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Cardinals Know They 'Have To Keep Going' Against Rams

Game in Los Angeles a must-win for both teams

The Cardinals and running back James Conner (6) will try to avenge a loss to the Rams earlier this season when the teams meet on Sunday.
The Cardinals and running back James Conner (6) will try to avenge a loss to the Rams earlier this season when the teams meet on Sunday.

None of the seven postseason spots would feature the Cardinals if the playoffs began today in early November.

Kyler Murray knows that.

Nine weeks into the season, the Cardinals are 13th in the NFC and last place in the NFC West with a 3-6 record. But eight games remain on the schedule, time to make a push for a wild card spot.

The Cardinals quarterback believes the mission starts on Sunday when the Cardinals travel to SoFi Stadium to face the struggling Rams (3-5) in another must-win divisional match-up for both teams.

"All of us are fed up with losing, but we have to keep going," Murray said. "The season is not over. We still have a chance, but we have to take it week by week. That's the mentality.

"I'm sure they have a lot of feelings we got, but they just won the Super Bowl. We didn't. I know their standard and how they expect to play. But it doesn't change anything. We're focused on ourselves, letting the chips fall where they may."

The reigning Super Bowl champion Rams have struggled and also sit outside the current playoff picture. The offense, surprisingly, has been a disappointment, ranking in the league's basement in total yards (286) and points per game (16.4).

Both teams could end up without their starting quarterbacks Sunday. Murray is dealing with a bad hamstring, and Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is in concussion protocol. Both are game-day decisions whether they will play.

But to Murray's point, the Cardinals are more worried about themselves than any opponent, including the Rams, because their worst enemy this season has been themselves. Whether it's mistakes or miscommunication, shooting themselves in the foot has been the reason for most losses.

Kliff Kingsbury understands the magnitude of Sunday and what's at stake, but he has ways not to let the mounting pressure get to him.

"I just approached it week-to-week and stay in the moment," Kingsbury said. "We have to be the best team we can be this week. We feel our best football is out in front of us."

Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins knows a potential match-up with Rams star cornerback Jalen Ramsey is an intriguing story line for fans. It always has been since the two battled often in the AFC South when Ramsey was with the Jaguars and Hopkins with the Texans.

But, like Kingsbury and Murray, he's only thinking about the main objective: beating the Rams in Week 10. Everything else is irrelevant.

"I just know we need to win," Hopkins said. "That's everyone's mindset."

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