3 Bold Predictions: Arizona Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Rams – Week 4
Cardinals pass rush sizzles
After logging a huge game against the Tennessee Titans in Week 1, the Cardinals’ pass rush has seen two mediocre weeks. And the Rams’ offensive line has kept Matthew Stafford’s jersey clean all year, with the quarterback taking just three sacks.
That will change on Sunday, as Chandler Jones and Company will bring a heat Stafford and the Rams’ line has not yet seen all season.
This will drastically slow down a Los Angeles offense that has logged 95 points this season and currently boasts the highest scoring percentage in football at 56.8 percent, 5.5 percentage points higher than the second team on the list, the Denver Broncos.
Los Angeles’ passing offense ranks sixth in the NFL, and they’re currently second with nine touchdown passes. They also lead the league in net yards gained per pass attempt at 9.4, with the Cardinals coming in second with 9.0, tied with the Seahawks.
These pretty numbers will decrease on Sunday against an Arizona defense that ranks fourth in the NFL in blitz percentage, blitzing 35 percent of the time. They’re also sixth in the league in knockdown percentage at 12.7 percent, and they are tied for fourth in the NFL with 10 sacks. They have also logged 41 total blitzes all season, which is the fourth-most in the league.
Look for the Cardinals to perhaps up their blitz percentage on Sunday. And in doing so, it will lead to them rattling Stafford a little more than he is used to.
So far, Stafford has been blitzed an average of nine times per game, and pressured just 13 times, for an average of 13.3 percent of the time. He has been forced to scramble just once in three games.
Once again, the Cardinals’ upper-echelon pass rush will give him a new dimension to work with.
(All statistics courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference)