LA Rams defense focuses upon W’s, not box stats this year

(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /

LA Rams defense designed by DC Brandon Staley doesn’t live by the box stats, but rather how few points they surrender per game

The LA Rams 2020 defense is different this year. And the difference among NFL defenses is extensive. Some defenses are smothering. They are loaded with talent and simply smother opposing offenses to compensate for their own offense and an inability to score. Other defenses are effective against either the run or the pass, but not both. Still, other defenses are simply speed-bumps, a half-hearted effort to slow down opponents’ ability to score to allow their own offense to win shootouts.

But the LA Rams defense is none of these.  The Rams have pockets of excellence, but areas where players are raw and developing. The Rams have been rather effective at defending the pass, but have allowed offenses to run very better-than-their-average against them. The Rams defense has games where they unload on opposing quarterbacks, and yet have games where quarterbacks emerge clean.

Stats mean little in measuring NFL effectiveness

Winning games is not about box stats. It’s about that scoreboard. Score more than the opponent, and your team wins. It’s that, and only that. Ultimately, that is the job of the defense, to hold the opponent to fewer points than your own offense has scored.  With that in mind, this LA Rams defense is running at 75 percent, good for a C on a school report card. This weekend, the team will try to raise that grade to 80 percent, or a B.

Don’t be swept up by teams that are winning the box stats but losing games. Teams like the offense from the Dallas Cowboys, or the defense of the New York Giants win the day in the statistics race. Dallas passes 50 times a game and leads the league in passing, yet they are 1-3.  The Giants are very stingy when it comes down to moving the ball. In fact, they are a Top-5 defense in the NFL. Yet, they too are 1-3 as well.

We not me winner mentality

The Rams defense is ranked 13th in yards-allowed-per-game. The same defense is the seventh-ranked defense in points allowed per game. But most importantly, the Rams are 3-1. That’s what defensive coordinator Brandon Staley focuses on for the Rams this year. Forget the stats.  Wins are where teams want to be.  Football was, is, and will be a team sport. Teams that focus upon stat stars are playing for me and not we.

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Those stat focused teams are not winning games that they should  Ultimately, stats are camouflage to disguise a team’s inability to play cohesively and win games. Why set passing records when running the ball wins football games? Why focus upon a smothering defense when the offense cannot score points? Winning is not about statistics. And that’s why you cannot judge Brandon Staley’s defense from stats. They are focused upon winning.