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Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals matchups how to watch and predict

Breakdown of how the Rams (1-1) and Arizona Cardinals (1-1) get into their game Sunday at 1:25 p.m. PDT at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The game will be shown on Fox and streamed on the Fox Sports App and NFL+.

When Rams have the ball: Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford had three touchdowns in a 31-27 win over the Atlanta Falcons but is entering this game after intercepting five passes in two games — the most in the NFL. The Rams are still without receiver Van Jefferson, so Stafford will continue to rely on star receiver Cooper Kupp, tight end Tyler Higbee and receiver Allen Robinson. After backup tight end Brycen Hopkins was suspended for three games this week for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, the Rams re-signed Kendall Blanton. Against the Falcons, coach Sean McVay used receiver Ben Skowronek at full-back, so it’ll be interesting to see if he continues that approach against the Cardinals, who are second-to-bottom in pass defense. Due to a season-ending ankle injury suffered by Tremayne Anchrum, the Rams will have their third different starting line in three games. Alaric Jackson will start with the right guard. Lineman JJ Watt, a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, has the only sack for a Cardinals defense that is giving up a league-worst 33.5 points per game. Safeties Budda Baker and Jalen Thompson and cornerback Byron Murphy are proven playmakers.

When Cardinals have the ball: Kyler Murray, more adept at extending plays than perhaps any NFL quarterback, has had three touchdowns and is running for another. In the Cardinals’ 29-23 overtime win over the Las Vegas Raiders, Murray’s scrambling ability was on full display in the final minutes of regulation. Star receiver DeAndre Hopkins is suspended for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy and Rondale Moore sat out with a hamstring injury, so Murray has relied on receivers Greg Dortch, Marquise Brown, AJ Green and tight end Zach Ertz . Darrel Williams, Eno Benjamin and James Conner are the top defenders. The Rams are struggling with injuries to several defenders. Troy Hill, David Long and Cobie Durant are all out and Jordan Fuller’s safety is in question. The Rams will look to rookie Derion Kendrick and sophomore Robert Rochell for promotion in a second division led by star cornerback Jalen Ramsey. While edge rusher Leonard Floyd played through a knee problem, the Rams signed edge rusher tackarist McKinley. He has not played since suffering an Achilles injury last December. Defensive lineman Aaron Donald needs a sack to reach 100 in his career. Linebacker Bobby Wagner has two sacks.

When they kick: The Rams’ special teams will be looking to bounce back after multiple failures against the Falcons. Riley Dixon had blocked a punt and returned for a touchdown. A free kick after a safety also went wide. Kicker Matt Gay made both field goal attempts. Cardinals kicker Matt Prater did not attempt a field goal. Andy Lee averages 40.9 net yards per kick.

Gary Klein’s prediction: Murray showed last season that he can be problematic for the Rams early this season. The Rams have an injury-poor secondary school, but Murray’s receiving corps isn’t at full strength either.

Aries 27, Cardinals 24

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