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: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

VII – Pass rush is more than Aaron Donald

The enigma for the LA Rams defense in previous seasons was the absence of a pass rush without Aaron Donald leading the charge.  That no longer seems to be the case, as the Rams have begun to find multiple routes to the quarterback. And the defense has found ways to generate pressure to take advantage of that fact.

Historically, the Rams had sought out that ‘one other’ defensive star to pair up with All-Pro defensive lineman Donald with mixed success. The Rams hoped that the arrival of Nndamokung Suh would be the answer. But Suh never generated the type of production that the Rams had hoped for. Instead, he simply boosted the production of Donald to career-high statistics.

Here comes the rest of the gang

When the Rams allowed Dante Fowler Jr. to sign a lucrative contract elsewhere, the team has some sense of confidence that his production at getting to the quarterback could be replicated with other players. So far this season, that’s exactly what’s transpired.  Veterans Michael Brockers and Leonard Floyd are on pace for career highs in quarterback sacks, while younger players like Morgan Fox and Troy Reeder have already established career highs this season.

And then there are the young players like Terrell Lewis and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo who are just starting to warm up their NFL careers. The unique blend of stars, veterans, and youth give the Rams roster several layers of quarterback pressure that they can depend on both today and tomorrow.