While the LA Rams inside linebackers played well enough, Kiser and Young will need to crank it up a notch after the bye week
The LA Rams have had the softer part of their NFL schedule so far. The Rams have cleared the hapless teams from the NFC East, and taken down the Chicago Bears. Those were the team’s five victories. As for the three losses? Two times the Rams fell victim to the AFC East on the road. The third time, the Rams traveled to their rival San Francisco 49ers.
With five wins and three losses, some are content. After all, to read the projections for these Rams, the team has already bagged five of their six projected wins for the season. But the question gnaws at the back of everyone’s mind: Are the Rams over or underachieving this year? To know the answer to that question, we need to dissect and analyze where the biggest questions are on this Rams team. On defense, the biggest question is the inside linebacker position.
The LA Rams defense is manned by two relatively young and inexperienced inside linebackers. They are Micah Kiser and Kenny Young, two players with different backgrounds but lined up side by side on the Rams defense. Kenny Young is the more ‘experienced’ of the two, So far, that experience has not shown up on the football field. While playing 262 defensive snaps, good for 51 percent of the defense, Young has recorded 29 tackles, one quarterback hit, and one deflected pass. His performance is not impressing analysts at Pro Football Focus, as they have him graded at just 36.2 for 2020, one of the lowest grades assigned to a starting linebacker.
His counterpart, Micah Kiser, is the linebacker who had excellent games against the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers. In those two games, he racked up 28 tackles. In the other five games he played, he accounted for 31 other tackles. And it’s that inconsistent play that has been the concern for the Rams defense. Kiser can play extremely well. He has limited the completion rate for passes thrown his way to 61 percent. And he can lay a solid thump to running backs trying to rush past him.
The LA Rams have a very difficult schedule coming out of their bye week. The Rams will face top-ten NFL offenses five times: the Seattle Seahawks twice, the Arizona Cardinals twice, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers once. To win those games, the Rams will need a consistently strong showing from Kiser.