There are mixed expectations about the likelihood of the LA Rams defense to dominate opponents once again in 2021. While it’s a task that has seldom been accomplished in the history of the NFL, the Rams compounded the matter by losing their defensive architect, Brandon Staley, to the head coaching position of the LA Chargers. The Chargers won on the road against the Washington Football Team to open the season at 1-0,
The team compounded the matter even more as the secondary was decimated by free agency. Both starting safety John Johnson III and cornerback Troy Hill signed on with the Cleveland Browns in the offseason. The team traded away veteran defensive lineman Michael Brockers to the Detroit Lions and lost defensive end, Morgan Fox, to the Carolina Panthers.
After all the dust settled, this defense will rely upon new players and new coaches to earn the reputation as one of the NFL’s best once more. Of course, when you start off any NFL season boasting the likes of All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald on the line of scrimmage, and All-Pro defensive back Jalen Ramsey working in the secondary, you’re off to a good start.
But the LA Rams learned a tough lesson in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs last season. Aaron Donald is mortal. When he played with broken ribs, he was not himself. Slowed through pain and lack of motion, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers used the fraction of a second extra in the pocket to engineer a short passing game that kept the Rams defense on the field and on their heels. The Rams need more on defense. On Sunday Night Football, we’ll see our first glimpse at whether they have more.