Rams defense keyed in on bottling up Cardinals QB Kyler Murray

Jan 15, 2022, 4:05 PM | Updated: 4:52 pm
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) is sacked by Los Angeles Rams defensive end Morgan F...

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) is sacked by Los Angeles Rams defensive end Morgan Fox during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

(AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray put up huge numbers in two games against the Los Angeles Rams this season with 651 passing yards and 100 on the ground.

The Cardinals won the first meeting with L.A. 37-20, but they fell in the second 30-23.

A difference the second time was Los Angeles’ dominance up front. Murray still gained 383 passing yards and 61 rushing, but he was sacked four times and Rams drew multiple holding penalties which derailed drives.

The Rams’ key to another victory is winning in the trenches and not allowing Murray the chance to break out of the pocket.

“I think we did a good job as far as just bottling up the quarterback last time and not letting him get out the pocket a lot of time,” Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald said. this week. “We’ve just got to find a way to keep him bottled up, don’t let him get the edge, don’t let him get out there to be able to see downfield and make things happen.”

Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said the Rams have the defensive line to wreck a game.

The Rams have the eighth-best adjusted sack rate in the NFL.

Donald draws a lot of attention on the inside, and many times to doesn’t matter. He had three sacks against Arizona last meeting.

Von Miller and Leonard Floyd make up a dynamic duo of edge rushers. Floyd had an interception on Murray in Week 14.

Miller, who was acquired after the first meeting between the two sides, said there is no specific scheme to contain Murray. He feels that he and his teammates just have to do their jobs.

“If you rush outside and contain, Kyler can break that,” Miller told reporters this week. “If you rush through the middle, he’ll roll out. (There’s) really nothing that you can do to prepare for a guy like Kyler Murray and that style of offense.

“We just got to believe in our scheme, believe in our players, and go out there and play the game.”

Murray said after the Week 14 loss to LA that he felt the Cardinals moved the ball well, and they just made too many mistakes like turnovers and penalties.

Los Angeles defensive coordinator Raheem Morris said he expects to get Murray’s best this week, a sentiment shared by Kingsbury.

The Rams won’t have starting safeties Jordan Fuller (ankle) or Taylor Rapp (concussion) on Monday, which heightens their need to win up front and not allow Murray the chance to extend plays.

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