The offensive line of the Arizona Cardinals will need to be at their absolute best this Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams
The Arizona Cardinals’ offensive line has been disrespected for quite a long time. In fact, the negativity towards them has continued this season. The blocking unit, in the minds of many, is one of the main reasons why the Cardinals are not expected to make the playoffs in 2018.
A good performance by the group this weekend could go a long way in dispelling much of the criticism. This Sunday’s opponent, the Los Angeles Rams, happen to have one of the finest defensive lines in the NFL. It’s a major challenge for Arizona’s front-five, perhaps the toughest assignment they’ll be faced with this year.
The sensational Aaron Donald is arguably the best defensive tackle in football. The 14th-overall pick of the 2014 draft is a havoc-causing defender, who’s almost impossible to block one on one. The Rams signed Donald to a six-year, $135 million contract at the end of August, the richest deal ever given to a defensive player.
Ndamukong Suh, who was signed back in March, is the nose tackle in Los Angeles’ 3-4 alignment. The former Detroit Lion and Miami Dolphin was paid handsomely to bring his talents to the NFC West. Suh is signed for just this year, but will receive $14 million to help guide the Rams to their first Super Bowl appearance in 17 years.
Rounding out Los Angeles’ front-three is the underrated Michael Brockers. The 14th-overall pick of the 2012 draft has amassed 232 tackles and 20 sacks during his seven-year pro career. Brockers got his first quarterback takedown of ’18 against the Oakland Raiders in the season-opener, and also added five tackles.
Justin Pugh was brought to the desert to help the Cards deal with talented defensive lines, like the one they’re facing in week two. The club’s new right guard was paid $45 million over five years, and is expected to contribute in a big way for the organization. Another free agent addition, Andre Smith, is nursing an elbow injury, and will be replaced by John Wetzel this Sunday at right tackle.
Center Mason Cole will face a daunting test versus the Rams in just his second professional contest. Veteran Mike Iupati will line up at left guard, while the improving left tackle D.J. Humphries will be counted on to protect Sam Bradford‘s blind side.
Donald and company will be on a mission to shut down David Johnson and make life miserable for Bradford. The Big Red blockers will try their hardest to prevent Los Angeles from being successful. Fans of the squad can only hope that the Cardinals’ o-line is up to the task.