5 crucial takeaways from LA Rams Thursday Night Football game

Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams Michael Brockers
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Rams defense finds a new hero each week

Will the stream of heroics ever cease with this LA Rams defense? Each week, a new hero appears to make a game-changing play to seal a victory for the Rams. If it’s not Jalen Ramsey, or Darious Williams, or Jordan Fuller, or Troy Hill, then it must be ILB Kenny Young’s turn for a highlight reel type of play, right?

Well, the fact remains that the LA Rams defense is playing for one another right now and for their new defensive coordinator Brandon Staley. Why wouldn’t they?  They are the perfect storm, a group of talented players, some of whom are perhaps the best defensive players in the game today. But they have individually not had that ‘glue’ to bind them together. The Rams have had a great individual play. But now, the scheme seems to amplify that mastery and spread it across each player on this roster.

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The defense is full of surprises

While the Rams defense is certainly not the island-of-misfit-toys, they are not exactly associated with the NFL’s stout defenses. The fact that anyone can debate the merits of All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald, or All-Pro defensive back Jalen Ramsey, proves that the Rams perception of offense-first truly misses the mark with this team.

Just take a look at Cory Littleton’s Pro Football Focus grade of 39.5 this year. Or Dante Fowler Jr.s PFF grade of 48.8. Neither have the benefit of playing alongside Aaron Donald this year. Both have signed significant contracts to play elsewhere. Meanwhile, the Rams have discovered that their inside linebacker position has not imploded and that veteran outside linebacker Leonard Floyd may be playing even better than Fowler this year.