Low-scoring game likely as Cardinals and Rams face off with Murray and Stafford questionable

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Matthew Stafford and Kyler Murray could both miss Sunday's clash between the Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals in a crucial game for each team's seemingly fading playoff hopes.

The defending Super Bowl champion Rams are 3-5 heading into the visit of the Cardinals after suffering successive losses to the San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The sole team propping them up in the NFC West is Arizona, who dropped to 3-6 with a home loss to the Seattle Seahawks last time out.

Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray will be a game-time decision with a hamstring injury, and it may well prove a battle of deputy Colt McCoy and Rams backup John Wolford. Stafford (concussion) is listed as questionable having returned to practice in a limited capacity on Friday.

"It could go all the way up until 90 minutes before kick-off," coach Sean McVay said of Stafford.

"Because when you've got a guy that's a veteran player like him, you're not gonna risk at all… We're not gonna skip any steps, so I don't want that to be misunderstood. But I think it would be silly of me to rule him out."

Even if Stafford cannot play, the Rams can have reason to be optimistic of beating the Cardinals.

The Rams are 10-1 against the Cardinals since 2017, including a win in Arizona in Week 3 this year. The lone loss came at SoFi Stadium last season. The only team with more wins against a single opponent since 2017 are the New England Patriots, who are 11-0 against the Jets.

However, the Rams have the worst offense in the NFL by yards per play, averaging just 4.71. Additionally, they have gone three-and-out on 29.4 per cent of their offensive drives this season, the second-highest mark in the league (Pittsburgh, 31.8). Last season, they did that on just 13.3 per cent of their drives, the second-lowest mark in the league (Kansas City, 10.1).

The Cardinals, therefore, should not have much fear of the Rams pulling away as the Seahawks did last week, but, with Arizona averaging just 4.88 yards per play, a low-scoring game looks likely regardless of who is under center.

If the Rams are to prevail, wide receiver Cooper Kupp will be the probable offensive difference-maker.

Last week, Kupp produced his 20th career game with at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown, the most in the NFL since he entered the league in 2017. The only other players with more than 15 such games in that span are Davante Adams (19) and Tyreek Hill (18).