At midpoint, the LA Rams D, ST and O all look good enough to win

Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

In a template case study of perceptions not aligning with reality, it would seem from two and one half NFL games, this LA Rams defense is much better so far in the first half of this one than many had given them credit for.  The special teams, while not generating any video footage for a highlight reel, are playing fundamentally sound football. And the LA Rams running attack on offense, while only putting up 26 yards on the ground, has moved the chains when the Rams needed tough yardage.

The Rams were the first team on the scoreboard in this one, putting together a 14 paly 95-yard touchdown drive that took 8:05 off the clock. That series carried the game into the second quarter.

After the LA Rams scored, the Buccaneers put together an impressive 15 play 76-yard scoring drive of their own.  And suddenly, the defensive struggle appears to have receded, and the offensive scoring fest appears to have taken over.  The LA Rams followed up with a 10 play 75-yard scoring drive that restored the LA Rams lead in this one to 14-7.

Defense? Tom Brady is 17 of  22 in the first half for 172 yards and no touchdowns. The Buccaneers running game? Nine rushes for 18 yards and one rushing touchdown. The Rams may not be stomping a mudhole in the Bucs offense so far, but how can you argue against surrendering just seven points to the Buccaneers?

Special teams? The Rams are the better team on punting, kicking, and coverage so far.

Meanwhile, the Rams offense seems to have shaken off the early case of the jitters. Matthew Stafford started the game with just one completion of six attempts for seven yards. By the half? Matthew Stafford is 15 of 22 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns.  The Rams have rushed 10 times for 28 yards.

Trending. LA Rams open with stop, Atwell punt return, and inaccurate Stafford. light

The LA Rams get the football to start the second half. Hopefully, the Rams take that early second-half possessing in for a touchdown. This is the total team effort we’d hoped for so far. The LA Rams are just 30 regulation minutes away from a win.

51. Final. 7. 48. 14