Chandler Jones always thought 10 sacks in a season would be great.
"So to double that would be huge," the linebacker said heading into Sunday's finale in Los Angeles, owner of 19 sacks already.
As for notching another four sacks – a game performance he has already had twice this season – and breaking Michael Strahan's NFL record of 22½ in a season?
"It would be historic," Jones said. "It's a possibility, for sure. Something you have to take advantage of, particularly if you are this close."
Jones isn't about the hype, per se. But he's heard all about Strahan and the record this week, from teammates, coaches, brothers, his father. Jones just sees his job as blocking that out. He also isn't planning on anything different against the Rams to go after the record.
"Nothing changes at all," he said. "What got me here in this position is doing what I've been doing. I feel like I'd be a fool to change or do anything different."
It would be quite the way to cap the season if Jones can pull it off.
-- That's not the only storyline Sunday, of course. It might not even be the biggest, depending on your thoughts about quarterback and Kyler Murray getting one more game in. It's hard to tell which way Kliff Kingsbury is truly leaning – reading the tea leaves can be interpreted both with Murray giving it a go and with Brett Hundley starting – so maybe it truly is a game-day decision.
I get both sides. I get trying to have Murray get one more rookie game of prep (and the 103 yards he needs to become only the second rookie and sixth player ever to have 3,500 yards passing and 500 rush yards.) I get playing it safe and running Hundley out there. To me, I'm confident the Cardinals wouldn't put Murray out there unless they felt it was safe. And it might not be.
-- The troubles the Cardinals have had against the Rams since Sean McVay took over from head coach are well-documented – five Rams wins in five tries, an aggregate 164-32 score. But what really makes the head spin is the reality that if Hundley ends up starting for the Cardinals Sunday, he will be the sixth different QB to start for the Cards in six Rams meetings against McVay. The list:
- Carson Palmer
- Blaine Gabbert
- Sam Bradford
- Josh Rosen
-- It went way under the radar because of the Cardinals' victory, Murray's injury, Hundley's rescue and the fact the Cardinals rumbled for 253 rushing yards, but I thought it was noteworthy that Christian Kirk got shut out of a catch in Seattle. It's not like they didn't look for him – he had five targets, and one big one would've gotten a first down before Hundley's missile glanced off his hands on a third down – but I think Kirk will need to produce more Sunday for them to have a shot.
-- If Hundley plays – or heck, even if he does not – here's a look back at my summer story about Hundley's travels around the world. He's like a Fitz-lite.
-- Kenyan Drake is on a roll – 137 yards two weeks ago, 166 last week. He had only 31 yards on 13 carries against the Rams in the first game, so that rubber meeting the road will be interesting to watch Sunday. Pretty-boy football with an edge, for sure. Why is Drake playing so well? Hundley says it might just be the dinner the night before.
"Feed him sushi like I've been doing and he's going to do the rest," Hundley said.
Turns out a bunch of players went for sushi before the Browns game, and Drake went off for four touchdowns. They did it again in Seattle, and voila.
"So yeah, we want to keep doing it," Hundley said.
-- Kliff Kingsbury had a small smile when he was asked if it would be weird to coach at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum Sunday. Kingsbury would've coached there this season with USC, had he stayed as USC's offensive coordinator – a job he had only about a month before the Cardinals hired him.
"It's a little strange how the universe works where in that year you can go from that to that," Kingsbury acknowledged. "But I've never coached there before and I wasn't there long enough to be a part of that."
-- It was just 2016 when Larry Fitzgerald made a late touchdown catch in the L.A. Coliseum and kept the ball and everyone tried to see if that meant he was going to retire. (NARRATOR: He didn't.) Now he's back in the same building. It's three years later. And it feels less likely that Fitz walks away now than he did before.
"He's got so much money he can do whatever he wants," Kingsbury deadpanned, although the coach said Fitzgerald has a lot left and he agreed with GM Steve Keim that Fitzgerald is having fun.
"His position coach, coach (David) Raih has done a tremendous job building that relationship," Kingsbury said. "We have Jerry Sullivan, who he is close with, who has been phenomenal. We have younger players where he has taken on the mentorship role. It's all been awesome to watch, and I think he's enjoying being around those guys, and we enjoy being around him."
-- As he appears in game No. 250 for himself in the NFL, Fitzgerald will add to the 191 catches he has against the Rams, the most catches any player has ever had against one franchise. It'll be the last NFL game in the building, since the Rams are moving to their new stadium next season. It just doesn't feel like it'll be Fitz's last game.
See you Sunday.