LA Rams need big game from Taylor Rapp on MNF

Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

LA Rams need a big game from Taylor Rapp on MNF to prove he deserves a long term future

The LA Rams entered the 2020 NFL season believing that they had a solid pair of starting safeties. A now-healthy John Johnson III was expected to join second-year Taylor Rapp at the back of the Rams defense, and start all season long. But a funny thing happened along the way. Rapp injured his knee slightly, which allowed the Rams to take long hard looks at rookies Terrell Burgess and Jordan Fuller.

What transpired next is one of the magical moments of the Rams 2020 season. Sixth-round rookie Jordan Fuller played so well, that he won the starting job as the other safety next to the LA Rams John Johnson III. Even though Jordan Fuller has missed games due to injury (he is out for the Monday Night Football game against the Chicago Bears), he is the presumed starter when he returns.

Rapp’s performance plummets

Meanwhile, Johnson’s contract expires at the end of this season.  So the Rams are back to filling a roster spot at safety next year. Can Rapp prove that he deserves that spot?  So far, Taylor Rapp has started two of the six NFL games and has done well in terms of tackling. He is responsible for 33 tackles, a nice total for someone who has played in just 240 snaps so far. But his pass defense has taken a huge plummet.

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After allowing a completion rate of just 62 percent in 2019, he is allowing 77 percent of passes thrown in his direction to be caught. And his passer rating when targeted is a horrifying 135.2, nearly double the rating when targeted a year ago. That has to change, quickly, for Rapp to be a long term player for the Rams. Rapp needs a huge game, perhaps even an interception, to change the perception that he was a one-hit-wonder. The clock is ticking.