The Los Angeles Rams Look To Become One of The League’s Elite Defenses.
BOLD PREDICTION: The Rams had a disappointing season, however there is still a lot to be excited about if your a Los Angeles Rams fan. The defensive unit in particular looks like they are ready to take the world by storm to become one of the leagues most feared defenses. New head coach Sean McVay seems to be making all the right moves to create a winning culture in Los Angeles. While some might question how the Rams could possibly make such a huge jump to an elite defense in McVay’s first year. Here are 5 Reasons why the Rams will finish as a Top-3 defensive unit.
1.) Wade Phillips is a defensive mastermind.
One does not stay in the NFL for forty years if they are not a master at their position. Wade Phillips is notorious for improving his defenses in his first year. For example, in 2010 the Houston Texans were ranked 30th overall. Philips was hired the following year and turned that defensive unit into the 2nd overall ranked defense. To put that in comparison, the Rams defense was ranked 9th overall last season. They did however, have a problem allowing points, they were ranked 23rd last year. His 3-4 defensive scheme will transform this defensive unit up a notch.
2.) The Rams front seven is one of the NFL’s scariest to face.
A huge part of this is having the dynamic duo of Aaron Donald and Robert Quinn on the same defensive unit. Quinn’s health is a major concern, however if he is able to stay healthy the Rams are in business. Michael Brocker’s big body will only help Donald and Quinn’s efforts to attack the quarterback. Not to mention, the athletic talents of Alec Ogletree and Mark Barron who both have the ability to take over a game. Add that along with the new free agent signing of the veteran Connor Barwin, the Rams should be putting fear into every offensive coordinator they face.
3. The Rams offense looks like they will be able to stay on the field for more than three plays.
Lets face it, Jeff Fischer’s offenses were awful. His offensive game plan to “run, run, run, and punt” usually took his toll on the defense and skewed the numbers more than they should’ve. Last year, the Rams defensive unit played 1,037 snaps, which was 10th most in the NFL. The Offense couldn’t stay on the field, but there is hope. Sean McVay i knows how to run an offense. His work with Kirk Cousins and tight end Jordan Reed got him the attention he needed to become the NFL’s youngest head coach. McVay also made Matt LaFleur his offensive coordinator. LaFluer has a reputation of getting the best out of his quarterbacks. This offense will be on the field longer than three plays. Which means less time for the defense to play, which translates to better results.
4. The Rams Strength of Schedule will pad their numbers.
The Rams have had a history of playing one of the more tougher schedules each year, which never helps the record. However, the Rams have the 13th easiest schedule in the NFL this year. The Rams will be playing teams that are still in the rebuilding process. Playing weaker opponents will give the Rams defensive units better numbers than last year.
5. Rams have 2 key players in their “contract year”.
Everyone knows that players who are in the last year of their contract, usually put in a little more effort and have an outstanding year. They have the motivation for a new paycheck. The Rams have two key players that are entering their contract years, Trumaine Johnson and Aaron Donald. There is no doubt that both of these two will put up career years just in time to cash in. Aaron Donald is going to want to be the highest paid player in the league, which means he is going to put on a show this year. Rams fans can think of Janoris Jenkins’s final year with the Rams and how well he played to get his new contract. This maybe be worrisome for Rams fans because this means that the Rams might not be able to retain either. My advice is, enjoy them while they are still Rams.
The Rams defense held its own last year, with these 5 reasons listed above, the Rams look like they are on their way to becoming one of the leagues elites. If you are a Rams fan, you should be excited for coach McVay’s first year as Rams coach. This is a bold prediction that will has a real possibility of coming true.
Andrew Parks is the Lead Writer for Los Angeles Rams for Pro Football Spot. To see more articles about the Los Angeles Rams click HERE.