The Los Angeles Rams will look to shake off their latest loss as they travel to take on the Arizona Cardinals in Week 13. This past Monday, Los Angeles was embarrassed on Monday Night Football against the Baltimore Ravens by the score of 45-6.
With the lopsided defeat, the Rams are 6-5 and their playoff hopes are dwindling as the season progresses. Currently, Los Angeles is on the outside looking in as the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers have cemented themselves as playoff contenders in the NFC West.
Following their offensive blunder in last year’s Super Bowl, Sean McVay’s offense has remained stagnant in 2019. Above all, Jared Goff hasn’t thrown a touchdown since Week 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
On the other hand, the Cardinals are in last place in the division with a 3-7-1 record in Kliff Kingsbury’s first year as head coach. Despite the losing record, Arizona’s offense has shown promise with Kyler Murray at the helm.
Given that, here are the two key matchups to watch for the Rams in Week 13 versus the Cardinals.
Brandin Cooks vs. Patrick Peterson
Based on how the Cardinals have schemed their defense thus far, it’s likely that we see Patrick Peterson shadow Brandin Cooks. Since joining the Rams last year, Cooks has played the Cardinals twice and has fared pretty well.
In both of those games, the speedy wide receiver has combined for 10 receptions, 194 yards, and zero touchdowns. Over his entire career, Cooks has averaged five receptions for 107 yards in the four games he’s played against Arizona.
This season, Cooks has dealt with two concussions and hasn’t found the end zone since Week 2. Altogether, the big-play wide out has had somewhat of a down year with 29 receptions for 434 yards and one touchdown.
As for Peterson, he hasn’t been the same cornerback he once was. The veteran cornerback has allowed 22 receptions on 30 targets and has only managed to corral one interception.
Even with the disappointing numbers, Peterson can still be a difference maker in the secondary.
Jalen Ramsey vs. Christian Kirk
With Christian Kirk beginning to emerge as Arizona’s No. 1 wide receiver, there’s a solid chance that we see Jalen Ramsey draw the responsibility of covering him on Sunday. Since joining the Rams in Week 7, the All-Pro corner has been his dominant self in the secondary.
While he hasn’t been able to tally an interception yet, he has held the likes of Allen Robinson, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Auden Tate to a combined 12 receptions on 24 targets, 125 yards, and zero touchdowns.
By looking at the box scores, it appears that Ramsey isn’t having a great season. But when you shut down an entire side of the field, not many quarterbacks look in his direction.
At the same time, Kirk recently had the best game of his career with six catches, 138 yards, and three touchdowns versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The second-year wide receiver has put together a decent sophomore campaign in spite of injuries, hauling in 46 receptions for 508 yards and three scores.