LA Rams ILB Micah Kiser heroics ensured the LA Rams first win, as he was all over the field, throwing his body around selflessly
The LA Rams season opener may not have been a masterpiece. The Rams may have allowed some positive yards rushing. The secondary may have allowed Dak Prescott to throw a touchdown reception. And there may have been some confusion, missed tackles, and plays that the LA Rams wants to get back.
But the Rams put together one helluva game. Offensively, the Dallas Cowboys defense seemed to play on their heels the entire game. But the masterpiece was the LA Rams defense. That defense faced the 2019 top offensive unit, and in many ways, was considered to be better this year. And yet, the LA Rams held the Cowboys to 17 points and just 380 yards.
Kiser comes through
The Rams defense is loaded with unsung heroes. Brandon Staley has constructed a defense that has already made a statement. In one game, the defense held one of the most proficient offenses way below expectations. And in the process, some have been a bit too critical of the means of doing so, which generated a reaction by LA Rams starting inside linebacker Micah Kiser.
In one report, someone assigned Kiser seven missed tackles. But on the scoreboard, the Rams defeated a dangerous opponent on the back of the defense. And we made note that Micah Kiser played on all of the defensive snaps.
The relative impact
One of the struggles of assessing the players is creating control for the evaluation. What I mean is this. Going into the game, there are three ways to score a player’s production. One way is to judge that player’s positive statistics. For an inside linebacker, that includes tackles, interceptions, sacks, deflected passes, and tackles for a loss. Conversely, the alternative is to record less-than-expected results and to track those. Passes completed, penalties, missed tackles, dropped interceptions are the type of negative statistics that can also be tracked.
But perhaps the most realistic way to grade a player, and unfortunately the most subjective, is to assess the player in the context of the opponent, and to preset expectations of that contest. In that manner, the game can be viewed through the lens of nearly no tackling before the first NFL game, little time to prepare for the season opener, and how many starts a player had previously.
No apologies needed for game one
Both teams following the season opener have things to clean up. That was to be expected. This was part “real” and part “preseason”. First-time starters only now have the experience from a real live NFL game to build upon and to train from. That includes many players in the NFL and several on the LA Rams roster. In the game, Micah Kiser put up seven tackles and deflected two passes. He was incredibly active in pass defense, allowing just a 50 percent completion rate.
Jordan Fuller, Micah Kiser, Cam Akers, Van Jefferson, Kenny Young, Leonard Floyd, and Marquise Copeland saw action for the first time on either the offense or defense of the LA Rams. There will never be another first for these players as an LA Rams player. That is a lot of new raw talent on the field in one game. The greatest single statistics from game one to focus upon are these: a hard-fought victory and no player injuries.
At 1-0, the LA Rams must now travel to Philadelphia. That is a tough assignment for the LA Rams. Not only do the Rams face the Eagles, but they must navigate that three-hour time differential. That is the next task. Still, inside linebacker Micah Kiser has one under his belt now. For those who may have lingering concerns, consider this. Kiser held Ezekiel Elliott to 96 yards. He limited passes targeting him to just a 50 percent completion rate. But most of all, the Eagles do not have an Ezekiel Elliott to defend.