Rams vs. Colts: 6 eye popping stats that define Week 2 win

Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News
Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports /

Rams stat No. 2:  Special Teams cannot cover the opening kickoff

In two consecutive games, the LA Rams have kicked off to start the game. While that is a sound strategy to ensure that the Rams get the ball to start the second half, they have surrendered huge kick returns to open the game. Against the Indianapolis Colts, kick returner Isaiah Rodgers was able to run the ball out to the 41-yard line.

Field position can be critical in a football game. And starting off no better than the 25-yard line means that the Rams defense has 75 yards to defend to prevent a touchdown. At the 41 yard line, that drops to 59 yards. To be fair, that drops down to about 29 or so yards before field goals become likely.

The battle of field position is a component of a football game that frankly, needs to receive more attention.  In the game, Rams punter Johnny Hekker averaged just 36.3 yards per punt on three punts. The Colts punter, Rigoberto Sanchez, averaged 42.5 yards per punt on just two punts. That means that the Rams lost six yards per punt exchange.

Coverage units for the LA Rams struggled in 2020, and it’s apparent that they will be a work in process for 2021. Perhaps it would be less obvious if it were a kick return in the heat of the battle. But in the first two games, the Rams opening kickoff has resulted in their opponent’s offensive taking the field beyond their own 40-yard line. So far, the Rams have gotten away with it (as you’ll see in the next slide), but it’s an eye-popping trend. As the southern rock band, Molly Hatchet used to say, the LA Rams are “Flirting with Disaster”.