Where have the Rams’ special teams improved?
To measure this one, we have to revisit the chaos that was the 2020 NFL season. A year ago, the LA Rams’ place kicking was a bit of a mess. The Rams cycled through Sam Sloman, Austin MacGinnis, Liram Hajrullahu, Kai Forbath, and finally Matt Gay.
The LA Rams have since settled on Matt Gay, and he has been one of the bright spots for the Rams’ special teams’ play. In truth, it was his two field goals and three extra points that eventually became the margin of victory in Week 2 against the Indianapolis Colts.
The LA Rams had the opportunity to decide between Johnny Hekker and Corey Bojorquez, both of who had a solid training camp. The Rams stayed with Hekker and traded Bojorquez to the Green Bay Packers. So far this year in two games, it appears as though the Rams may not have made the right choice, as Bojorquez’s average punt is 45.1 yards to Hekker’s 39.8 yards.
As stated earlier in this article, the LA Rams have infused a lot of young athletic players into the roster, with the specific intention of improving their lackluster special team performance from 2020. So far, the improvements had flashed at times, but do not stick over the course of an entire game.
The Rams have won two NFL games by scores of 34-14 and 27-24. But seven of those points were surrendered by the special teams. Without that error, the Rams would have surrendered just 31 points in two games, for an average of 15.5 points. A year ago, the LA Rams boasted the top-ranked defense in the NFL, but they allowed 18.5 points per game in the first two games of the season, and 23.2 points per game over the first three games. The Rams may not have the best defense in the NFL, but this game can be the start of rejuvenating the Rams’ special teams’ play.