Kyler Murray had a rough time in Los Angeles on Monday night during the Arizona Cardinals' Wild Card round game against the Rams. The third-year quarterback turned in one of his worst performances of the season en route to a crushing 34-11 loss.
However, Murray wasn't entirely to blame for his sour showing. Much of the reason for his uncharacteristically poor game was the relentless pass-rush of the Rams.
Murray was sacked twice and hit five times in the Cardinals loss on Monday. He also threw two interceptions, one of which came deep in his own territory and was returned by the Rams for a touchdown.
Murray rarely looked comfortable during the game and for the most part, he appeared panicked. Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald agreed with that assessment, recognizing that his unit dominated for most of the contest.
“I feel like we were just dominant out there,” Donald said, per Pro Football Talk. “I think the quarterback wasn’t comfortable at all. I think he tried to get out of the pocket a couple of times — we were able to run him down or do something to the point where he threw the ball, made a bad throw.
“We did what was were supposed to do. That was the game plan and we stuck to it and we had some success doing it.”
Donald himself has a pretty quiet night on the stat sheet with just one tackle and half-a-sack. However, he did lay a hit on Murray and still managed to cause havoc in the Cardinals backfield.
“Once guys were getting close to him, you could see he fluttered,” Donald said of Murray. “He tried to get out of the pocket a couple of times. We kind of kept him contained to the point where he couldn’t and he had to make a couple of bad throws. Or he slid down. So I think we just did a good job bottling him up.”
The Rams defensive line will need to be up for another major test next weekend. Los Angeles is scheduled to travel to Tampa Bay to take on Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.
If Donald and the rest of the team's pass-rush are able to make the seven-time Super Bowl champion uncomfortable, the Rams should be well-positioned to pull off the upset.