The Super Bowl hangover seems to have a stranglehold on the Los Angeles Rams as they enter Sunday's game against the host Arizona Cardinals. The Rams are 3-5 after a 3-0 start and stand two games behind the Minnesota Vikings for the NFC's final wild-card berth with five games remaining.
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Los Angeles looked nothing like the Super Bowl squad it was last season while being steamrolled 45-6 by the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night as it totaled 221 offensive yards and allowed Baltimore to score touchdowns on its first six possessions. "I didn't do nearly a good enough job," Rams coach Sean McVay told reporters. "I think we will all look at ourselves, critically, figure out what we can do to improve, flush this out of our system and then we move forward, preparing for (Arizona). That's where we are at, that's all we know how to do and that's what we are going to do." Arizona has lost four straight games and is in transition mode under first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury and former star running back David Johnson had a word with the coaching staff after not touching the ball and being on the field for eight snaps in a 36-26 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. "It's obviously been hard," Johnson told reporters. "In the past I was in the majority of the snaps. It's been rough. I've just got to move past it and make the most of every opportunity."
TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Rams -3 O/U: 47.5
ABOUT THE RAMS (6-5): Quarterback Jared Goff signed a four-year, $134 million contract on the eve of the season after throwing 60 touchdown passes over the previous two seasons but he has more interceptions (12) than touchdowns (11) in 2019. Los Angeles has scored 35 total points while losing two of its past three games and running back Todd Gurley doesn't have a 100-yard outing during a quiet season in which he has rushed for 547 yards and seven touchdowns. Star defensive tackle Aaron Donald has a team-best eight sacks but he and his mates had no answers on how to stop the Ravens, who rolled up 480 yards and 31 first downs.
ABOUT THE CARDINALS (3-7-1): Star pass rusher Chandler Jones is tied for the NFL lead with 12.5 sacks and five forced fumbles but seldom has his name mentioned among the elite defensive players. "Those people are paying my bills," Jones told reporters, referring to team management. "The talk shows aren't paying me. At the end of the day, they might give you some hype but when you look at the numbers, they're there. The numbers are there." Rookie quarterback Kyler Murray (14 touchdowns, five interceptions) continues to take good care of the ball and has four 300-yard outings.
1. The Rams have won the past four meetings.
2. Los Angeles WR Cooper Kupp (67 receptions, 880 yards) has only nine catches for 88 yards over the past three games after rolling up a career-best 220 yards against the Cincinnati Bengals on Oct. 27.
3. Arizona RB Chase Edmonds (hamstring) is expected to return after a three-game absence.