The Rams, who had mastered the Cardinals for multiple years, lost to Arizona at home in Week Four. Ten weeks later, it’s Rams at Cardinals on Monday Night Football.
L.A. defensive tackle Aaron Donald told reporters on Friday that the stakes seem much higher for this one.
“I feel like it’s a playoff game, so that’s how we got to take it,” Donald said. “That’s the mindset and we know we got to win. We got to win.”
It’s not really a playoff game because the loser will still keep going. If the Rams lose, however, they’ll likely be relegated to a wild-card team at best.
A win by the Cardinals would reduce Arizona’s magic number to win the division to one, since the Cardinals would be up three games in the standings plus the head-to-head tiebreaker. That would require the Rams to win their final four games and for the Cardinals to lose each of their last four.
So how can the Rams avoid landing in such a deep hole, based on the last game against Kyler Murray and company?
“We just ain’t play good, but we know what to expect,” Donald said. “We know what we got to do to try to bottle him up — not let him get out the pocket and extend plays. So we do that, we’ll be fine. We just got to find ways to get after him, make him uncomfortable, and get some hits on him this time. . . We let him get out the pocket multiple times and extend plays with his feet. And then was able to get out the pocket, see things, throw it down field, and make some plays with his arm. So, you let any quarterback do that, they are going to have a good day. So definitely the type of talent he is, we can’t allow that.”
That will require more from a pass rush that hasn’t been getting home to most quarterbacks, slow or fast.
“I think it has been there,” Donald said. “You obviously aren’t seeing the sacks because the quarterbacks have been getting the ball out fast and things like that. But if you watch the film, you see [us] putting pressure on quarterbacks, hitting…