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 /

V – Rams have a pretty solid run defense

While the Rams overall defense is playing at a very high level, the biggest surprise is just how stout the defense plays against the run. The Rams are still using a 3-4 defense. But this version takes a tougher stance against defending the run. Did we say tougher? We meant much tougher. And that’s saying something, because the projections this offseason were not very promising.

This is a defense that has delivered on both runnning and passing defense. While the Rams have plenty of pass defense, they ensured that the defensive line was strong and well-rested. Then, the Rams ensured that the linebackers could attack the ball carrier

Steady progress

I don’t want to portray the Rams defense as inept at stopping the run before 2020. In 2017, the Rams were the 28th-ranked rushing defense in the NFL. They improved to the 23rd-ranked rushing defense in 2018. Then to the 19th-ranked rushing defense in 2019. So the team has been improving each year.

Of course, in any ranking, the higher you rise, the harder it becomes to continue to improve. That’s a fair assessment of the Rams trajectory. So the last stretch was more than improving talent, or simply better cohesion. The Rams suddenly found the ability to play better run defense because the defense is now built to stop the run.