Five keys for Rams vs. Cardinals

Rams should lean on Malcolm Brown and run game
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INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Cam Akers will be available, but likely on a limited snap count, for the Los Angeles Rams this afternoon as they host the Arizona Cardinals at SoFi Stadium.

That was the big news this morning when the actives were released by the team. Rams head coach Sean McVay had said Akers would truly be a game-time decision. 

I had a chance to watch Akers go through his pre-game workout with Rams head trainer Reggie Scott looking on. He appeared to move and cut well but also seemed to have some issues with deceleration on that tender high-ankle sprain.

So, it will be interesting to see how many snaps the Florida State product can go.

Rams inactives: QB Bryce Perkins, QB Jared Goff, C Brian Allen, WR Trishtan Jackson, LB Micah Kiser.

Here are five keys to the game for the Rams as they try to clinch a postseason berth with a win over Arizona.

Feed Malcolm Brown: The Rams could use a repeat performance of what Malcolm Brown gave them in the team’s season-opening win over the Dallas Cowboys here at SoFi Stadium. In that game, Brown finished with 110 total yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. With John Wolford making his first career start, the Rams will lean on Brown’s experience in the offense, specifically in pass-pro on third down and in the red zone. I expect Brown to play well this afternoon.

Win the turnover battle: L.A.’s defense has done a pretty good job of taking the ball away, with 21 forced turnovers. However, the Rams have at least one turnover in every game this season, and 23 overall. The Rams are 4-0 this year when they win the turnover battle. And they need to do that against Arizona.

Don’t let Kyler Murray wreck the game: L.A.’s defense frustrated Kyler Murray in the previous matchup, sacking him twice, holding the Oklahoma product to 173 passing yards and just 15 yards rushing. Expect to see more of the same, with a controlled pass rush by the Rams that keeps Murray inside the pocket.

Free John Wolford: I know it’s Wolford’s first start, but hopefully Sean McVay will give him the full range of the playbook and let the Wake Forest product take advantage of everything he can do within the offense. Particularly in the red zone, where the Rams have struggled at times this season, I would like to see McVay be more creative.

Finish: The Rams have scored just 13 points in the fourth quarter over the last three games. The fourth quarter is winning time, and the Rams have to go out and take the game to the Cardinals to seal the victory.