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    Arizona Cardinals at Rams: Who has the edge?
    • October 14, 2023

    CARDINALS (1-4) at RAMS (2-3)

    When: 1:25 p.m. Sunday

    Where: SoFi Stadium

    TV/Radio: FOX (Ch. 11)/710 AM; 93.1 FM; 1330 AM (Spanish); Sirius 386, 227

    Line: Rams by 7

    Notable injury designations: Cardinals: S Jalen Thompson (out; hamstring), WR Marquise Brown (questionable; illness), TE Elijah Higgins (questionable; illness), DL Jonathan Ledbetter (questionable; finger), LB Jesse Luketa (questionable; shoulder), LB Myjai Sanders (questionable; thumb), CB Garrett Williams (questionable; knee), LB Josh Woods (questionable; ankle), OL Dennis Daley (questionable; ankle). Rams: LB Ernest Jones (questionable; knee), RG Joe Noteboom (questionable; groin), DT Larrell Murchison (questionable; knee)

    What’s at stake? For the Cardinals, a chance to claw out of the NFC West cellar and draw even with the Rams for third in the division. For the Rams, the ability to climb back up to .500 and then, if they beat Pittsburgh next week, finish their three-game homestand with a winning record. Plus, the first home victory of the year would be a nice feather in the Rams’ caps.

    Who’s better? In fairness, both teams have surpassed preseason expectations, especially the Cardinals, who have been competitive in every game after outsiders questioned whether they were even trying to build an NFL roster. But the Rams are healthier, especially with their starting quarterback available as Cardinals QB Kyler Murray continues to recover from a torn ACL. And the Rams are deeper overall across the roster, giving them the edge.

    Matchup to watch: Rams OLB vs. QB Joshua Dobbs. The Rams have faced dual-threat quarterbacks in each of the past two weeks. The Colts’ Anthony Richardson rushed 10 times for 56 yards and a touchdown, and the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts rushed 15 times for 72 yards and, you guessed it, a touchdown. Dobbs is averaging 5.3 yards per carry this season, including a 44-yarder. The Rams will need outside linebackers Byron Young, Michael Hoecht, Ochaun Mathis and Zach VanValkenburg to keep contain and not allow Dobbs to escape the pocket.

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    Rams win if: The offense avoids any of the second-half letdowns that have plagued it the past few weeks and scores twice on both sides of halftime. … The Rams take advantage of RB James Conner’s trip to injured reserve and limit the Arizona run game to less than 75 yards.

    Fantasy sleeper: RB Kyren Williams was quiet last week with just 53 yards and 13 carries in a 23-14 loss to Philadelphia, but the Cardinals are 29th in fantasy points allowed to RBs. If the Rams start playing from ahead, expect them to feed Williams a healthy portion of handoffs.

    Prediction: Rams 34, Cardinals 17. Beat reporter’s record: 3-2 for the season; 3-2 against the spread.

    ​ Orange County Register