Los Angeles Rams: 3 bold predictions for Week 3 vs. Cardinals
The Los Angeles Rams will be on the road for the first time this season to face the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. This means it is time for some Rams Week 3 bold predictions.
Los Angeles bounced back from its 31-10 blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills in the season opener with 31-27 win over the Atlanta Falcons. Playing against a team that is projected to finish at the bottom of rankings, the Rams almost blew their lead in the fourth quarter, being outscored 17-3.
Despite the 1-1 record, it seems Los Angeles is getting back on track. Still, if the Rams want another shot at the Super Bowl, they need more than what they are producing so far. The Cardinals have the momentum with an overtime thriller win over the Las Vegas Raiders, so things will be tough in Arizona.
With that being said, here are three bold predictions for the Rams as they face the Cardinals in Week 3.
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3. Cooper Kupp goes for 100+ receiving yards for the third straight game
Last season was a true breakout campaign for Cooper Kupp. The wide receiver earned the triple crown, leading the league in receptions (145), receiving yards (1,947) and receiving touchdowns (16). All of that was capped off with a Super Bowl ring and MVP honors after posting eight catches for 92 yards and two scores in the title game.
So far in 2022, Kupp is picking up where he left off. He caught 24 of his 29 targets for 236 yards and three touchdowns in the first two games. Most notably, he registered at least 100 receiving yards in both games of the season. His best mark came against the Bills with 128 yards, while the rest of the team only had 112.
Those numbers show that Kupp has a real shot at going for the NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award once again. Last season, the wideout had 11 games with at least 100 receiving yards. One of those games was against Arizona on the road with 123 yards on 13 receptions and a touchdown.
However, it is worth noting that his worst game in his stellar 2021 season came versus the Cardinals. In Week 4, Kupp finished with just five catches out of 13 targets for 64 yards and no scores.
All things considered, it is difficult to ignore Kupp’s dominance. Because of that, fans can expect him to finish the day with at least 100 receiving yards for the third straight time.
2. Matthew Stafford finally finishes with no interceptions thrown
The Rams acquired one of the final pieces for a Super Bowl campaign when they traded for Matthew Stafford. As much as he deserves the praise, there is still one area of his game that needs to improve if Los Angeles want to run it back.
Last season, Stafford led the league with 17 interceptions. So far this season, he has thrown five picks against four touchdowns. If things continue like this, he will potentially lead the league in that category once again.
Except for the picks, the quarterback has been quite solid in 2022. Stafford has completed 56 of his 77 pass attempts for 512 yards, a completion rate of 72.7%. For comparison, his career-best rate is 67.2%. This means that he is still finding his receivers, the problem is that when he misses, it is really costly.
The Cardinals do not have an interception this season. Additionally, they are allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete 66.7% of their passes. If there is a game that Stafford can enjoy a breakout in the season, this is a good one. A solid win with no interceptions can be enough to get him back on track and boost his confidence.
1. Defense will win the game for Rams
If the offense stepped up against the Falcons, there is still some work to do with the defensive unit. Some of the numbers are very good and certainly made a difference in keeping the lead. The Rams only allowed 261 total yards while only allowing three successful third-down plays by Atlanta. The problem is that the strong defensive performance almost disappeared in the fourth quarter, with a late interception by Jalen Ramsey saving them from total collapse.
Los Angeles allowed Marcus Mariota, a run-first quarterback, to complete 17 of his 26 pass attempts. Since the Rams will be facing Kyler Murray, who is more of a dual-threat quarterback, the defense needs to be better. The team is currently last in the NFL in passing defense, allowing opponents to complete 75.4% of their passes. Also, they allow 8.1 yards per pass attempt, the second-worst in the league.
Still, a unit with Aaron Donald should never be taken for granted. If the future Hall of Famer and the rest of the team pressures Murray, things will be tougher for Arizona.
Defense will be the X-factor for a victory on Sunday. Should Donald and his teammates play at a high level, Los Angeles will likely return home with a strong victory.