After a week of passionate social media exchanges, LA Rams ILB Micah Kiser shows up like a madman on the field
The LA Rams‘ first game went the LA Rams way. It was not an easy task to show up and play after no preseason games, not OTA’s, a compressed crash course training camp that had little to no real tackling. So when the LA Rams lined up to face the Dallas Cowboys in game one, the burden upon inside linebacker Micah Kiser was oppressive. He was facing the Cowboys’ running back Ezekiel Elliott, a running back who is very effective at running the ball and making tacklers miss.
An emotional outburst ensued when a post-game critique of Kiser’s play against the Cowboys was less than positive. That riled an emotional social media response from Micah Kiser himself. To set the record straight, Micah Kiser made seven tackles in the opener. What is debatable is the post-game analysis asserting that he missed seven tackles. That assertion was made by USA Today’s Cameron DaSilva, based upon his review of post-game videos. A separate analysis of the same footage suggested that Kiser’s primary responsibility negated the “missed tackles” scenario.
No question about game two
Of course, the opener was as much of a preseason game as it was an NFL game one. As such, there was bound to be rust on all sides of the game. With that in mind and the fact that the Rams held Cowboys’ RB Elliott to under 100 games, we felt that the first game was a solid showing by Kiser. The Rams defense was much tougher against the run than the previous year. The major difference was Kiser at inside linebacker.
Regardless of which side you fall on about game one, there was no question about the LA Rams linebacker’s ability and passion in game two. LB Kiser showed up big and often in the Rams victory over the Eagles. In that one, he recorded 16 tackles, one forced fumble, and one pass deflection. All game, he was all over the field. Once more, he played 100 percent of the defensive snaps.
Seeing is believing
You can see exactly what we mean via this NFL highlights video, courtesy of the NFL YouTube channel. The video feed is here, and by the 0:06 second mark, Kiser is already forcing a fumble from Eagles running back Miles Sanders. If you watch the video, you will find Kiser making plenty of solid tackles, and he does a pretty good job of pass defense too. Not only in coverage, but in tackling the running back after the catch is made.
This was just his second game. He already is the team’s leading tackler with 23 tackles in just two games. That was not only impressive for an NFL linebacker but doubly so when you consider that he has faced both Ezekiel Elliott and Miles Sanders, two of the top NFL running backs. At his current pace, he will end the season with over 170 tackles.
Kiser deserves the start
ILB Micah Kiser was certainly an unknown this season. He was taking over from a star linebacker Cory Littleton, so there was bound to be a downslide from a veteran at the top of his game, to a player making his first start of the NFL season. And yet, by week two, the Rams seem to be pretty solid at linebacker, again. Micah Kiser deserved to start this season after projecting to start a year ago and losing out due to an untimely injury.
The Rams boost defensive players thanks to the presence of All-Pro Aaron Donald on defense. Micah Kiser is just one of the defenders to benefit from playing behind Donald. There are others. In fact, the LA Rams have held both opponents to under 20 points. Right now, the Rams have the 4th-ranked defense in the NFL, behind the Baltimore Ravens, the Arizona Cardinals, and the Chicago Bears. The Rams are the 10th ranked offense in terms of points per game. As long as the Rams scored points on offense, and stop opponents from scoring on defense, the team will keep on winning. And Micah Kiser is a key player for this defense.