Cardinals get torched by Rams wideouts during upsetting loss

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) Marco Wilson
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) Marco Wilson /

The Arizona Cardinals defensive backs were exposed in a big way during the franchise’s 30-23 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Monday night.

Over the past couple of months, the main issue with the Arizona Cardinals defense has been their inability to stop the run. Now, following a Week 14 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, another problem with coordinator Vance Joseph’s unit has apparently surfaced.

Arizona’s defensive backs were torched throughout the entire contest during the team’s 30-23 defeat to the Rams. Matt Stafford, Los Angeles’ huge offseason acquisition, basically had his way with the Cards’ secondary.

The 33-year old Stafford completed 23 out of his 30 pass attempts for 287 yards and three touchdowns. The Cardinals‘ top-three cornerbacks (Byron Murphy, Robert Alford, Marco Wilson) could not compete with a Rams passing attack that turned in what was pretty much a flawless performance.

Each of the Arizona Cardinals top-three cornerbacks were picked on by the Los Angeles Rams

The Arizona cover guy who struggled the most during the Monday night matchup was Wilson, the club’s first-year pro. Stafford saw a 22-year-old who was playing in just his 13th NFL game, and he decided to test the youngster early and often.

Los Angeles scored their first points of the evening when Wilson was beaten by wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. for a touchdown from 2 yards out. Another Rams pass-catcher, the sensational Cooper Kupp, also found the end zone while the former University of Florida product was trying to cover him. Wilson appeared to have perfect position on Kupp’s four-yard score, but the rookie corner badly whiffed on an interception attempt instead of simply extending his arm and knocking the ball away.

Alford, the Cards’ ninth-year cornerback, also had an awful outing versus Los Angeles. The 33-year-old was left in the dust by Rams speedster Van Jefferson, who blew by the veteran for a 52-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Then, on Los Angeles’ next possession, Alford committed a holding call in the end zone on a 3rd-and-goal, extending the drive that ultimately ended with Kupp’s touchdown.

Murphy has been outstanding this season, but the 23-year-old did not play his best against the Rams. With the Cardinals desperately needing a defensive stop in the fourth quarter, Murphy allowed Kupp to run by him for a 44-yard reception. The long pass from Stafford set Los Angeles up at the Arizona 24-yard line, and it eventually led to a Matt Gay field goal that gave the Rams a 30-20 advantage with 7:20 left in regulation.

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All in all, it was a rough night for the Cards’ cornerbacks. Hopefully, it was merely one minor bump in the road and not a prelude of more poor performances to come for the squad’s cover guys.