10 reasons to believe LA Rams defense makes the difference this year

Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams defense
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

II – Rams finally make offenses pay for focusing on Aaron Donald

For years, offenses have focused two to three offensive linemen upon blocking Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald. And for years, it seemed that the defense stood back and watched. That is certainly not the case this year. In fact, it feels very much as though offenses have paid the price for focusing entirely upon Aaron Donald.

The Seattle Seahawks know just how good Aaron Donald is. They typically send two or three blockers to contain him on virtually every play. And that is a lot of focus from the offense. So someone should be open, right? Well in the past, the answer was flat out no. But a funny thing happened in 2020.

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Donald’s teammates step up

While the Seattle Seahawks dedicated blockers to Donald, OLBs Leonard Floyd and Terrell Lewis unloaded on the Seahawks quarterback Russell Willson and sacked him a combined five times. That’s a pretty solid outing for the pair of Rams edge rushers. And it works wonders to relieve some of the offensive line focus upon Donald in future games.

As long as the Rams can maintiain quarterback pressure from multiple players, the pass rush will remain intact. That pressure is critical to the overall defense. With little time to throw, the Rams pass defense is markedly better. With a strong pass defense, offenses either are forced to run with the ball, or make mistakes by forcing passes to closely guarded receivers.