Rams suddenly NFL’s best pass rush
Things change quickly in the NFL. After putting up twelve quarterback sacks in the first four games. The LA Rams exploded for eight quarterback sacks in week five. Of course, four sacks came from a very familiar face, All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald. Three sacks, the first of his career, came from inside linebacker Troy Reeder. Finally, one sack, the first of his career, came from outside linebacker Jachai Polite
The Rams are learning how offenses plan to block Aaron Donald and have begun to adapt. Right now, the Rams have learned to send blitzes behind Donald, or simply to put more pass rushers at the line of scrimmage. Offensive linemen cannot double on Donald by allowing another defender to go unblocked, so that strategy has allowed Donald to get more one-on-ones.
Hit ’em where they ain’t
Magic shows rely upon distraction to create the optical illusion of magic happening on the stage. So too the Rams will allow the offensive to focus upon Aaron Donald. That misdirection will allow them to perform some magic on the football field. The more offenses focus upon Donald, the more susceptible they become to other defensive players. And that, in turn, bolsters the effectiveness of Donald. The Rams can get to the quarterback. Right now, all three of the 49ers quarterbacks wilt under pressure.
This game is going to take everything the Rams have. But the Rams have more in their arsenal than ever before. The LA Rams defense is not a recently assembled bunch of NFL players, but rather are a cohesive unit designed to play.