better start, with the Rams dominating the Atlanta Falcons on their way to a 31-10 fourth-quarter lead, but even that game nearly unravelled, and the Rams had to fight tooth and nail to hang on for a 31-27 win. Through two weeks of the NFL season, the Rams don't have the look of an NFC powerhouse. Quarterback Matthew Stafford has piled up negative plays, tossing a league-leading five interceptions while taking 8 sacks, and the run game has stumbled to a league-worst 2.7 yards per carry. They'll need to sort that out sooner than later if they want to remain competitive in the NFC this year: the Rams play 2021 playoff teams in six of their next seven games.

The Arizona Cardinals host the Los Angles Rams this Sunday in Week 3. 
Photo Credit: © Michael Chow-Arizona Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK