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

IX – Rams are unpredictable

The LA Rams are not tossing out the same old script each week. That’s a huge upgrade over most defenses in the NFL right now. And it complicates the task for offenses facing the Rams. After all, the Rams are very talented on defense, but they do not have the depth at all positions. And that has led to some of the greatest challenges, and most significant innovations.

The fact is that this defense is a little bit unconventional. The team has focused upon the three defensive lineman front in terms of depth while entering the season razor-thin at the inside linebacker position. That’s led to starting linebacker Micah Kiser taking time off the field to heal, and forcing the Rams to start Troy Reeder at the position.

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Dawg-gone it

To compensate, the Rams converted the inside linebacker role into a ‘Dawg’ type role for Reeder, a more pass-blitzing run-defender role, and rerouted pass coverage to other players in the secondary. That ‘tweak’ resulted in Reeder having a three-sack outing. While not every swap out of players has had such dramatic results, the theme is consistent.

The Rams struggle to sustain healthy depth at all positions. The team has had to sign reinforcements to thicken the roster at outside linebacker, and with each new addition, the team has added a wrinkle or two to the strategy.  The LA Rams are tied for fourth-place in quarterback sacks at 34, but the team has 11 different players contributing to that statistic. Everyone works hard on this defense.