The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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The Cardinals Are Still Better Than the Rams

Enigmatic but talented wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr (OBJ) found his new home choosing to sign with the Los Angeles Rams.

While the rest of the NFL world reacts with over the top surprise, I'm mostly yawning.

The Cardinals are still better than the Rams even if the football world doesn't want to or can't bring themselves to admit it.

Before I tell you the exact reason why this is true, let's start with OBJ.

Beckham Jr is a nice player but no longer a dominant receiving threat. At age 29, he still has some juice left in the tank and other than his dad creating a Youtube video critical of Baker Mayfield, he's been mostly a solid teammate in Cleveland. Also, I'm more impressed his dad knows how to make a Youtube video than anything.

He needs to stay on the field to actually have any kind of impact and that could prove to be a challenge since he has only played one full season in the last five years. This helps explain why he's had fewer receiving yards in the last four seasons than he did in the first two seasons of his career.

Also, it's hard to just join a team and immediately make a huge impact. Zach Ertz has 10 catches in three games for 135 yards and a touchdown after the Cardinals acquired him after Week 6. Really though the NBA buyout market might be more instructive for what to expect with OBJ. Blake Griffin was the shocking buyout guy last year and while he started for the Nets, he didn't help them win a championship. Andre Drummond also got a lot of attention before joining with the Lakers and getting bounced in the first round.

Even if OBJ puts up solid numbers, I don't see him replacing Cooper Kupp as the Rams preferred target. He may not even supplant Robert Woods without it turning the Rams WR room into a mutiny.

This isn't really about Beckham Jr though. The Rams deficiency compared to the Cardinals isn't about the weapons on the outside.

To me, the Cardinals continued superiority over the Rams is about someone else all together:

Matthew Stafford.

While the rest of the NFL world steps on each other the Rams because they landed Stafford, I think the Rams are going to fall short because of Stafford.

He's a quarterback with incredible physical gifts and a lot of losing characteristics.

He never led Georgia to the SEC championship game. He had as many double digit losing seasons in Detroit as he did playoff appearances and after more than a decade in the league with a franchise all to his own, he's still never experienced success in the playoffs.

I know there are a lot of mitigating factors for why the Lions stunk in his time there; they were a poop stew of coaches, GM's and mistakes. But Stafford rarely rose above it.

Now, because of his geography we're supposed to believe he's magically transformed into John Elway 2.0?

I'm not buying it. Give me Kyler Murray every day of the week.

Not only can Kyler make plays out of structure in a way that Stafford never has been able to, he's not burdened by twelve years of failure. His football senses haven't been permanently altered by the stink of over a decade of losing.

Is Stafford better than Jared Goff? Absolutely. Is he better than Kyler Murray? Not a chance.

Von Miller...Odell Beckham Jr...all nice players. But the Cardinals have Kyler Murray and the Rams don't.

Advantage Cardinals.

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