As Washington promotes QB Allen to start against the LA Rams, the pass rush should be prepared to feast this week
The LA Rams pass rush had been a bit quiet early in the season. After bringing down Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott three times in the season opener, the Rams failed to sack Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. The Rams rebounded and recorded four sacks in week three, and five sacks in week four. Now the Rams are getting to week five, and the Washington Football team is starting quarterback Kyle Allen in place of second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins.
While the reasons for the sudden promotion of Allen and the abrupt demotion of Allen are known to the Washington coaching staff, the LA Rams defense, and in particular, the pass rush, should be licking their chops. You see, Kyle Allen takes a lot of quarterback sacks. Even with a bit of mobility, he gets thrown to the ground frequently. And here come the Rams.
Sack of potatoes
Allen was a starter for the Carolina Panther in 2019 and followed head coach Ron Rivera to Washington. Last season, he played in 13 games, threw for 3,322 yards with 17 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, and was sacked 46 times. That means that Kyle Allen was sacked at a rate of 8.6 percent of the passing attempts in a game.
Haskins so far in 2020 has been dropped in the pocket at a rate of 8.1 percent. So the belief that Allen brings a stronger likelihood of success truly doesn’t jump out from the statistics. Even the yards per completion, attempt, and completion rate between Haskins and Allen are too close to call. The difference? Haskins ‘feels’ like a more dangerous scrambler.
Optical illusion defense
The Rams are at 12 quarterback sacks, averaging just three per game. But that could go up significantly in this one. Allen is starting his first game this year on a new team with new receivers. With the Rams’ ability to disguise defensive coverages, they should be able to replicate similar results to the Giants game. And Allen Is not someone who has been mopping up for Washington. He is coming in fairly cold to start.
This is not the week to play conservative football. By no means should the Rams play some form of conservative or prevent defense to try to win with the smallest margin possible. This is a road game on the East Coast in the eastern time zone. If ever there was a time to sick the dogs on the opposing quarterback, this is the time.
Live by the sword, die by the sword
Don’t get me wrong. I love what head coach Ron Rivera is doing with Washington’s Football team and I admire his courage of coaching while battling cancer. I keep him in my thoughts and prayers to beat it. But the Rams pass rush needs a big game and the timing of this game feels right. And this was the same team that unloaded the dogs in the season opener on Eagles’ quarterback Carson Wentz. Since Washington will not hesitate in the least to come after Goff in this game, the Rams should be prepared to launch a preemptive strike.
The Rams pass rush needs to put on a great game this week. The close-call victories are wins, yes, but the results simply give better teams down the road game plans that they can execute more effectively to defeat the Rams. What is my prediction for this game? It feels like the Rams could sack Allen seven times. The Rams need a great defensive game. Let’s draw a line in the sand in this one.