But a significant part of why that happened was Los Angeles’ relentless defensive performance.
Murray was sacked twice and hit five times. But he was rarely able to get his feet set and deliver accurate passes — especially early.
“I feel like we were just dominant out there,” Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald said. “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 was asked when he could sense that Murray was rattled. In starting the game with four consecutive three-and-outs, Los Angeles’ defense didn’t let Arizona get into any kind of rhythm.
“Once guys were getting close to him, you could see he fluttered,” Donald said. “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 will have a different kind of challenge at quarterback in the Divisional round with Tom Brady. But Donald and the rest of the L.A. defense likely built some confidence in keeping Murray at bay.